One To Watch: The Girl Before – JP Delaney
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.
Sneak peak thanks to Quercus!
I had the opportunity to read a sampler of JP Delaney’s The Girl Before and I wish I hadn’t picked it up. Not because what I read was bad…quite the opposite! I reached the end of the sample chapters and found I was not ready for the story to end.
The extract I read from the final novel introduced us to two couples who were flat hunting. Their stories do not run concurrently, a “then” and “now” timeline, but both couples are looking at leasing the same flat. The flat in question has been designed by an award winning architect and it is minimalist to the extreme, however, there are a LOT of very unusual conditions attached to the lease and prospective tenants must agree to them all before they can even be considered. Mysterious.
Although it is couples who are flat hunting, the focus of the story appears to be on the women in each couple. Emma and Jane are both recovering from traumatic experiences and it is their vulnerability which looks to be a key element of the developing story. They are driving the house move and it is their determination to move into the peculiar (but gorgeous) house which we follow in the early stages of the book.
I seldom give an early warning of a book which I have not read in full, however, The Girl Before looks to be one to watch. Out in January – more on this when I can read the full novel.