Guest Post: The Girl Before by JP Delaney @QuercusBooks #TheBloggerBefore



The Girl Before book by JP Delaney

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 TrainThe Girl Before is being brought to the big screen. The film is set to be directed by Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard.

Guest Post:

One of the things I really worked at with my book The Girl Before is the book’s narrative structure – it’s told in alternating chapters by two narrators, occupants of the same unusual minimalist house, three years apart. Gradually the woman who lives there now – Jane – becomes aware that the woman before – Emma – died in the house. She also discovers that Emma, like her, started a relationship with the architect who built it, and begins to wonder what really happened to her.

So far, so simple. But while I was writing the book I became intrigued by the well-known idea that killers have a ‘pattern’ – they get psychological satisfaction from repeating their previous murder, down to the last tiny detail. I began to wonder if it was possible to write these two women’s stories as though it were one continuous narrative, so that a scene flows naturally from beginning to end even though bits of it are taking place in the past – almost as if Emma’s story is being retold, with Jane as the new protagonist and potential victim.

If that sounds complicated to explain, hopefully it isn’t on the page – I think of it as almost being like the opposite of the movie Sliding Doors. Where that was one woman with two possible stories, this is two women trapped inside one story, so the big narrative question for the reader becomes whether the second woman can escape the ending that was written for the first. Hopefully it’s a new way of telling an old tale – and now that it’s finally about to be published, I can’t wait to see what readers think of it. 

Thank you to JP for this great guest post. Be sure to head to Rea's Book Reviews for yesterday's post and  On My Bookshelf tomorrow for the next stop on the tour!

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  1. You might be qualified to receive a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

  2. Good news book lovers, The Girl On The Train Audio-book is available on AudioBooksNow.


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