The Girl Before

J.P. Delaney. Ballantine, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-0-425-28504-6
In the pseudonymous Delaney’s riveting psychological thriller, first Emma Matthews and then Jane Cavendish take up residence at One Folgate Street in London. The house, a masterpiece of minimalist architecture designed by the enigmatic Edward Monkford, is let only to tenants willing to abide by his stringent rules, which reduce life to its basics. This setup appeals to people looking for order, like Emma, who’s trying to recover from a brutal attack that’s hastening the end of her relationship with a man who adores her. Later, it is Jane, grief-stricken by the stillbirth of her daughter, who seeks asylum within One Folgate’s walls. Both find themselves drawn to the house’s creator and its tragic history. Were the deaths of Edward’s family members accidental? Or were they murdered for not conforming to Edward’s obsessive need for order? Writing with precision and grace, Delaney strips away the characters’ secrets until the raw truth of each is revealed. That Emma and Jane act in often foolhardy ways hasn’t prevented rights sales in more than 30 markets and movie rights to Universal with Ron Howard directing. Agent: Caradoc King, United Artists (U.K.). (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/24/2016
Release date: 01/24/2017
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-385-68693-8
Compact Disc - 978-0-7352-8655-9
Compact Disc - 978-0-7352-8653-5
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-385-68691-4
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-1-5247-7816-3
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