The Girl Before

In the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception.


Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.

This book was amazing! I could not put it down. Every time I thought I had figured out who did what I would find out I was wrong. Delaney is a fantastic writer whose style just flows and pulls you in from the first chapter.

I liked how each chapter would go back and forth from the past to the present and they were each from that one character’s point of view until it all just met up. Even though the chapters went back and forth they also picked up from each other in an interesting way that allowed so many red herrings to occur that it keeps you guessing until the end.

I also enjoyed the aspect of learning to live a minimalists lifestyle and the joy it can bring. It made me remember some years back when everything I owned fit inside one travel bag which went all over the world with me. Now I own a house full of things but long for the days of that one travel bag. My own experience helped lend a sense of familiarity with the story so I was able to believe more in what the character of the architect was trying to accomplish.

I’ve read some really bad dialogue in books lately but Delaney thankfully does a fantastic job creating believable conversations and interactions with these characters. The hallmark for me of a good story is if you could strip the background away and just throw these people on a blank stage to enact these conversations and they would still hold as being believable which I think this book can accomplish.

As a mother I completely love the ending. I was getting a little worried but Delaney pulled out a great finish.

I very much recommend this book and can’t wait for the movie coming out that Ron Howard is directing.

Buy on Amazon:

*synopsis and pic from

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for allowing me to review this book.

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