The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

The French Girl

Lexie Elliott

"A gripping mystery that delves into the past and the darker side of friendships, this book will have you questioning everything you think you know."--Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls

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I Know What You Did Last Summer meets the French countryside in this exhilarating psychological suspense novel about a woman trapped by the bonds of friendship—perfect for fans of The Widow and The Woman in Cabin 10.

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RealSimple's and Cosmopolitan's Best Books of the Month

Everyone has a secret...

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. 

But after a huge altercation on the last night of the holiday, Kate Channing knew nothing would ever be the same. There are some things you can't forgive. And there are some people you can't Severine, who was never seen again. 

A decade later, the case is reopened when Severine's body is found behind the farmhouse. Questioned along with her friends, Kate stands to lose everything she's worked so hard to achieve as suspicion mounts all around her. Desperate to resolve her unreliable memories and fearful she will be forever bound to the memory of the woman who still haunts her, Kate finds herself entangled within layers of deception with no one to set her free...

Advance Galley Reviews

This was fantastic! I enjoyed this book and the way it was written. I would definitely recommend reading this!

Ten years ago, six college friends went on a trip to a French farmhouse to relax and have some fun. It turns out to become something quite different when they meet the girl next door, the French girl Severine, who is both beautiful, distracting and unwelcome. After the return home, it becomes apparent that Severine has disappeared and the friends get interviewed by the French police, but nothing untoward is uncovered. Time passes, suddenly Severine's body is located at the bottom of a well behind the farmhouse. The investigation is reopened and that tests the friendships and relationships between all of them. It turns out, nothing is as it seems. The book took me for a ride. I honestly had no idea what was going on, who did what and why. Although I did have my suspicions, I kept getting taken by surprise. I love this book and can't wait to read more by this author.

This was a great and compelling mystery/thriller. I loved the writing and the story. The story is told from Kate's perspective but encompasses the lives of her five friends. A long ago week together in a French farmhouse and the subsequent disappearance and murder mystery of what happened to Severine a decade earlier. Did one of the friends commit murder? Suspicion has fallen upon Kate, but how well do you really know your friends? I really enjoyed this mystery. It's a great page-turner. I would highly recommend.

This was a gripping and enjoyable read. I loved trying to figure out not only the mystery of what happened to Severine but why Kate was continuing to be haunted - it made me question her sanity and reliability as a narrator the whole way. The characters were richly layered and I enjoyed getting to the bottom of them even if they weren't so likeable. Overall, this was a really good psychological thriller that I would not hesitate to recommend. I really enjoyed it!

I loved this book! It was an amazing suspenseful read that kept me on the edge of my seat for most of the book. Thank you or allowing me the opportunity to read this gem.

Summary: (From Goodreads) 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. My thoughts: I chose to use Goodread’s summary for my review because I could not find a way to describe it better. The plot was good, but fairly cookie- cutter (seriously, we have all seen this blurb with different names at least a dozen times). While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it doesn’t make one’s heart race like it used to. What makes each one unique is the character development and interaction. Here, I feel like Elliot did well. Even when I hated Kate for her Seb hangup, I loved her. I felt for her. I was drawn to, and intrigued by, Severine. I also loved Tom. The book moved slowly- almost glacially at times. I thing I just wanted… more. More insight into Theo and Severine, less harping on a long lost relationship. I was also not really satisfied with the way it was all wrapped up. For me, this ended up being a three star book. It was good, but it wasn’t great. On the adult content scale, there’s a lot of drinking, language, violence, sexual content and discussion of drug use. This is a book that was definitely geared toward an older audience. I give it an eight. mature audience. I was lucky enough to receive an eARC of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. My thanks.

