The French Girl by Lexie Elliot
Published February 20th, 2018 by Berkley Books
Genres Mystery, Thriller
They were six university students from Oxford–friends and sometimes more than friends–spending an idyllic week together in a French farmhouse. It was supposed to be the perfect summer getaway–until they met Severine, the girl next door. For Kate Channing, Severine was an unwelcome presence, her inscrutable beauty undermining the close-knit group’s loyalties amid the already simmering tensions. And after a huge altercation on the last night of the holiday, Kate knew nothing would ever be the same. There are some things you can’t forgive, and there are some people you can’t forget, like Severine, who was never seen again. Now, a decade later, the case is reopened when Severine’s body is found in the well behind the farmhouse. Questioned along with her friends, Kate stands to lose everything she’s worked so hard to achieve as suspicion mounts around her. Desperate to resolve her own shifting memories and fearful she will be forever bound to the woman whose presence still haunts her, Kate finds herself buried under layers of deception with no one to set her free.
Although I did enjoy this book, it is a very slow moving thriller and I can imagine that not everyone will like it. The story is told from Kate’s point of view and takes place in the present and Kate gives us memories from that summer in France. The story begins 10 years after Kate and her friends spend a week at a French farmhouse and the girl next door, Severine, goes missing. The police in France have finally found Severine’s body in a well on the property where Kate and her friends spent their vacation. Modan, a French detective reopens the case and begins questioning 5 out of the 6 friends who were there that summer, as one of them, Theo has passed away since.
Like I said, it is a very slow moving thriller and from my perspective that is because we are reading the story 10 years after the initial murder happened. I enjoyed the author’s writing, even though it wasn’t paced as your typical thriller would be. I did find that the explanation of the murder and the ending weren’t what I expected. There was no big plot twist or shocking conclusion, mind you there were a few shocking events towards the end, but nothing like I expected. I did like Kate’s character and I did enjoy the way the author included some things, like Kate continuously “seeing” Severine throughout the book. Overall, it was definitely a good debut and I look forward to reading more from the author in the future.
Thank you to Berkley Books for sending me an ARC of this book.