The Girl Before by JP Delaney #BookReview


Book description

Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection . . . but can you pay the price?

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.


After reading a sampler of The Girl Before a few months ago, I was desperate to read the whole book as I was so intrigued by the chapters I read. Unfortunately although I really did enjoy The Girl Before it didn’t turn out to be the “thrilling” read I was expecting. The story is told by two narrators Jane who moves into the perfect house, or is it? There are so many rules and regulations (200 in fact!) some of which are bizarre to say the least, and then other chapters are told from Emma’s POV whose mysterious death, becomes central to the plot. As the past and present become entwined you really can’t help wondering where the plot is heading. One Folgate Street is not a place I would choose to live in that’s for sure, with an obsessive and controlling landlord you just know things aren’t going to end well.

The characters in The Girl Before aren’t the most likeable characters I’ve come across they are manipulative, selfish and self absorbed, but I must admit I was eager to learn more about them, and to see how the connection between characters would pan it. There are so many lies and half truths surrounding the two protagonists I found it difficult to know what to believe, but it certainly made me dislike them even more when the author reveals them. As Jane realises her life is running parallel to the tragic Emma’s events take a dark and sinister turn. Interestingly One Folgate Street takes on a life of its own and becomes a central character in the story, which sounds strange but it actually adds a sense of malice and claustrophobia to its tale.

Although I read this book in a day, and the plot is highly original personally I found the ease that the two women fall for their landlord less than credible, some scenes read more like 50 shades than a psychological thriller! When I picked up The Girl Before the first couple of chapters hint at the malice and darkness that surround the house, so I was expecting at least a few OMG moments, but unfortunately they never materialised. Don’t get me wrong it was an easy book to pick it up and read in one sitting as It did have elements that I enjoyed I’m sure The Girl Before will be loved by many, but even after the big reveal I was left feeling slightly disappointed as I expected so much more.

4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐out of 5

Hardcover: 416 pages

Publisher: Quercus (26 Jan. 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

26 thoughts on “The Girl Before by JP Delaney #BookReview

  1. Renee

    I agree with your review Lorraine, this book was missing something for me and I ended up feeling pretty Blah about the whole thing. I also read it quickly but as you said I expected much more from it. The plot and characters didn’t work for me at all, I couldn’t believe either of them

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Books, Vertigo and Tea

    Hah! This sounds kind of messy, but the good kind. These characters seem to have some serious issues that might be fun to read about. That 50 shades comment has me really wondering 😉 And I do not even read erotic.. but what a house this must be!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hayley at RatherTooFondofBooks

    I’ve got this on my review TBR pile and am looking forward to reading it. I thought the sample was brilliant but I’m glad I’ve read your review so I know more of what to expect. I get so disappointed when a book is billed as a huge thriller and then it’s not really that. I’m glad you still enjoyed this but it’s a shame it’s not quite what you hoped for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lollyrugs Post author

      I really thought this book would be so much more, I did enjoy it and it was a quick read but it lacked something. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on it Hayley x


  4. alilovesbooks

    I have to admit I was also a little bit disappointed in this. Bits of it were fascinating but like many psychological thrillers I didn’t like any of the characters and therefore couldn’t really bring myself to care what happened to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Donna

    Fantastic review, as always 🙂 A couple of reviews had me really eager to read this, but I’ll keep your observations in mind to avoid over-heightened expectations. I need a connection to the characters, especially in psychological thrillers, to really enjoy a story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lollyrugs Post author

      Hope you find a connection with the characters Donna, I don’t necessarily need to like a character to enjoy a book, but unfortunately it’s hard to care one way or another in this book, but there was something about it that made it a quick read.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. wendyunsworth

    I really liked the idea of this perfect house, though I wonder if anyone would really agree to make a home where they could have practically no personal possessions/ curtains/ plants etc I am 25% in.. Enjoying it so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: **Weekly Wrap Up** | The Book Review Café

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