The Girl Before
By JP Delaney
Then: Emma and Simon are desperate for a home they can afford but after a burglary and assault on Emma they want to live in a nicer area and need security. The quest to find what they want is doomed to fail it seems, until they pass the rigorous vetting procedure to be granted the tenancy of an extraordinary, minimalist house with a bizarre set of rules. Can they live within such severe constraints in exchange for the house in Hendon and a security system beyond belief?
Now: Jane is in shock and mourning after the recent still-birth of her baby. Faced with a similar decision she decides that the house is exactly what she needs. It offers her peace and she embraces the strange landlord-tenant agreement gratefully.
But the house has secrets and so do some of the characters!
I liked the way that the characters develop over the course of the book as the reader gets to know them. The plot unfolds with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing pretty much to the end.
Told from their points of view the stories of Emma and Jane are interspersed though the book in a very balanced way that keeps the reader engaged. The drama and suspense are well paced and while the ending is slightly ‘open’ there is a satisfactory resolution to the book with a final twist and a mainly optimistic outcome.
Readers of psychological thrillers will enjoy ‘The Girl Before’ and I will be looking out for more from the same author.