The French Girl
By Lexie Elliott
Author’s Website: www(.)lexieelliott(.)com
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.
The French Girl is the first book by Lexie Elliott. As a psychological thriller, I found the pace VERY slow. At one point I thought of giving up, but it really is not in my nature to do that. In the end, I am glad I persevered as the pace picked up. Though truth be told, quite early on I figured out who “the killer” was – or at least I had my suspicions, which proved to be correct.
The French Girl is about six university friends (Kate, Tom, Lara, Caro, Theo and Seb) vacationing in France for one week and the events that happened that week ten years ago, particularly the disappearance of Severine, the girl from next door. Fast forward ten years and the body of Severine is discovered in the well on the property where the friends had stayed. The entire story is told from Kate Channing’s point of view.
I did enjoy the progression (albeit a painfully slow progression) of the relationship between Kate and Tom. In fact, the relationship of each friend with each other in the group was what made this an interesting read. And of course the introduction of the French inspector, Monsieur Alain Modan certainly added some spice and intrigue. I found the way he thought out the who and how the murder interesting. Like I stated earlier, the inter-relationships between all of the friends was definitely what kept me reading.
In fairness, the deceased, Severine, also really kept my interest. Why was she hanging around Kate? What was she trying to convey? Severine’s role not just as the deceased, but as a ghost hanging around Kate was also another big factor why I continued reading the book until the end. Figuring out Severine’s motivation for “being around” was captivating.
If you are looking for a fast action psychological thriller, then this is not the book for you. However, if you enjoy a slow and methodical character study of a group of friends, then by all means, pick up this debut novel by author Lexie Elliott.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*