Friday, November 23, 2018

Underwhelming Thriller Doesn't Stand Out Among Its Many, Many Fellows

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Ten years ago, six university friends from Oxford decided to spend an idyllic week at a quaint farmhouse in the French countryside.  It was supposed to be a relaxing holiday away from books, homework, and college stress.  When the group met Severine Dupas, the beautiful 19-year-old girl next door, things changed.  Some welcomed the novelty of her presence, others resented it.  A big fight ended the vacation, Severine vanished, and none of the friendships were the same afterward.  

Now, a decade later, Severine's corpse has been discovered in a well near the farmhouse.  Detectives are questioning everyone who knew her and everything that happened during the holiday week prior to her disappearance.  Kate Channing, a 31-year-old London lawyer, stands to lose everything she's worked so hard for if she's named as Severine's murderer.  As suspicion mounts against her, Kate struggles to make sense of what she remembers from the ill-fated holiday.  What really happened during that week in France?  Who wanted or needed Severine gone badly enough to take her life?  Which of Kate's friends became a killer during the vacation Kate desperately wishes had never happened?

The French Girl, a debut novel by Scottish author Lexie Elliott, offers an intriguing premise with a heck-ton of potential.  Unfortunately, the story starts slowly and never really gains momentum.  Its plot and characters are intriguing enough that I kept reading, but not unique enough to make this psychological thriller stand out among its many, many fellows.  In the end, The French Girl left me feeling underwhelmed and confused since Elliott left some story threads dangling. Still, I'm definitely willing to give the author another chance.  Her upcoming sophomore novel, The Missing Years, sounds like the kind of Gothic thriller I adore.  I will for sure be checking it out in April 2019.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me a bit of In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware and Under a Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Day)

Grade:

  
If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for strong language, violence, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

2 comments:

  1. I think I'll wait for her second novel. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ugh hate slow starts. I will check out her upcoming book though.

    ReplyDelete

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