The Girl Before by J. P. Delaney - an extract

The girl before jacket 250

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.

Our library reading panel loved The Girl Before so much it was selected to be featured in the Radio 2 Book Club – here are some of their comments:

“A psychological thriller with lots of twists and turns… there are so many lies and half-truths, you will be second-guessing all the way through.”

“It is crammed full of ideas and asked a lot of questions. It juggled a lot of different moods, from mystery to creepy body horror to techno-thriller, and I lay awake at night on more than one occasion trying to sort through all the things that were going on in the story.”

Download and read the extract. You can then write your group’s thoughts on the book in our Book reviews section.


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The Arthur C. Clarke Award is the most prestigious award for science fiction in Britain. The annual award is given for the best science fiction novel first published in the United Kingdom during the previous year. The award was established with a generous grant given by Sir Arthur C. Clarke and the first prize was awarded in 1987 to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The winner receives a prize consisting of a number of pounds sterling equal to the current year (£2017 for year 2017).

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