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Summary

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

Critic reviews

"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)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    2,955
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    2,072
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    750
  • 2 Stars
    151
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    117

Performance

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    70
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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Gripping thriller

The dual time-line for the book was well-crafted, building the past and current characters in real time as each sub-plot progressed. Rather than being confusing (as I initially thought it might be) it served to implant the story firmly without the need to back-track. This makes the book flow really well. The characters were all believable giving validity to the twisting plot line. I had my own theory of who the antagonist might be from the mid-point of the book, but was surprised, but not disappointed to be proved wrong at the end. All loose ends are neatly tied at the conclusion, some of which, I personally would have liked left to flail in my imagination. The narration was excellent, transforming the travel time to Wales and back from tedium to excitement.

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

50 Shades of Girl on a Train

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.

62 of 72 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very enjoyable thriller

Only quibble is Emilia Fox's habit of putting on a surly deep voice and/or mockney accent for every male character. Very distracting!! I thought Finty Williams was perfect!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Tries very hard to be The girl on the train.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I would change the final third of the book. It needed so badly to have a twist that it sacrificed both logic and intelligence to get it.

Would you ever listen to anything by JP Delaney again?

No

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The middle section of the book - the paranoia around the house.

Could you see The Girl Before being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

Hopefully not - but yeah I could see it happening.

Any additional comments?

Not a very good story - but well performed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A good idea poorly developed

The mystery and suspense were well built in the first half but then begin to flag . The characters are never well drawn .

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disjointed

I returned this book. I had bought it on the strength of the good reviews it received. Won't trust these again. I didn't like the characters nor the storyline. And the number of narrators was confusing, especially the women who sounded too much alike.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An Impressive Debut by an Old Hand!

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!

48 of 62 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Rubbish

10 hours of my life I won't get back. Awful. As if anyone would want to live in an apartment so restricted by a set of rules set by a landlord. So ridiculous.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

had hopes for this but daft formulaic nonsense :(

'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.

18 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Don't bother

This book gave me the rage. It is factually inaccurate (show me a medical professional that would give a pregnant woman a smear test!) and the whole oral rape storyline is disgusting.

And it's POLICE, not plice.

I gave up after a while because it just made me so mad.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Patrycja
  • 23-08-18

Amazing, surprising at every moment.

Amazing, surprising at every moment. Finished in 3 days. Just can't stop listening to this.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Leanne Hegarty
  • 24-07-17

Loved it loved loved it

I was in from the first few sentences. I couldn't put it down. I kept thinking I knew how the story would play out, but I kept being wrong. I highly recommend it, but not for a week long holiday - I finished it in 2 days!!