Creepy and propulsive, The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney reads like a modern-day haunted-house story. But instead of rickety staircases and creaking attics, there are technology-controlled lights and motion-activated stovetops. And instead of ghosts, the house is haunted by memories.
The story begins when Jane applies to live in One Folgate Street, the breathtaking, almost obscenely modern London apartment. The application, complete with a list of over 200 rules, isn’t simple. But the apartment feels to Jane like a place that could heal her. And after her recent still-birth, what she needs more than anything is healing. She moves in and is quickly seduced by the house and by Edward, the controlling, idiosyncratic architect behind it. But as their relationship deepens, Jane begins to discover that both the house and Edward have hidden histories.
Emma, the previous tenant of One Folgate Street, was found dead at the bottom of the stairs, the same stairs Jane now walks on every day. Drawn into Emma’s story, Jane begins to dig into the other woman’s past and quickly begins to see similarities between Emma’s life and her own. And when history threatens to repeat itself, Jane must change her own trajectory to avoid the same fate as the girl before.
The Girl Before is atmospheric, sinister, and psychological, so if that’s your cup of tea, this one’s for you!
Trigger warning: some explicit violent sexual content.
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