“The Girl Before” by JP Delaney

This book is a double mystery of sorts.

Mystery number one: Were people killed? If so, who killed them?

This is a psychological thriller about two different women from two different periods that rented out the same London house.

Emma was first and Emma was a little flighty and free-spirited. As a rape victim, she wanted out of the house where the crime took place and she and her boyfriend applied for residence at a technologically advanced home. One Folgate Street. The problem is, one Folgate Street came with it’s own set of rules, and renters were scarce. Once you read the rules and the questions, you’ll understand why. After moving in, Emma met the architect, Edward Monkford. Emma was taken with Edward and they began an affair. Things didn’t progress well for Emma, though, and she eventually was found dead at the bottom of the stairs. Was it suicide, and accident, or murder?

Now comes Jane. Jane is more down to Earth and strong willed, but she too falls for Edward. However, Jane learns of Emma and she starts poking around looking for more information. Her curiosity becomes an obsession when she learns Edward’s wife and child also died suspiciously. Her investigation becomes more intense and begins to create rifts between her and Edward. Now Jane thinks she is in danger. Then she learns of something that really creates problems.

Mystery number two: Who is JP Delaney?

The book is written in consecutive short chapters. Then: Emma and Now: Jane. I found this fascinating to read, including the occasional chapter break where one of the one Folgate Street questions were asked.

I didn’t give the book five stars, however. I found the characters a little suspect. As much as there are men out there that think they have the power over women that Edward does, I don’t think it’s realistic and I don’t believe there are two women out there as different as Emma and Jane that would both jump that quickly into sexual foreplay.

That said, I do recommend the novel. It is full of suspense, intrigue, twists and a shocking end game.