What if something was too good to be true? In an eerie tale of chilling coincidences, two women who move into the same apartment discover their fates are inexplicably entwined.
The Sunday Times best-seller.
The New York Times best-seller.
The Radio 2 Book Club Choice - February 2017
Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection...but can you pay the price?
Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules.After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there - and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma's past and Jane's present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.
Following in the footsteps of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, The Girl Before is being brought to the big screen. The film is set to be directed by Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard.
©2017 JP Delaney (P)2017 Random House Audio
"The tension is built up subtly, leading to a devastating climax. A really clever thriller... [the film] will no doubt become the third big 'Girl' film." (Daily Mail)
"I was instantly gripped and held captivated by the pace and elegant writing. I devoured it in two straight sittings." (Peter James)
"A deeply addictive literary thriller that deserves to be one of this year's biggest successes." (Daily Express)
"Original and entertaining." (The Times)
"A guaranteed best-seller." (Red Magazine)
Imagine Hitchcock's Vertigo, sexed up and then described by some very unreliable narrators then you've got The Girl Before.
Not a bad book - in fact it's quite an an addictive page turner - I liked the (somewhat glamourised) architectural context and the deliberate repetitive scenarios, but all too 50 Shades in the sexy alpha male depiction (and husky female narrators).
Talking of which, I found the two female narrators almost impossible to distinguish between which did become confusing - the book is probably clearer.
From the beginning this book grips you. Just when you have think you have it figured there is another twist. Finished it in 24 hours as couldn't stop listening.
'the concept was & is fine but the characterisation & dialogue in this squished all potential.The narrator sounds like a(ny) adolescent schoolgirl; couldn't recommend /save your credit/cash.
Please don't waste you time and money on this. No real storyline, slow moving no character personalities. The fact this is even compared to Gone Girl is laughable. Might be a best seller but suspect there are many who regret their purchase!
Spend my time cycling, reading, listening to audiobooks and music, baking and running about after 3 grown up kids, cats and chickens.
A real page turner but with some major deficiencies for me. I found the characters too predictable and not particularly likeable. The relationships that the two main female characters have with the architect is just far too ''Shades of Grey ' to be believable.
One of my other gripes is some of the language that is used thoughout the book is very poor e.g. he goes/she goes instead of he says/she says. Better editing would have been a bonus.
It took me a while to get into this book, the story was pretty good but it missed the mark somehow. I struggled to find empathy with any of the characters and the last hour seemed to drag. not for me!
A man with a child in his ears - @shutterspin.
The competition in the psychological thriller category just got that bit hotter with this first book written under the pseudonym JP Delaney. It is a hugely engrossing book which has near-perfect pacing and excellent construction.
I have to confess to being put off normally when publishers try to entice us by using blurb like "For all fans of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl " as they did with this one because it's all too often misleading. Luckily I've not read either of those much vaunted tomes yet so was able to read it with no pre-conceptions.
The book has a dual aspect point of view, that of an old tenant of a quite remarkable house and the current incumbent. It's cleverly done building the story with alternating chapters "Then" and "Now", efficiently constructing without any feeling of repetition. At times it does switch frequently so possibly just a tad more attention than normal is required. The idea of splitting the narration is a good one though the effectiveness is reduced in that Emelia Fox and Finty Williams do sound reasonably similar. They both give high quality performances though.
Although it's a psychological thriller rather than full of action a lot of tension is generated and it dips into some really tough real-world subjects. I don't do spoilers but for anyone currently sensitive to issues around pregnancy and childbirth it won't be any kind of relaxing escapism I think it's fair to say. This becomes obvious very early on. The book is also very contemporary. Working in the industry myself the idea of the "Connected House" is very much on trend. One Folgate Street possibly isn't the advertising we're looking for but it is well done.
Totally ignoring my opening paragraph I would have little hesitation recommending this to those who enjoy authors like Clare Mackintosh. Similar levels of believability and strong characters. If my understanding of who JP Delaney is is actually correct then this could be one of the best female POV novels I have ever read written by a man. Even if I am wrong it's a damn good listen!
The narrator's shrill, monotone voice made this book near impossible to listen to. In fact in the end I gave up and didn't finish listening to it. Having listened to The Girl on the Train, which I enjoyed, this smacked of more of the same and there are better stories out there to spend my time listening to.
Unfortunately, I had to leave this book half way through - the plot is so predictable and the characters don't come to life at all in my opinion. Many dialogues, especially the ones involving the male main character, are just cringe. If you are looking for a similarly dark - but beautifully crafted - novel I recommend Apple Tree Yard a thousand times over this book.
I was excited to get this book and I did enjoy the twists and turns of the story but hated the way both women were portrayed as deceptive and duplicitous. I also struggled with the author's constant use of "I go"/ "he goes" rather than "I said"/ "he said".
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