We all have our secrets…
It was supposed to be the perfect summer getaway , until they met Severine, the gorgeous French girl next door. Six university students from Oxford – with very blurry lines about what is and isn’t friendship come together at a french farmhouse for one week in THE FRENCH GIRL (Berkley) by Lexie Elliott.
On the last night of the week-long holiday, things go terribly wrong. Severine has been an unwelcome intruder to their close-knit group, but her incredible beauty seems to permeate into the group. Simmering tensions erupt into a huge fight that night between members of the group … and Severine, who is never seen again.
Now a decade later, Severine’s body is found at the bottom of a well behind the farmhouse. The case is reopened and a French investigator is sent to London to interview all parties.
Kate Channing starts having visions of Severine in the most unlikely places. Stories and memories among the friends start blurring and Kate stands to lose everything she’s worked so hard to achieve as suspicion mounts around her. Kate finds herself buried under layers of deception with no one to support her.
THE FRENCH GIRL’s plot doesn’t seem solidly focused. The storyline seems to shift between Kate’s career, her friends and the investigation. Considering the amount of alcohol these characters drink, I’m amazed anyone remembers anything. One aspect of the novel I enjoyed was getting to know these characters even though a couple were deporable individuals. My takeaway from THE FRENCH GIRL is who can you really trust and who do you really know, including yourself?
I look forward to reading what Lexie Elliott’s second novel.
Lexie Elliott was born in 1976 and grew up in Scotland, at the foot of the Highlands. Her first attempt at a book came in primary school, and featured a horse; sadly, that manuscript has been lost. She attended a local state high school, Dunblane High School, and spent much of her teenaged years reading and swimming. In 1994 she began a Physics degree at University College, Oxford, where she obtained a first; she subsequently obtained a doctorate in Theoretical Physics, also from Oxford University. A keen sportwoman, she represented Oxford University every one of her seven years there in either Swimming or Waterpolo, and usually both. However, she never lost her longheld desire to become a writer and always had a drawer full of private scribblings.
After university, Lexie succumbed to the need to climb out of debt and find a job and began work for an investment bank in London, where she remained for 8 years. During that time she also took up triathlon, met her husband (in a swimming pool at 5.30am, but that is another story…), got married and had two gorgeous boys, swam the English Channel solo, ran a few marathons and ultramarathons and tried in vain to carve out enough time to write. After losing her banking job during the Global Financial Crisis, she began work part-time in fund management in the City of London, where she still works now; the rest of her time is spent writing, or thinking about writing, and juggling family life and sport. Her debut novel, The French Girl, will be published in February 2018 and is available for pre-order now; Lexie is currently working on her second novel.
Thanks to Berkely, we have one copy of THE FRENCH GIRL to giveaway. Just tell us your favorite who-dunnit so far this year.
We’ll choose a winner. Good luck.