First look: The Girl Before


Here’s a book that Quercus has high hopes for, and it’s one that’s squarely aimed at anyone who loves a gripping psychological thriller. At the beginning of the year, the publisher sent out bound, single chapters of The Girl Before as tasters for reviewers. Later, full advance review copies went out, with stark white covers with just the title embossed out of the card covers, and the pages edged in a blood orange colour. Now, the finished article is here and it looks impressive. You’ll be able to get your hands on it from 26 January for £10.49.

Just sifting through the material about this book, the number two seems to jump out as a theme. Here’s why…

Two women
The story is based on two women. The girl before seems to be Emma who is moving house after surviving a violent break-in. One Folgate Street seems just about perfect. It was designed by an extraordinarily skilled architect, and the place is beautifully stark and modern. Or so it would seem from the book’s cover image. Kevin McLeod, eat your heart out. The only trouble is, the architect still owns the place and he’s got certain rules that his tenants have to live by.

The girl after appears to be Jane, who moves into One Folgate Street. She thinks the architect Edward Monkton is a bit of a dish and his house is the perfect blank canvas ready for her decorative touch. But then strange things start to happen, and Emma’s past and Jane’s present become intertwined. The narrative shifts between past and present, Emma and Jane, without actual chapter headers. In every dream home, a heartache…

Two publishers
In the UK, Quercus is to publish the book, while in the US Penguin will do so. The companies have come up with different covers for the title, though it’s not unusual for US and UK books to have separate jacket art. You can see which you like best.

Two names
We don’t know much about JP Delaney other than that she (or he) has written other titles under another name. It’s a bit of a mystery but if you discover any clues as to the writer’s identity do let us know. It could be another of those JK Rowling/Robert Galbraith scenarios…

Two more media
Film rights have already been sold to Universal and the company is planning for Ron Howard to direct the movie. An audiobook version is already scheduled too, and we believe the book will be read like a radio play by Emilia Fox, Finty Williams and Lise Aagaard Knudsen.

We’ll have a review for you before the release date. If it sounds like your thing, you can pre-order your copy below. We’ve also brought you further images of the book below, starting with the US cover.

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