Publication date expected to be February 20th, 2018. I really enjoyed this suspenseful and psychological mystery told from Kate's point of view. You learn so much about her and the other characters as the story unfolds and you begin questioning who committed this awful crime the more you learn. The writer did a great job focusing on Kate as the main character and keeping her personal life in full view while the plot unfolds. Kate and five friends have graduated from Oxford and decide to take a celebration trip by staying in a French farmhouse. The neighbor, a French girl named Severine, inserts herself into the group of friends causing conflict and tension for some. Severine abruptly goes missing and quickly turns into a cold case. As time passes the group of six turns into five and they mostly lose touch with each other as life progresses. A decade later, they are all brought back together when Severine's body is found on the property where the group had been visiting for a happy occasion. All of them are being questioned by the authorities and Kate can't stop seeing Severine everywhere as she invades Kate's thoughts. Severine's ghost seems to be begging for her story to finally be told. As more personal secrets spill out from each of the friends, fingers are quickly pointed leaving you wondering which of them was capable of committing murder. Thank you to First to Read and Berkeley Publishing for an advanced copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Do we ever know our friends? Kate Channing isn’t sure. A decade ago, she had spent a week with her friends in a French farmhouse. Severine is a French girl who lives next door. The case of her disappearance remains unsolved. But now the case has been reopened because Severine’s body has been found in the well at the farmhouse. Kate and her friends are pulled back into the memories of what happened in France and the deceptions that have been kept secret since then. Kate Channing isn’t the usual “girl in distress” type that predominates today’s suspense novels. She’s a smart lady who is doing her best to go it on her own as head of her legal recruitment company. I liked and admired her and emphasized with her stress of dredging up past memories with all its accusations and questioning of her friends. Could one of them have killed Severine? Why would they have wanted to? There are no great twists or surprises here, just good narration and fleshing out of characters. I found the book to be addictive and kept wanting to read just a little more. If I had had the time to just sit down for a few hours, I would have flown through this one. A captivating novel about friendship. Recommended.

Just the type of book I like to sink into. It catches you up and twists you around. I found it to be a great deal of fun to try to figure out what happened and even though I thought it would be predictable, I was pleasantly surprised by the twists and unexpected surprises! If you enjoy psychological thrillers, you won't want to miss this one!

I have had an ARC of The French Girl from both NetGalley and Penguin First to Read for a while now, and for some reason, I was never in the right reading mood for it. Once that mood hit, I had a hard time stopping and finished The French Girl in less than 24 hours. The French Girl is narrated by a 31-year-old professional named Kate who has just started her own business and is living her best life in London when she receives news that turns her life upside down. Ten years earlier, Kate and five of her friends spent a week in the French countryside and met a mysterious young French girl named Severine. The friends turned out to be the last people to see Severine alive, and the investigation into her disappearance has been reopened upon the discovery of her body in a well on the property where they stayed. Only five of the friends remain, and when a French investigator arrives in London to begin questioning them all about the events of that week, Kate begins learning new details about that week that lead her to question what she thought happened on their last night there, all the while seeing Severine everywhere she goes. From the very beginning of the book, I felt connected to Kate, the narrator, and empathized with the issues she faces. Before receiving the news of the discovery of Severine's body, Kate was already experiencing the pressure of running a new business in a competitive field. Instead of glossing over those issues as a minor feature of the plot, Lexie Elliot allows readers to fully grasp them. Kate spends a lot of time staring at the spreadsheet that shows the financial trouble her company faces, worrying over her star employee Paul and the likelihood of him leaving for a position elsewhere, and arranging meetings with potential clients whose contracts could save her company. These details contribute to the slow burn of the book and made me feel more invested in Kate's character and her outcome. Although most of those details are not connected to the primary plot, they still serve an important purpose by helping readers understand Kate's character and what is at stake for her, once the investigation begins turning a focused eye on her. Kate is not the only character with a lot at stake, however. As readers are introduced to Lara, Tom, Caro, Seb, and Theo, they see them through Kate's eyes and begin to understand what they all stand to lose as a result of the investigation and the secrets it has the potential to uncover. What secret does Tom seem to be keeping? Why is Caro focusing so much attention on Seb, and why do she and Kate seem to harbor such negative feelings toward one another? What exactly happened with Seb and Severine on the last night in France? And is it possible that Theo could have had anything to do with Severine's death? As Kate begins to question each of their actions on their last night in France, readers do as well, and once Kate begins to understand that the things she always believed about what happened to Severine may not be the truth, The French Girl grabs readers in a firm grip and doesn't let go until the end. Some other reviews of The French Girl focus on the slow-moving action throughout the beginning of the book and the anticlimactic ending; however, both of these elements were things that actually made me enjoy the book more. Instead of filling the book with tons of action and twists and turns, by choosing to focus more on Kate's character, Lexie Elliot allowed me to form the connection with her that made me genuinely concerned for her as her mental and physical state began to deteriorate from the stress of the investigation. As for the ending, there isn't much I can say without revealing spoilers, but I will say this--not all suspenseful novels have to end with a shocking twist or doom for the main characters. As much as I enjoy books like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, I also enjoy books that allow me to believe that sometimes people ARE exactly as they seem.

