Like all addicts signature killers work from a script , engaging in repetitive behavior to the point of obsessiveness .
Robert D. Keppel and William J. Birnes , Signature Killers
We may say that the patient does not remember anything of what he has forgotten or repressed , but acts it out . He reproduces it not as a memory but as an action ; he repeats it , without , of course , knowing that he is repeating it .
Sigmund Freud , Remembering , Repeating and Working – Through
The Girl Before has been literally a (page) – tearing read . The copy had almost every alternate page stuck to the next page and I was actually prising the pages apart and very often I ended up with torn pages . You can imagine how frustrating it is when you want to race through the pages but you are sitting and carefully prising open the pages stuck together – some way to read a suspense novel … I would not have minded if it was any other genre. I guess that ‘ s enough of a rant about the reading woes .
The story alternates between first person accounts from Emma – the Girl Before and Jane – the Girl Next . I picked up this book after Bring Me Back and found that the same Then and Now style of narrative has been followed here too . There is yet another trope too that has become one of the go-to for suspense writers . Let me give a hint – Gone Girl took full advantage of this trope ( maybe I should say actually popularized this trope ) . Well , you need to pick up the book if you want to find it out – I have a strictly no spoilers policy !!
Plot summary :
Jane gets a chance to occupy an aesthetic minimalist house . Now , One Folgate Street is a house where you have rules to be followed and any violation of the rules mean termination of the tenancy . The rules are laid out by the architect of the house – a man for whom perfectionism and minimalism are almost an obsession and One Folgate Street is a reflection of his ideas and aspirations . Jane discovers that her predecessor Emma died under mysterious circumstances and starts putting together Emma’s life to find an answer to the question – What happened with Emma ? Who is actually behind her death ? Meanwhile we have Emma ‘ s parallel account of her life at One Folgate Street and the readers get to know the truth behind her death . Jane ‘ s experiences can be best described as reruns of Emma ‘s . But would Jane stumble upon the truth on time to save herself from the killer ? Or does the same fate await her ?
JP Delaney has given a neat psychological thriller – nothing more to say . What I loved about this book was the writing which shows that the topics have been researched meticulously . It was really interesting how cultural references took the narrative as well as the plot further . The author packs a twist in every chapter and you would be thinking about yet another angle within few chapters almost every time . The characters , the setting of the story – basically The House and narrative style have all been handled beautifully . Special mention about The House definitely – it is sure to pique the readers’ interest about minimalism . The reader engagement and the guess-it-who quotient is always maintained . An engaging read from first to last although I found the climax a bit too seen-it-before in other psychological thrillers . But you wouldn’t guess who until Emma finally reveals her killer. The narrators themselves have their own secrets … So , this book actually packs in a lot …
Rating : 4 .25/5
I highly recommend this book for all the suspense / thrillers buffs out there . Along the lines of The Girl in the Window this is another psychological thriller set to hit the screens soon – You had better hurry up !!
The author ‘ s latest book has Believe Me has got released recently . I will be reviewing it shortly . Click on the below links to check out the books at Amazon ( for Indian readers ) –
Other readers can check out the below links at Amazon –