I´ve seen this cover around a bit in the blogosphere lately. And had it in my hands at the library quite a few times. But never took it home. Don´t know why. This was the first time that I´ve read a book by the author. And while writing my review I am struggling to find the right words about my feelings for this thriller.

The Girl Before
by J.P. Delaney
Publisher Penguin on January 24, 2017
Genre Thriller
Pages 272
Format Softcover
Source Library

EMMA. Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable of 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. JANE. 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.
Jane has lost her daughter, the great job she had, and now wants and needs a new start. But with her tight budget, not the easiest thing to achieve. When she sees the house at Folgate Street 1 she is fascinated. Not only by the house itself but the owner as well. A man who lives as disciplined as Jane never could be but lets her wish to get what she´s craving.

I have mixed feelings about this thriller. The end didn´t match with the rest of this book – at least not in my eyes. There were twists and turns towards the end that I thought what in the world? The author uses the characteristic terms narcissistic and anancastic personality to show a very controlled picture of her figures. But, to be honest, I couldn´t connect with it. Not with the various characters that were playing a role here and not with the plot itself. So, no, I am not sharing the excitement every other reader has about this thriller. J.P. Delaney´s style is decent, easy to read, and turns, the more you read this book, more and more to what seems to be an erotic thriller instead of anything else. Only the main figure Jane seems to keep a clear head seems to act rationally. It is, as always, the figure that lives a very invisible life, that is the bad guy. And Jane finds out who is really responsible for Emma´s death. Towards the end, I was shaking my head in disbelief when I read what Jane´s plan had been all along and when Edward suggests his plan to her about the house, I was like WTF?

The author describes her figures with a few words, shows the reader that all of them have gone through a lot. And she makes it quite clear that not everything is what it seems to be at first sight. Only that you don´t realize it until the last third of this thriller. Emma has a huge problem with food. Likes to have dangerous sex and can´t stand it when she isn´t the center of attention. With that need in her sick head, she lies, intrigues, and plays with all the people around her as if they were dolls. When Jane starts to see the real picture behind the fragile-looking Emma, she starts to understand the real deal behind Folgate Street 1. 

I am sorry to have to say that, but I am not sharing the excitement everyone else feels for this thriller. Yes, the psychological finesse is wonderful and some things were not visible until the end for me. But I missed the haunting feeling, the impact that an (at least what I call a great thriller) usually has on me. So, this one is only average for me. Maybe you´ll like it more, who knows. 

Happy reading

J. P. Delaney
J.P.Delaney aka Tony Strong ©Anthony Capella

J.P. Delaney is the pseudonym of Ugandan, born author Tony Strong aka Anthony Capella. In 1962, he moved to the UK when he was six weeks old. He has won a BAFTA, made more than thirty television commercials and has published four novels so far. He is a graduate of Oxford and lives with his wife in London.



  1. Sorry this one wasn't that great for you! I feel like a lot of people loved it, but there are some that aren't as thrilled. I borrowed it from a friend so eventually I'll give it a try anyway lol. :P I hope your next read is much better! :)

    1. I have it from time to time that I can´t share the excitement about a book, others have. Well, not every book is for every reader or it just wasn´t the right time for me to read it. But go ahead and read it. It could be the right one for you *smile* Thanks for your visit.


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