By J Delaney
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from the publisher in connection with NetGalley in return for my review. Copyright © 2017 Laura Hartman
Two women. Two traumas. One home. One outrageous contract. One or two possible murders.
The book begins with a house search. Jane has had something horrible happen to her and she needs to get out of her current flat to feel safe. The agent takes her to a home that is stark, sterile and has been empty for quite a while.
She falls in love with the security so on a whim fills out the questionnaire the builder requires before she is considered a candidate for occupancy. At first she is unnerved by it, but soon realizes she can put up with the crazy rules and requirements if she is chosen.
Surprisingly she is, giving up almost all of her possessions, she begins a journey that others have not lived through. Will she?
The Girl Before was fascinating. I cannot imagine living without color, pictures of loved ones, or having to answer questions before the computer running my home will allow the shower to start. When things get sinister, Jane feels as though she needs to find out what happen to Emma, but this may prove to be fatal.
Delaney’s book is creepy, engaging and thought provoking. I love the way in which it is written. Going back and forth from Emma to Jane the reader sees history almost repeat itself. Was it the choices both women made? Was it the home itself?
You can tell when the characters start to live minimally and begin to lose themselves in the process. The author shows this by removing all of the dialog quotation marks. Oddly enough, I didn’t miss them for several chapters – quite possibly the same way these women didn’t miss their identity until it was gone.
This is a fascinating thriller is full of surprises, twists and turns. I absolutely did not see the end coming, but was exceedingly satisfied as a reader when I finish.
Just a note to those that may object, there is violence and sex in The Girl Before but I believe it is essential to the story.