The French Girl
Book Review - The French Girl by Lexie Elliott
You guys, I really enjoyed this book! It is a murder mystery, but it wasn't a high-paced, heart-racing, thriller. Rather, it slowly simmered, came to a short boil, and then cooled. But although the story built slowly, it was still a page-turner. I was hooked from the beginning and continued to be strung along as clues and details were steadily revealed. It was certainly a subtler take on a murder mystery, but I really enjoyed it.
The French Girl by Lexie Elliott is about a group of six friends who visited France for a weekend getaway while at university. The day they left, the girl living next door went missing. At the time, they were all questioned but the case went cold. The book begins a decade later when the case is re-opened and the five remaining friends are questioned again. They are forced to question their memories of that fateful week but also consider if it really could have been one of them who murdered the French girl.
I loved Lexie Elliott's writing. The way she told the story, they way she revealed clues along the way, the slow simmer. I can hardly believe this is her first novel. Surprisingly, Lexie's background is not in creative writing. She received a doctorate in Theoretical Physics and worked as an investment banker and, later, in fund management (not at all what I would have guessed after reading her novel.) She actually lost her job as an investment banker during the Global Financial Crisis, which ultimately led her to have time to write this book (lucky us!) She is currently working on her next novel (lucky us again!)
From the publisher: 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...