Review of 'The Girl Before'

The Girl Before by JP Delaney

the_girl_before.jpg Jane is a young woman mourning her child who was stillborn. Looking for a place to live in London she is about to give up hope when her estate agent finds a minimalist, modern house in a nice area standing out like a sore thumb in the more traditional houses of the neighbourhood. She is told the house is available at a very reasonable rate…though there is a rather lengthy set of rules set by the architect that tenants must follow. As she moves into the house she finds it was previously rented by Simon and his girlfriend Emma. Emma died in the house, found at the bottom of the modern stone staircase. As Jane comes to terms with living in the house she establishes up an unusual relationship with the quirky architect who created it. As she learns more about Emma, Simon, the house, and the architect she feels more than a little sense of unease…

A well-written, page-turner that alternates between the stories of Emma and Jane who have so much in common yet are quite different. The mysteries are gradually unveiled with an ending that will likely come as a shock to many though nicely ties up all of the story threads. “The Girl Before” is a book of physical and mental violence that is often unsettling, keeping the reader involved at all times. The short chapters keep the story moving and help us remember what is going on (!).

Enjoyable but disturbing reading, if a bit long.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2022-01-08

Genre: General Fiction

Publisher: Quercus

Publication Date: 2018

ISBN: 9781786480262