THE GIRL BEFORE by J.P. Delaney (Quercus £8.99, 432 pp)

THE GIRL BEFORE J.P. Delaney (Quercus £8.99, 432 pp)


by J.P. Delaney

(Quercus £8.99, 432 pp)

Finding a rental flat in London on a budget is a near impossibility, as the two separate narrators of J.P. Delaney’s creepy psychological thriller discover. Jane and Emma are both traumatized and seeking a new start.

After rejecting a string of seedy conversions, each woman is offered a final alternative — One Folgate Street is a minimalist marvel of pale stone and smart technology.

Rent is very affordable but the owner Edward Monkhouse (an enigmatic architect) has 200 specific rules.

In alternating chapters headed ‘Then’ and ‘Now’, Emma, the ‘girl before’, and Jane, the current tenant, discover the back story of One Folgate Street. The Girl Before blends minimalism and Gothic horror to create a chillingly chic study about obsession and redemption.

TYPES AND SHADOWS by Sir Roy Strong (W & N £14.99, 544 pp)

Types and SHADOWS By Sir Roy Strong (W & N £14.99, 544 pp)


by Sir Roy Strong

(W & N £14.99, 544 pp)

As Sir Roy Strong’s third volume of diaries begins in January 2004, he is mourning his beloved wife of 32 years. Amidst grief, Sir Roy realizes that a time of great change is upon him, and there’s no way to avoid a peaceful retirement.

As he approaches 70 and turns 80 in the end of the diary, Sir Roy continues to be a firebrand: lecturing books, giving lectures, and reconfiguring The Laskett, a Herefordshire garden and house he designed with Julia. While trying to negotiate with the National Trust, he is now wishing to take it over. They didn’t, to his chagrin.

He is able to balance a dazzling social life and a passionate for fitness. He is charmingly gossipy and witty, but he’s also unexpectedly kind-hearted.

THE INVENTION OF SOUND by Chuck Palahniuk (Corsair £8.99, 240 pp)

INVENTION OF SOUND Chuck Palahniuk (Corsair £8.99, 240 pp)


by Chuck Palahniuk

(Corsair £8.99, 240 pp)

Foley artists are the technicians who provide sound effects for films — anything from thunder to the sound of hooves. Mitzi Ives, the anti-heroine of Chuck Palahniuk’s Hollywood-noir chiller, is a Foley artist specialising in screams.

Mitzi is an expert in canned screams and has the goal of creating a perfect scream to bring down any movie. She rejects fakery and creates more sadistic scenes for her recordings.

Foster Gates is haunted by his missing daughter 10 years ago and searches the internet in search of her. He finally finds Mitzi after his search.

The latest transgressive fiction by Palahniuk (author of Fight Club), is a hilarious gorefest that will delight readers who have strong nerves. It’s populated with all too-recognisable Hollywood sleazy types.