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)