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Publisher's Summary

The Sunday Time best-seller.

The New York Times best-seller.

The Radio 2 Book Club Choice - February 2017

Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection...but can you pay the price?

Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules.

After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there - and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma's past and Jane's present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.

Following in the footsteps of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, The Girl Before is being brought to the big screen. The film is set to be directed by Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard.

©2017 JP Delaney (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"The tension is built up subtly, leading to a devastating climax. A really clever thriller... [the film] will no doubt become the third big 'Girl' film." (Daily Mail)
"I was instantly gripped and held captivated by the pace and elegant writing. I devoured it in two straight sittings." (Peter James)
"A deeply addictive literary thriller that deserves to be one of this year's biggest successes." (Daily Express)
"Original and entertaining." (The Times)
"A guaranteed best-seller." (Red Magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story

Loved it loved loved it

I was in from the first few sentences. I couldn't put it down. I kept thinking I knew how the story would play out, but I kept being wrong. I highly recommend it, but not for a week long holiday - I finished it in 2 days!!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-03-17

Gripping thriller

The dual time-line for the book was well-crafted, building the past and current characters in real time as each sub-plot progressed. Rather than being confusing (as I initially thought it might be) it served to implant the story firmly without the need to back-track. This makes the book flow really well. The characters were all believable giving validity to the twisting plot line. I had my own theory of who the antagonist might be from the mid-point of the book, but was surprised, but not disappointed to be proved wrong at the end. All loose ends are neatly tied at the conclusion, some of which, I personally would have liked left to flail in my imagination. The narration was excellent, transforming the travel time to Wales and back from tedium to excitement.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-21-17

Pretty good!

I read a review before choosing this book that referred to it as 50 shades meets the girl on the train and thought it was strange but it's actually a pretty good way to sum it up. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, certainly different to anything I have read before and kept me wanting to find out what was going on. A few surprises along the way and I think it's a book I'll remember for some time due to the strange events and characters.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachel
  • 05-04-17

Edge of my seat!

Excellent read, twists and turns all the way through.
Great narration by all readers.
Definitely recommend.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs. Sian E. Rault
  • 05-03-17

fascinating

Loved it, male voice poses impossible questions for me to answer. The allure of difficult men.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Sararara
  • 01-29-17

50 Shades of Girl on a Train

Imagine Hitchcock's Vertigo, sexed up and then described by some very unreliable narrators then you've got The Girl Before.
Not a bad book - in fact it's quite an an addictive page turner - I liked the (somewhat glamourised) architectural context and the deliberate repetitive scenarios, but all too 50 Shades in the sexy alpha male depiction (and husky female narrators).
Talking of which, I found the two female narrators almost impossible to distinguish between which did become confusing - the book is probably clearer.

35 of 40 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 05-02-17

Good mystery

Very intriguing from the start. An interesting situation and good twists and turns throughout. Would recommend to anyone who likes a good mystery.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Z. OConnor
  • 04-30-17

Very enjoyable thriller

Only quibble is Emilia Fox's habit of putting on a surly deep voice and/or mockney accent for every male character. Very distracting!! I thought Finty Williams was perfect!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 01-27-17

An Impressive Debut by an Old Hand!

The competition in the psychological thriller category just got that bit hotter with this first book written under the pseudonym JP Delaney. It is a hugely engrossing book which has near-perfect pacing and excellent construction.

I have to confess to being put off normally when publishers try to entice us by using blurb like "For all fans of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl " as they did with this one because it's all too often misleading. Luckily I've not read either of those much vaunted tomes yet so was able to read it with no pre-conceptions.

The book has a dual aspect point of view, that of an old tenant of a quite remarkable house and the current incumbent. It's cleverly done building the story with alternating chapters "Then" and "Now", efficiently constructing without any feeling of repetition. At times it does switch frequently so possibly just a tad more attention than normal is required. The idea of splitting the narration is a good one though the effectiveness is reduced in that Emelia Fox and Finty Williams do sound reasonably similar. They both give high quality performances though.

Although it's a psychological thriller rather than full of action a lot of tension is generated and it dips into some really tough real-world subjects. I don't do spoilers but for anyone currently sensitive to issues around pregnancy and childbirth it won't be any kind of relaxing escapism I think it's fair to say. This becomes obvious very early on. The book is also very contemporary. Working in the industry myself the idea of the "Connected House" is very much on trend. One Folgate Street possibly isn't the advertising we're looking for but it is well done.


Totally ignoring my opening paragraph I would have little hesitation recommending this to those who enjoy authors like Clare Mackintosh. Similar levels of believability and strong characters. If my understanding of who JP Delaney is is actually correct then this could be one of the best female POV novels I have ever read written by a man. Even if I am wrong it's a damn good listen!

42 of 55 people found this review helpful

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  • A.Connor
  • 03-11-17

had hopes for this but daft formulaic nonsense :(

'the concept was & is fine but the characterisation & dialogue in this squished all potential.The narrator sounds like a(ny) adolescent schoolgirl; couldn't recommend /save your credit/cash.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Linn
  • 01-30-17

Gripping to the very end!

