Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Girl Before by JP Delaney

In the vein of the popular "girl" psychological suspense novels as of late (i.e. Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, and The Good Girl), comes another page turner that is sure to be a hit among readers of the genre and just might be the "girl" to end all girls

Each chapter alternates stories between two women during different time periods in England. Back "then," there is Emma and her boyfriend Simon who are looking for the perfect flat. Emma has security issues ever since being robbed at gunpoint at their current home. Nothing seems to fit the bill and so the agent finally, but reluctantly, suggests One Folgate Street, built by renowned architect Edward Monkford. This home comes with specific qualifications that won't appeal to most people.

In present day, there is Jane, a single thirty-some woman also looking for the right place to live. Jane carries her own baggage, having been devastated by the recent loss of the daughter she carried to term but had been delivered stillborn. Like Emma, no apartment is exactly right in her budget, so the agent suggests the possibility of One Folgate Street...

Edward, the architect and owner, requires the applicants to fill out a lengthy questionnaire that asks for so much more personal detail than just their rental history. They need to provide answers to personal and moral questions. And not every applicant is approved, but Emma and Jane pass muster.

Both learn of the sinister history of the property involving Edward's wife and child. What's more is that Edward has taken a romantic interest in the women. And what seemed like a state of the art security system in the beginning becomes more of an invasion of privacy. When will the two stories converge, and will the woman fall to the same fate as the previous occupants?

Readers won't know who to trust as Delaney's debut clutches you by the throat and won't let you go until the final, thrilling denouement.

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