Publication: 5th July 2018 by Corvus
She appears, lithe and tanned, by the swimming pool one afternoon. Severine – the girl next door. It was supposed to be a final celebration for six British graduates, the perfect French getaway, until she arrived. Severine’s beauty captivates each of them in turn. Under the heat of a summer sky, simmering tensions begin to boil over – years of jealousy and longing rising dangerously to the surface.
And then Severine disappears.
A decade later, Severine’s body is found at the farmhouse. For Kate Channing, the discovery brings up more than just unwelcome memories. As police suspicion mounts against the friends, Kate becomes desperate to resolve her own shifting understanding of that time. But as the layers of deception reveal themselves, Kate must ask herself – does she really want to know what happened to the French girl?
Six friends, a house in France, a week to relax and forget about studying and work. Then nineteen-year-old Severine, beautiful and charming, enters the scene and something goes terribly wrong because, the night before they leave to go back to England, she disappears. Emotions (and hormones) are high, the alcohol is flowing, and there are disagreements and discords between the six friends. So what really happened?
Kate Channing’s memories of that week are not pleasant and she doesn’t know what really happened the night Severine disappeared. Ten years later, she is a former lawyer who just started her own headhunter company. When Severine’s body is found in a well by the house where they were staying and the police arrives to question her and her friends, Kate knows that she has to retrieve her memories to figure out what really happened to Severine.
When Kate finds out that Severine’s body has been found, she starts allucinating her, seeing her (and her skull) everywhere she goes: when she is having meetings with potential clients, when she is having dinner with her friends, when she is taking a bath. I started asking myself if the allucinations where caused by guilt. Is she seeing Severine because of her remorse? Did she kill Severine? Or did she know who really killed? Even though the author does a good job casting doubts about Kate’s character and sincerity, I couldn’t help but like her. She feels real, she always speaks her mind, and she is a loyal friend.
The story is slow-paced, the writing is brilliant and captivating, and there are a few good twists. The suspense is not always high because the novel focuses not only on the crime, but also on Kate’s relationship with her friends, both in the past and in the present, which I also found intriguing and absorbing.
I truly enjoyed THE FRENCH GIRL. It’s engaging, gripping, and fresh and I’d like to thank Corvus for providing me with a copy of the book.