Title: The Girl Before
Author: J.P. Delaney
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: January 24, 2017
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 believe you may be in danger."
This book feels like it could have been so much better. The premise of a woman living in the same house where another woman who looked like her died and the mystery surrounding her death was intriguing to me.
The story is told from two POVs. One from Emma, who has recently suffered an attack and wants a house that could make her feel safe. The other one comes from Jane, the new tenant who has recently suffered the loss of her baby.
The first part of the novel moved very slowly but I found the last third of the book to be the best. The suspense was finally there. I wanted to know what was going to happen to Jane and the truth about Emma's death. The author gives the reader a couple of good twists which made the story more appealing too.
I'm not sure how anyone would pick Edward as relationship material. He was selfish, self-righteous, mental about perfection, and he discarded women in a blink of an eye without further explanation.
The house and the house rules were all crazy too. Good luck finding tenants to follow those crazy rules and regulations. I wouldn't be able to stay in a place like that. I would be questioning everything including outside access to the camera feeds. Just the questionnaire would have been enough to say goodbye to the idea of renting it. Cheap is never good. See ya One Folgate Street!
Overall, I would say that the story had some good scenes and twists but it was lacking the thrill of suspense.
A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.