The Girl Before – JP Delaney

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

Without doubt this is a hot contender to be 2017’s “Girl” book (previous title holders include gone, on a train, with a tattoo, up a tree, late for a meeting & with unblended bronzer…) this story is creepy, addictive and beautifully written. Big thanks to Netgalley & the lovely publishers for my review copy. 

Minimalism and simplifying is fast becoming a growing trend as our lives get noisier and busier. Excess “stuff” brings stress and when Emma & Simon are the victims of a break-in they immediately start searching for a new home. 

Then – finding a gloriously designed modern dream house which is affordable seems like a gift until they are told about the owner’s particular set of rules and clauses within the tenancy agreement. Can Emma & Simon live by minimal architect Edward Monkford’s strict commandments? 

Now – Jane is viewing One Folgate Street and is undeniably impressed with the building’s elegant, sleek style. At first, the tenant selection process seems intrusive and excessive but she soon finds herself magnetically attracted to the property, it’s murky past and it’s unique designer. When people start commenting on her startling resemblance to the house’s previous occupant, Jane cannot help wondering what happened to the girl before? 

The story is told in short alternating chapters – then and now – as Emma and Jane’s stories unfold almost simultaneously. This gives the book a really pacey feel and adds the lethal “just one more chapter” factor which means you *might* end up reading until the wee small hours to race to the conclusion. 

I really enjoyed this book and the alternating voices really moved the story along excitingly fast. Some repetition added an extra-creepy element and wasn’t annoying at all. For me, there were still a few loose ends remaining at the end of the book which hadn’t been addressed but perhaps I’m just not great at sniffing out the storyline red herrings! 

A creepy thriller you’re going to want to tell people about, get it here – four cwtches! 

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