I guaranteed my copy of this book and I'm so glad I did! The story captured me from the very first page and I found it hard to put down and sad when it ended. This was a unique take on a whodunit with the reader not finding out about the crime until a bit of the way through the story and then learning details as the book continued. The author is clearly adept at storytelling and I am interested in reading more of her books. I highly suggest this book!

Absolutely brilliant! I knew I would enjoy this book as soon as I saw the writers who rates it so highly and the comparisons to books I had already thoroughly devoured. This book is perfect for those who like their thrillers twisty,psychologically disturbed and engaging. It is noirish,moreish and so well written that it is surprising to find out it is a debut. Cannot wait to see where Lexie Elliott goes next!

With a secluded house and a tight-knit group of college friends, the crime in The French Girl is reminiscent of books like Donna Tart's The Secret History. The murder of the titular French girl comes to light years after the vacation to the secluded house, and the tight-knit group of college friends have matured and, in most cases, parted ways. The pace is slow at first, but it picks up one the "Who done it?" plot is twisted to "Which one of us did it?" After this, The French Girl is hard to put down.

Awesome!!!! Great grab you by the pant leg,pull you in, catch you by surprise, never saw it coming, what the what, delightfully, bunch of feels, never put it down, totally got me at hello, magical, eventful, and stop the presses little nook, I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying in quite a time. If this book doesn’t make it to the big screen, all who have read it will be picketing for it to be so. The characters are us, all of us. Lose it all, fight for it all, and get it all back in between page flips, and every twist and turn will keep you wanting more. Great read! Marvelous! Must read! Do not pass this by! Thank you for delighting my senses. Joy! Write more, and send them my way.

This story started very slowly, but picked up and maintained its pace until close to the end. I was not a fan of the ending because it felt...forced? As the reader, I had my idea as to how it should end, and the true ending seemed to be an extreme attempt to throw me off balance. I just felt a bit disappointed. Although the pace was a bit slow at times, I really enjoyed the character development. The sign of a good mystery is that I think about the characters and evidence while I'm not reading, trying to pick my suspect. Almost every character had opportunity, motive, and underlying shadiness that made me highly suspicious of them, but overall as the story drew to an end there was only one obvious choice. I also actually really enjoyed the subtle supernatural element to the story, which is absolutely unheard of because I usually hate paranormal activity in seemingly straightforward stories. It was more of an underlying question of Kate's mental sanity. Was it her guilt that caused her to see Severine, or was she just coming undone? All in all, I recommend checking this one out if you're a fan of Gillian Flynn, Ruth Ware, and mysteries/thrillers with an unreliable narrator. Also, if this is Lexie Elliott's debut, I can't wait to read her future releases!

While the title evokes ideas of a French Girl, the story actually revolves around Kate Channing, an English woman who is struggling with her own identity and dealing with unresolved feelings and emotions from a holiday ten years ago. Much like the slow climbing ascent on a roller coaster, the story moves along slowly as all the friends from that ill fated weekend are introduced in current time as well as during their college years. Severine, "the French Girl," or the idea of Severine almost becomes part of Kate's life as she navigates through the relationships of those who remain. The author, Lexie Elliott, does an interesting job with flashbacks and a tiny hint of the supernatural to move the story along to its climax. The last half of the story was just like the rush of a roller coaster's descent with some twists and turns until you're suddenly at the end. There were some gaps in the story, which left me wanting to find out more. Overall, it was interesting and entertaining story.

