The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney (2017)

Review by CJ


Page count:
416 pages




After the stillbirth of her only child, Jane needs a change of scenery. The only reasonable home within her budget is the beautiful and minimalist One Folgate Street. The catch is that Jane must adhere to over 200 strict rules on how to live in this work of art.

Jane accepts the terms and moves in, but she soon discovers that One Folgate Street has a dark history. A history she may find herself part of if she can’t unlock its secrets in time.

The Girl Before is your standard psychological thriller with an interesting setting. While the rules for the house make it an intriguing premise, the novel follows the path most traveled in most other aspects.

The four main characters in The Girl Before may not have all started out as twisted and loathsome as I found them to be by the end of the novel, but they all ended up there through their distasteful actions.

The Girl Before has more red herrings than John West, yet I had correctly picked early on “whodunnit” and wasn’t swayed from my suspicions. There was a small and unexpected twist at the end but it, in my mind, served only to out the only remaining decent character as conniving and manipulative.

I managed to finish The Girl Before in only a couple of sittings so the plot was interesting enough to keep me reading more. Despite not liking the characters and having picked “whodunnit”, I still wanted to know what would happen to these characters on their way to the end.

Overall, The Girl Before is really just another in a wide range of modern psychological thrillers (a lot of which have the word “girl” in the title) where the characters are pitiable but not likeable and the plot is just interesting enough to overlook them.

3 Stars


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