3. The Girl Before by JP Delaney

Screen Shot 2017-07-22 at 17.47.18I was really looking forward to this book, it sounded intriguing and that it would be full of suspense. I heard about it first on Simon Mayo’s Drivetime show as one of his Monday bookclubs in February. The reviews were good and this held a promise to be a real page turner. Sadly, for me the book didn’t match its promise. It has also had me questioning the reviews on the radio as I’ve never heard a bad one.

I liked the idea of this book, one apartment, two women separated in time, the first who met an untimely and unexplained death, the second who became intrigued and curious to try to solve the mystery. A lot of scope for a great read but the architect of the minimalist apartment where there were over 200 rules if you wanted to live there was a familiar figure. Set at the centre of the story he was ridiculously wealthy, good looking and fit, aloof, rude and runs rough shod over other people. The two women in the story, supposedly intelligent and both having suffered recent traumas, fall for him and he dominates them in every way, including in the bedroom. A shadow of 50 Shades of Grey was cast over the story. Yet in the end, the architect is a bit of a red herring.

Reading other reviews I am not alone in making the comparison to 50 Shades. As I really didn’t like that book, it was not going to enhance my experience in reading this one. To be fair, there wasn’t as much sex and the focus was more on the architect’s desire to dominate every aspect of the women’s lives using the house as well as his charms, hidden though they were to me.

There were a few twists in the book but none that really took me by surprise and the ending was as I had thought it would be, at least the murderer was who I suspected. The ending in fact was the biggest disappointment, as the architect softened to become almost weak which didn’t stack up to his previous persona.

It was an easy read if not a riveting story, with short chapters which suit my life right now as it was an easy book to dip in and out of. I’m sad I didn’t like this book when it had so much potential.


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