Title: The Girl Before
Author: J.P. Delaney
Pub Date: February 2nd, 2017
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
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Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
I was really excited to read this. At one point my Goodreads page was filled with prizes for this book. The blurb we have right now for this book is hyping this book even more. So I had a high expectations. I was expecting to be blown away, to question everything, to be amazed and bewildered by the ending of this amazing thriller. I wasn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I liked it and it’s a good thriller. But it’s not that good. The premise and first half of the book made me pretty excited, and I was expecting to be blown away. I was interested in the story, I wanted to find out what is going on.There are two timelines – Now and Then. Now we have Jane, who moves in into an amazing ultra-minimalistic house. She gets a deal that comes with a lot of restrictions, first, she needs to be chosen by the house architect to live in this house. Then she needs to abide by a long list of rules. She is expected to live in the house in a certain way, a way that the mysterious architect design this house to be lived in. In the ‘Then’ storyline we have Emma, a former tenant of the house. Emma lost her life in that house, and Jane is determined to find out what happened before this mysterious death.
The character of Edward, the architect and owner of the house is fascinating. He’s a perfectionist and shows a lot of obsessive behaviour traits. He personally chose Emma and Jane to live in his house and he’s the one that prepared a bizarre questionnaire for potential tenants, and he prepared the long list of house rules. Rules like no pets, no children, nothing should be changed in the flat, nothing should be added, and especially nothing should be left lying around. Dishes have to be cleaned, dried and put away immediately. Clothes have to be folded and put in a wardrobe. The house is minimalistic and so should you. And you will be checked if you are living according to the rules.
The story was all going well for me, but when we started to finally find out more and more about the mystery, about architect and Emma and Jane I was getting disappointed. It was stirring in a boring direction, to a dull ending. There were moments where the author was giving us small clues what will happen before the characters find out. Those small clues were so obvious, they were ruining the fun for me. I hated the last few chapters, there were absolutely unnecessary and ruined the most exciting character from the book for me.