I received the first few chapters of The Girl Before and was immediately struck by the way that Delaney builds tension at the beginning of the novel. The narration alternates between Emma, who is narrating events in the past, and Jane, who is narrating events in the present day. It is clear that the connection between the two women will be developed later in the novel, and the sample I received left me intrigued about what was to come.
It is also evident from the first few chapters that Emma and Jane are both recovering from incidents in their past: Emma is experiencing flashbacks from a recent burglary and Jane has recently given birth to a stillborn child. This gives the impression that Delaney has scope to explore the lives of each character in more detail, thus allowing the reader to relate to them. There also appears to be tension between Emma and her boyfriend, Simon, and I am interested to see how this relationship progresses over the course of the novel.
Both Emma and Jane move into One, Folgate Street. This house appears beautiful, but there are several obscure rules that the tenants living there must follow. This increases the tension in the opening chapters, but Delaney's descriptions are so precise that it is easy for the reader to imagine themselves living in this house, and I believe I would be able to immerse myself in The Girl Before as it develops.
The sample of The Girl Before that I received ends on a cliffhanger and this leaves me intrigued to read further, and discover the stories behind the revelations that the reader is given in the first few chapters.
The Girl Next Door is released in full in February 2017 and is available for preorder from Amazon.