Then Reeling from a violent break-in, Emma wants a home where she feels safe. Nowhere is quite right until the agent suggests One Folgate Street: ‘It’s not a place that would suit everyone, the landlord is very particular...’ The house is extraordinary, breathtaking but it comes with a set of rules enforced by the enigmatic architect owner. Emma promises her boyfriend Simon that everything will be different when they move in.
Now Jane is looking for a fresh start and the blank canvas of One Folgate Street seems to offer just that. Not to mention that the architect Edward Monkton is rather attractive. But once she moves in strange things begin to happen and Emma’s past and Jane’s present become inexorably entwined.
‘A girl thriller that outdoes Paula Hawkins’ Sunday Times
The Girl Before is the first psychological thriller from JP Delaney, a pseudonym for a writer who has previously written bestselling fiction under other names. It is being published in thirty-five countries. A film version is being brought to the screen by Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard ( A Beautiful Mind ).
Thrilled to be able to share with you this extract from The Girl Before by JP Delaney
“That’s the last one.” The estate agent, whose name is Camilla, drums
her fingers on the steering wheel of her Smart car. “So really, it’s time
to make up our minds.”
I sigh. The flat we’ve just viewed, in a run-down mansion block off
West End Lane, is the only one in my price range. And I’d just about
persuaded myself it was all right – ignoring the peeling wallpaper, the
faint smell of someone else’s cooking seeping up from the flat below,
the poky bedroom and the mould spattered across the unventilated
bathroom – until I’d heard a bell being rung nearby, an old-fashioned
hand bell, and the place was suddenly filled with the noise of children.
Going to the window, I found myself looking down at a school. I could
see into a room being used by a toddler group, the windows hung
with cut-outs of paper bunnies and geese. A familiar pain tugged at
“I think I’ll pass on this one,” I managed to say.
“Really?” Camilla seemed surprised. “Is it the school? The previous
tenants said they rather liked the sound of children playing.”
“Though not so much they decided to stay.” I turned away. “Shall
Now, Camilla leaves a long, tactical silence as she drives us back
to her office. Eventually she says, “If nothing we saw today took your
fancy, we might have to think about upping your budget.”
“Unfortunately, my budget can’t budge,” I say drily, looking out of
“Then you might have to be a bit less picky,” she says tartly.
“About that last one. There are… personal reasons why I can’t live
next to a school. Not right now.”
I see her eyes going to my stomach, still a little flabby from my
pregnancy, and her eyes widen as she makes the connection. “Oh,” she
says. Camilla isn’t quite as dim as she looks, for which I’m grateful.
She doesn’t need me to spell it out.
Instead, she seems to come to a decision.
“Look, there is one other place. We’re not really meant to show
it without the owner’s express permission, but occasionally we do
anyway. It freaks some people out, but personally I think it’s amazing.”
“An amazing property on my budget? We’re not talking about a
houseboat, are we?”
“God, no. Almost the opposite. A modern building in Hendon. A
whole house – only one bedroom, but loads of space. The owner is
the architect. He’s actually really famous. Do you ever buy clothes at
“Wanderer…” In my previous life, when I had money and a proper,
well-paid job, I did sometimes go into the Wanderer shop on Bond
Street, a terrifyingly minimalist space where a handful of eye-wateringly
expensive dresses were laid out on thick stone slabs like
sacrificial virgins and the sales assistants all dressed in black kimonos.
“The Monkford Partnership designs all their stores. He’s what they
call a techno-minimalist or something. Lots of hidden gadgetry, but otherwise
everything’s completely bare.” She shoots me a look. “I should
warn you, some people find his style a bit austere.”
“I can cope with that.”
“Yes?” I prompt when she doesn’t go on.
“It’s not a straightforward landlord-tenant agreement,” she says
“I think,” she says, flicking down her indicator and moving into the
left hand lane, “we should take a look at the property first, see if you
fall in love with it. Then I’ll explain the drawbacks.”