This book was so addictive I literally kept reading anywhere. I loved the comparisons of Emma's past and Jane's present. Good narrators that where familiar except the Norwegian one who also had a sweet voice and an almost British accent. Ps I'm Norwegian too so I was dreading something too Scandi. The book is a great mix between a thriller and a ghost story.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachel
  • 02-10-17

A great read

Others compare this to the "girl on the train" but I preferred The Girl Before. I found the lead characters in this far more compelling and the structure of this book far more readable.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Rod
  • 03-28-17

An edgy and effective thriller

History repeats, making for an edgy and mysterious domestic thriller.

Set ‘then’ and ‘now’, J P Delaney mirrors the life of two women who take up residence at the same address. Jane is the ‘now’, coming to terms with her still born baby. She’s attracted to the minimalist design of No. 1 Folgate Street, Hendon, and the sanctuary it may provide. It is a technological and architectural masterpiece designed by celebrated architect, Edward Monkford.

To take up residence, there are a series of questionnaires and tests, beginning with the request: Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life. For the few who pass the tests, there are house rules that must never be broken.
Before Jane, was Emma, a victim of a home invasion who moved into Folgate Street with her boyfriend Simon, attracted by the security of the house.

As the two women’s lives run parallel, Jane becomes increasingly aware of Emma’s legacy and begins investigating her death in the house. As she delves deeper, against the express wishes of her domineering lover, the mystery thickens not only about how Emma died, but of the house itself, and its history of death and deception.

The Girl Before is very rightly compared in some ways to E L James' erotic novel, Fifty Shades of Grey. The relationships that both Emma and Jane form with their landlord are controlling and manipulative with Emma, in particular, relishing her master’s voice. That’s not to say this novel is erotica, but comparisons will always be made against popular literature.

Narrators Emilia Fox, Finty Williams and Lise Aagaard Knudsen provide the voice of the two central women, interspersed with a quiz of ethical questions that separate some of the chapters. It’s difficult to distinguish the voices of Emma and Jane at times, but this works in the audiobook’s favour, strengthening their connection as look-alike women. Despite similar voices, their characters are distinct, and each of the main readers draw the listener into their dysfunctional world.

Without a suspension of disbelief, it may be a challenge to relate to the central characters, particularly with the narrators being so nuanced in their representation of what amounts to two women struggling to let go of their past. The writing however, is precise and gripping, drawing the listener into their worlds. With so few players, it’s not difficult to work out whodunnit and what the story’s climax will entail, but the anticipation of it makes the story worth the wait. There’s some nice, unexpected twists along the way.

The Girl Before has been listed as a Sunday Times best-seller, New York Times best-seller and the Radio 2 Book Club Choice for February 2017. It’s no surprise given how enjoyable J P Delaney’s writing is. A full copy of this review and other audiobook reviews can be found under the entertainment section of glamadelaide dot com dot au. There's so many good stories out there that it's hard to stop at just one!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr. Jeannette Kavanagh
  • 03-18-17

An interesting concept let down by its ending

I'm not convinced that narrating a story in a past and present works.
The narrators were superb.
some of the story was well written but in the end the main male character was a one-dimensional i idea ralther than a fully realised and plausible carrier of the plot.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-12-17

poisonous

I disliked this book so much i couldn't finish it. the nasty dominating hero, the silly girls.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Sally-Ann
  • 10-05-17

Another book about 'the girl...'

I bought this book on a recommendation and I don't think I'll take a recommendation from the same person again. It was distracting, well paced and delivered an amusing topsy turvy ending, but that itself was expected. The more interesting bits was the troll through aspects of parenthood that are excluded from the cliche. Well done for that bit, there should be more. Overall I found the story formulaic, rather like the title when I was first told about it, I couldn't hold the book's title in my head, so many 'the girl' books lately I think they all blend into an amorphous blob, and then what happened to just writing about women? All these 'girls' are well +18 years old. The psychology was good but also familiar, which probably leaves it basic as I'm no psychologist myself. The narration rather painfully overacted. Sorry. I know there is so much effort from a single human that goes into writing a book. That effort is admirable but as I do love books I believe there is a hierarchy and this one just doesn't get that far up.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sally
  • 02-10-17

Well read but characters are a copy of 50 Shades

Edward is really another Christian Gray and the 2 girls in the book are a lot like Anna. Couldn't listen past ch 5 - disappointing

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Travis
  • 06-10-17

brilliant

such a great story. loved every minute. has a bit of everything and keeps you guessing

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-09-17

Loved it

Great story, held my interest from start to finish. Narrator was good, easy to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-03-17

Well read but story slow

Emilia Fox does a superb job with the characters but this story should have been over 2 hours sooner. As a result I couldn’t finish it. Others may be intrigued enough to persevere.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-25-17

Slow and predictable

This wasn't a great book, the characters were particularly engaging and the story slow and predictable. It had good reviews which is why I chose it. Narration was good.