The Girl Before by J P Delaney

girl before

It’s been a while since I blogged about a book. In fact the last time was most likely for the TSG Bookclub Box.

Since then I’ve been getting a lot of books on Kindle (yes I know I said you can’t beat a real, paper book but I’m trying to de-clutter the house. It works for me right now).

In terms of genres, I tend to go for psychological thrillers and horrors. I will read the odd fantasy/dystopian future but I have to be in the mood. I also like to read true life stories/biography stories, depending on what it’s about.
Outside of fiction, I tend to read uplifting self-help books, mindfulness or crafty related books.

The book I’ve chosen to start with is something I read fairly recently. It’s named ‘The Girl Before’ by J P Delaney. I think it popped up as a suggested read, I downloaded a sample and decided to continue reading.

Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before

I’ve read a couple of books now where the story line flits between characters and time frames. It can take a little bit of getting used to but as you get to know everyone, it becomes easier to follow the story.

This book throws a murder mystery, ‘who did it’ scenario at the reader. Some people may be able to work it out, luckily I didn’t.

What I did like about this book, is the twists and turns with characters and the real play on trust. I was surprised how my outlook and emotions turned with one particular character. I’d gone from being intrigued by them to pretty much not liking them (which I imagine is the Author’s intent).

I think my favourite thing in the whole story is house! Not even a character! It’s unusual and described well enough to really picture it and get a sense of standing in it yourself. The entire aspect of the house, the contract, the technology, was what got me reading in the first place. Throughout the book the reader is drawn back to elements of the house one way or another. It’s the foundation of the story.

The book itself was a quick read. Something you can dip in and out of without really losing your place. It’s got a nice build up and throws in enough plot twists to keep you interested.
There were a couple of things I didn’t like in this book, they were minimal and they may well have been put there to make me feel what I did.

If you’re looking for a easy read page turner then this would suit. If I was to give it a mark out of 5, I would give it 3 1/2. The reason for this is there was a slight ‘Fifty Shade of Grey’ feel to it and with that a certain character uses words that turned my stomach. They sort of jarred me and I went from being submerged in a story to reading words on a page.

Other than that, I enjoyed the book. There was the right level of empathy needed for one of the characters, the pace of the book worked for me and the chapters were short and sharp which I think helps this particular type of writing style.

I would definitely say it’s worth a read to put your own thoughts to it.

Thanks for stopping by,


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