My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publication Date: January 24th, 2017
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Relationships
Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.
The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.
This book is very manipulative and, clearly, deceptive.
If that bothers you – and if you generally dislike far-fetched cases – I suggest you read something less convoluted.
By ‘‘manipulative,’’ I mean you’re more than pushed into liking specific characters and disliking others. So you do that. But despite having your thoughts about characters shaped by the author, you’re still manipulated some more as the story progresses.
I don’t exactly like when that happens. I prefer to be exposed to all facets of someone’s personality and then be able to decide for myself who deserves justice and who doesn’t.
This mystery novel is engrossing, despite it not giving us the liberty of making our own opinions on the protagonists and antagonists until the very end. The short chapters surely had their role to play in my being unable to put this book down.
It’s slow, partly because it’s a mystery novel. If you’re familiar with the genre, you know that these types of novels take time to pick up because it’s all about the building part. It takes time for Jane to discover someone died in the house and it takes time for Emma to feel scared. That’s when things really become interesting.
The death thing confused me, since I thought real estate agents were supposed to disclose info like that – especially when the previous tenants have died. But I guess there are places where no such law exists. Bummer, but it worked in the author’s favour.
I enjoyed seeing this book shift from mystery to psychological thriller. I’m definitely the type to enjoy action in my plots, so I couldn’t do anything else but welcome the darker side of THE GIRL BEFORE, even if it takes time to reach that point.
The characters also take time to become important in the reader’s eyes; most likely because they seem so normal, but that’s probably done on purpose to give the effect that this kind of story could happen to you or me. Anyone at all.
But don’t worry; it’s very, very unlikely. Sleep tight now.
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