The Girl Be­fore

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - BOOKS -

by J. P. De­laney, Ha­chette.

At a time when there is a pro­lif­er­a­tion of psy­cho­log­i­cal mys­ter­ies with the world “girl” in the ti­tle, here’s an­other. This one has a tech­no­log­i­cal twist, which gives it a fu­tur­is­tic feel, although it is set in cur­rent times and seems un­set­tlingly plau­si­ble. It’s the sto­ries of Emma and Jane, both ten­ants of an ul­tra-mod­ernist, min­i­mal­ist house, which is con­trolled by sen­sors and the all-per­vad­ing House­keeper app. House­keeper man­ages the light­ing, heat­ing, the tem­per­a­ture of the shower – it’ll even sug­gest cloth­ing for the day. The ar­chi­tect owner of One Fol­gate Street puts all prospec­tive ten­ants through a rig­or­ous in­ter­view process and ex­pects the suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants to abide by strict con­di­tions, but both Emma and Jane are look­ing for a se­cure es­cape from past trauma and sense this un­usual home could be their refuge. The girls oc­cupy the Lon­don home at dif­fer­ent times and, trag­i­cally, Emma – the girl be­fore – dies there. As the house and its de­signer draw her in, Jane is de­ter­mined to find out what ex­actly hap­pened to her pre­de­ces­sor, but could this put her own life in dan­ger? Brief chap­ters al­ter­nate the girls’ sto­ries, which makes this creep­ily ab­sorb­ing read clip along at a rapid pace. RM

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.