Book review: The Girl Before by JP Delaney

A psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception—and the hottest title at the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair.

A damaged young woman gets the unique opportunity to rent a one-of-a-kind house. When she falls in love with the sexy, enigmatic architect who designed it, she has no idea she is following in the footsteps of the girl who came before: the house’s former tenant.

The eerie parallels in the two girls’ lives lay bare an enthralling story…and make this novel the must-read thriller of the season.

My thoughts:

Have you ever wished someone would write a book that combined the controlling 'romance' of Fifty Shades of Grey with the domestic thriller style of The Girl on the Train? if so you will love The Girl Before!

I'll be honest, I didn't love this book. Although the fast pace kept me interested and the premise was intriguing there were quite a few issues that put me off. The first being that both women seemed interchangeable- which I get is kind of the point but it made it hard to differentiate between each of their voices- they both seemed to have quite different personalities but were never fully explored, and the writing felt very impersonal. A side niggle is that in the chapters focusing on Emma (the girl before) no speech marks were used. I am guessing this was to help separate the two characters but surely there was a better way than forgoing punctuation...

Both women and in fact pretty much all the characters were unlikable. Usually that isn't an issue for me as some of my favourite books feature an unlikable protagonist but I felt like the actions of the two women were unrealistic. Jane was described as a smart woman and yet none of her decisions made sense and seemed stupid. Edward was made out to be a desirable character when I just felt like he was a controlling creep and the fact these woman wanted anything to do with him was beyond me! 

I was also quite uncomfortable with the subject of rape being used as a plot device in the story, and felt it was handled quite badly, as well as a hint of racism.

Overall I gave this 2 stars on Goodreads. I don't want to make this review totally negative- the pacing and story did keep me interested enough to keep reading, but ultimately this was just not the book for me.

If you liked The Girl on the Train then I have a strong feeling you will probably enjoy The Girl Before.

The Girl Before is out now in paperback

[Thanks to Quercus for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review]

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