Thursday, January 19, 2017

Early Review: The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

Title: The Girl Before 
Author: J.P. Delaney 
Publisher: Ballantine Books 
Source: Publisher 
Expected Publication Date: January 24th, 2017  
Preorder: Amazon | B&N 

Summary: 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. 


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

I loved this intriguing story that surrounds a home built by leading international architect Edward Monkford. We have dual POVs from potential tenants Emma and Jane, with Emma’s POV being “then” and Jane’s being “now.” One Folgate Street is not somewhere I would want to live.  And it’s not due to the minimalistic aesthetic or the cold and sterile environment – it’s not even the lengthy application process with strange questions that seem more at home in an ethics debate.  No, my biggest issue would be the monitoring from the house itself.  It collects data for… everything. It learns your preferred water temperature for your showers, your activity levels, your eating habits, etc. All this to improve the future of state of the art housing… and, most importantly, to improve yourself. No thanks. And how about the enigmatic architect himself, the one who judges the applications and tenants? Then there are the mysterious deaths surrounding One Folgate Street. Is the place haunted? Is the owner a murderous brute? Is there a ghost??? What is going on?! I admit I began to suspect the answer to those questions; and even though my suspicions were confirmed, I would not say it was because the book was predictable. The author did a good job keeping me in suspense; and even when the cat was out of the bag, there was still another intriguing reveal.

Needless to say, this book was an absolute page-turner.  I read it in one sitting with every chapter increasing my anxiety until the very end.  My favorite character was definitely Jane; I related most to her and rooted for her the whole time. I loved the ending as well as the play on the title, which was not what I expected it to be. This is a very captivating tale, and I recommend it not just for mystery and suspense lovers but for anyone who enjoys getting lost in a gripping story. I will definitely be looking forward to more books from this author. I’ve also learned that Ron Howard will be adapting this book to film; and frankly, I love the idea. Books are always better, but I can definitely see this story on the big screen.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 
© at A Belle's Tales



  1. I love books that I want to read in one sitting. This one sounds like quite the page turner. Enjoyed reading your review and this is definitely a book I want to read now!

    1. Thank you, Katie! If you do, I'd love to hear what you think. Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. That is so ridiculously creepy and it reminds me of Smart House - the Disney Channel movie from when I was a youngin- that movie didnt end well and I dont see this house doing better lol. Great review!

    1. It was HGTV meets Hitchcock. LOVES. I think you'd be surprised by what was really going on -- you may have to read this one, lobster!

  3. I love how creepy sounds Michele! When you can read a book in one sitting you know it's good :)


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