The Girl Before by J P Delaney.

Link to book on Amazon

What a page-turner! I was gripped from start to finish – if I could have read it in one sitting I would have!


The story alternates between being told by 2 different central female characters, Emma in the past, and Jane currently.  Following a burglary, Emma and her boyfriend find an amazing new house, which adapts to how you live – you need a special microchip to be allowed entrance, and the lighting and shower settings adapt to your personal tendencies and preferences.  But there’s a catch – to rent it, you have to obey a strict set of rules laid down by the obsessive and intriguing architect.


Switch scene to Jane – following a tragic still birth, Jane finds relief in finding an amazing new house where she can start over again.  Things turn tense though when Jane finds out that previous tenant, Emma, looks exactly like Jane and was found dead at the bottom of the stairs.  Things become more worrying still when Jane discovers her current beau, the elusive architect of the house, has only been taking on tenants who look like his dead wife.


When I read the synopsis, I thought that what happens with Jane would be identical to what happened with Emma, but each character does in fact have other things going on, and there was more to story than a fantastic house and a bizarre way to live.  I won’t give away any more of the story – I wouldn’t want to spoil it.


The majority of chapters where only about 2 minutes long, so it was easy to tell myself I had time for just one more chapter!  It was like reading a James Patterson novel, but with oodles more intrigue!  I enjoyed this author’s debut novel so much, I’ve already downloaded Delaney’s other book, and have pre-ordered the third!  Thoroughly recommended!

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Book blogger, excitement conveyor, and information forager.

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