Winter Reading: "The Girl Before"

When I read a review of the just-published novel "The Girl Before" by JP Delaney (the pseudonym for an author who has written best-sellers under other names) last week, it immediately moved to the top of my "must-read" list because it revolves around three of my favorite topics:

  1. London
  2. Real estate
  3. A good mystery

It is so fast-paced that it may remind you of another recent "Girl" novel set in London.  (Hello, "Girl on the Train" - which was on my reading list last winter).


As always, I hesitate to share much about the plot, because I don't want to spoil it for you. The shorthand:  two young women, each seeking a fresh start after suffering recent traumas, successively rent a flat in London that - for me - would fall in the category of "if it sounds to good to be probably is."

The trade-off for paying cheap rent to live in an architectural masterpiece?  A restrictive lease with hundreds of rules, a house with a mysterious, tragic history - and an eccentric, controlling landlord who may be hiding some secrets of his own.

I picked up the book in the San Francisco airport before boarding a flight last Friday afternoon - and had finished it by Saturday night.

A movie - to be directed by Ron Howard - is already in the works.

But as with any good mystery, don't wait for the movie.  Read the book first - and please let me know what you think!