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:
- Real estate
- 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 true...it 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!