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The girl before : a novel
2017
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Emma (Female), Looking for a new place to live after a traumatic break-in at her old place; finds a house where the architect has made rules
Jane (Female), Looking for a fresh start after the stillborn death of her baby; falls in love with a house where the architect has made rules; learns of the death of the home's previous tenant, a woman similar to her in age and appearance; finds herself making the same choices, crossing paths with the same people, as the girl before
Genre
Fiction
Thriller
Psychological
Suspense
Topics
Moving
Landlords
Deception
Women in peril
Personal tragedy
Architects
Security systems
Identity
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

What if you could rent an architectural showplace, a futuristic house with state-of-the-art amenities, for the same price as a moderate apartment? As with many deals that seem too good to be true, the house at One Folgate Street had many strings attached in its rental contract, including a forced minimalist lifestyle and a stark lack of privacy. This psychological thriller by a best-selling pseudonymous author alternates between the stories of Jane, the current tenant, and Emma, the previous tenant, during the time that they inhabited the house. Both women began their residences in a vulnerable state, after each had faced a life-altering experience. The uncanny parallels between Jane and Emma and their obsessive architect-landlord's late wife are quickly discovered and hardly seem coincidental. As each woman draws closer to the eccentric architect, the lines are blurred and it becomes increasingly difficult to discern whether the house offers sanctuary or imminent danger. Verdict This haunting Big Brother-esque novel will consume psychological thriller enthusiasts and keep them thinking long after the final page. Fans of Paula Hawkins's The Girl on the Train should add it to their winter reading lists. [See Prepub Alert, 7/18/16; January 2017 top LibraryReads pick.]-Mary Todd Chesnut, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

In the pseudonymous Delaney's riveting psychological thriller, first Emma Matthews and then Jane Cavendish take up residence at One Folgate Street in London. The house, a masterpiece of minimalist architecture designed by the enigmatic Edward Monkford, is let only to tenants willing to abide by his stringent rules, which reduce life to its basics. This setup appeals to people looking for order, like Emma, who's trying to recover from a brutal attack that's hastening the end of her relationship with a man who adores her. Later, it is Jane, grief-stricken by the stillbirth of her daughter, who seeks asylum within One Folgate's walls. Both find themselves drawn to the house's creator and its tragic history. Were the deaths of Edward's family members accidental? Or were they murdered for not conforming to Edward's obsessive need for order? Writing with precision and grace, Delaney strips away the characters' secrets until the raw truth of each is revealed. That Emma and Jane act in often foolhardy ways hasn't prevented rights sales in more than 30 markets and movie rights to Universal with Ron Howard directing. Agent: Caradoc King, United Artists (U.K.). (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * In the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Woman in Cabin 10, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman's seemingly good fortune, and another woman's mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception. <br> <br> SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD <br> <br> Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life. <br> <br> The request seems odd, even intrusive--and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.<br> <br> EMMA <br> 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.<br> <br> JANE <br> 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.<br> <br> Praise for The Girl Before <br> <br> "Dazzling, startling, and above all cunning--a pitch-perfect novel of psychological suspense." --Lee Child <br> <br> " The Girl Before generates a fast pace. . . . [J. P.] Delaney intersperses ethics questions on stand-alone pages throughout the book. . . . The single most ingenious touch is that we're not provided either woman's answers." --The New York Times <br> <br> "J. P. Delaney builds the suspense." -- Vanity Fair <br> <br> "Immediate guarantee: You will not be able to put this book down. . . . Fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train will realize that there's not only more where that came from, but it's also more thrilling." -- American Booksellers Association <br> <br> "This is going to be the buzziest book of 2017. We may only be a few weeks into 2017, but we're calling it early: This year, The Girl Before will be that book. The upcoming novel by author J. P. Delaney has all of the makings of a sexy murder mystery that is sure to hit the bestseller chart, and it already has the movie deal to prove it." -- InStyle <br> <br> "Delaney has created a genuinely eerie, fascinating setting in One Folgate Street. . . . The novel's structure, volleying back and forth as first Emma and then Jane begin to question their improbable luck, is beautifully handled. The pages fly." -- USA Today <br> <br> "The house has a dark past and a landlord that's anything but welcoming." -- New York Post , one of the must-read books of the week <br> <br> " The Girl Before is deservedly anointed the 'top girl' of this season's suspense novels." -- The Washington Post <br> <br> " The Girl Before is a cat-and-mouse game that toys with our expectations and twists our sympathies. At times almost unbearably suspenseful, it keeps us guessing from the first page to the very last. Don't miss it." --Joseph Finder
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