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Friday, September 28, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney #JPDelaney @BOTLibrary

AUTHOR: J.P. Delaney
PUBLISHER: Books on Tape
PUBLICATION DATE: January 14, 2017
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 9 hrs and 59 mins
GENRE: Thriller, Mystery
ISBN: 9780735286566
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.
MY REVIEW:

This psychological thriller was a fast read that held me in its grips!

The story is told from two points of view in dual timelines: Emma from the past and Jane in the present. 

After Emma's and Simon's flat is burgled, they look for a different place to live. Emma wants to live somewhere that she feels more safe and secure. The agent shows them a unique home that is pristine in its minimalist decor and explains that it was designed by a renowned architect and that any prospective tenants must go through a very thorough screening process. First, they must answer a very detailed questionnaire and provide photos. The agent warns that most don't get past this stage. Next comes a personal interview. The lease comes with a ridiculous addendum of 200 rules, such as no knick-knacks, no curtains, no newspapers, no flowers, no placemats, no coasters, no books (gasp! the horror!!), no pets, no kids, etc. Essentially, it should look like no one lives there! Simon, who is a techno geek, loves that everything is controlled electronically with a bracelet that the tenants wear. Emma and Simon pass the paper-screening stage, go for a personal interview with the owner, and then sign the lease.

In the present tense, Jane is also looking for a fresh start. She, too, passes the rigorous screening process and moves in to the designer home on Folgate Street. Interestingly, Jane bears a physical resemblance to Emma.

I don't know why Emma and Jane aren't running away from this control freak! Do they not see how the owner, Edward, dictates how they live? It was totally creepy how they just gave up that part of themselves and let him rule their lives. Between the narratives of the women, there are questions from Edward's bizarre questionnaire so that you have an idea of what this guy is like.

I am very impressed with this author's debut and really enjoyed the twisty plot. I can't wait to read more from him!

The dual narration by Emilia Fox (Jane) and Finty Williams (Emma) was excellent. They both were a good fit to the characters and were believable. A male voice narrated Edward's questions between the chapters. Lise Aagaard Knudsen is also listed as a narrator but I have no idea which part she was responsible for. Here is a sample of the narration:




MY RATING:

4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR if you enjoy dark mysteries.

This book qualifies as:

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