The Girl Before

J.P. Delaney, read by Emilia Fox and Finty Williams, with Lise Asgaard Knudsen. Random House Audio, unabridged, 9 CDs, 10 hrs., $40 ISBN 978-0-7352-8653-5
Jane Cavendish and Emma Williams, searching London for a cheap safe place to live, are entranced by what appears to be a bargain, a unique minimalist house automatically controlled by cutting-edge technology. Both are equally entranced by the house’s architect, Edward Monkford, a darkly handsome control freak who demands that voluminous stipulations be met before he turns over the Fitbit-like wristband that automatically opens the front door. The first of many twists in this psychological thriller from Delaney is that, though both perspectives are written in the present tense, Emma’s takes place in the past. Actors Fox (reading Jane’s sections) and Williams (reading Emma’s sections) move the frequently shifting plot along at a swift clip, clearly distinguishing the differing emotions of the two main characters even as they go through their similar paces. The amazing automated house, almost as prominent as its inhabitants, does everything but speak. But while Fox and Williams are not called upon to give voice to the brick-and-mortar character, they are totally successful in capturing the atmosphere that the cold, indifferent, slightly terrifying building creates. A Ballantine hardcover. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/2017
Release date: 01/01/2017
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-0-425-28504-6
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-385-68691-4
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-385-68693-8
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-1-5247-7816-3
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