The French Girl was definitely a page-turner. The story begins with some estranged friends finding out that the body of girl who died when they were back in college has been found. "The French Girl", Severine, disappeared after a holiday with the others in a farmhouse. The six college students were intertwined in various ways, from life-long friendships to romance, and Severine was a sometimes welcome, sometimes unwelcome addition to the group. Now that her body has been found, the stories told all those years ago start to unravel and fall apart. There are inconsistencies, and also ommissions that have been hidden to bury some feelings of the past. As is always the formula, everyone starts to become suspicious of each other, and no one is sure about who he or she can trust. The writing is phenomenal, and the author does what she clearly intended: she structures the book in a way that it is hard to put down. As each revelation surfaces, we find out more and more about each character and we start our own guessing game as to what happened. In the end, I found the story wasn't as well-developed as I was hoping for, but the ride was a nice one throughout the book.

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott will inevitably get some of the fame that devolves upon all books with the word, girl, in their titles. But beyond that, these books must strive to make their own way. The story is written in the first person present tense point of view of Kate. A number of flashbacks are woven through her piece, enabling us to understand how she met Seb, with whom she broke up soon after that holiday; how her business is in danger of closing down. It seems that Severine got under Kate’s skin a little too much. There is a hint of something dark. I liked Kate. She was direct, a trait that causes Farrow to respect and admire her. She is also feisty and loyal to her friends, particularly to Tom and Lara. She is good at her job and doesn’t feel intimidated advising Gordon. I also liked the conversations Kate has with the reader. What I liked most about this book was the word descriptions of the characters. While the book is a murder mystery and the focus is on the murder, and how the renewed investigation threatens to disrupt their lives, as a reader, I could not help feeling that it is more romance than mystery. What I found odd was Severine being a disembodied presence around Kate. Not exactly haunting her in the paranormal sense, but definitely one that insinuated herself into every conversation and thought of Kate’s. The London locale is established through descriptions about what it is like on the Tube, as also smooth yet passing references to how Americans differ from the British. I felt a little lost when the technicalities of legal procedure came up. The ending was a let-down for me. Also, while the book was sweet, it was more than a little slow. Read Full and Detailed review at:

The story revolves around Kate and her friends as they search for the killer of the French girl that they met on their vacation back when they were in college. Friendship, love, treachery and mystery surfaced as they search for the truth. I really like this book. I enjoyed it a lot. Although, I have to say that I expected so much from this book after reading the synopsis. Plot-wise, the story is good and well thought of. But like I said, I have bars that has been set by the synopsis that did not quite reach my liking. At some point I feel like the story revolves around Kate's life issues and not about the mystery of the death of Severine. However, as I catch a glimpse of Kate's life and the life of the people around her, your would be guessing as to who the killer is. Another thing that I did not like about this book is the ending. It felt flat for me. It is so anti-climatic and I am not quite satisfy with how the things wrapped up. I'm still confused as well as to why Kate keeps seeing Severine everywhere. Also, the part where Kate finally realize how the murder was committed was also disappointing because there is no solid basis hence the result of a flat ending. It's just theories after theories. I wish it was the other way around where there are clues here and there and she just pieced all of it. But other than the flat ending and the issues here and there, I enjoyed this book. I feel like I've been a spectator in Kate's life as she embarks in her journey to find the killer. Getting to know the people around her is fun as well, and do not get me started with the romance. I definitely love the romance in this book. It is one of those just-be-a-couple-already thing.

First I have to say, once you start this book don't give up too soon. It starts out very slowly, but if you hang in there, you won't be sorry, because it morphs into one of those books that you just can't put down. I'm certainly glad I stuck with it. The plot was a little bit predictable, but interesting none the less. The story centers around the relationship of a group of friends where one turns up missing/dead and what makes this story worth sticking with is that it is not only about the dead girl and the investigation, but all of the characters' relationships with each other, and that being said, recognizing that these characters don't know what they don't know. This book may not be for everyone, but if there is an opportunity for you to check it out, I encourage you to do so.

Several friends get together in France for a holiday and a girl ends up missing/dead. As the years pass, the friends never think much about the "French girl" but suddenly she turns up in the bottom of a well where they vacationed. The death gets the attention of the police who now try to uncover the mystery, which not only disrupts their "grown-up" lives, but makes them distrust each other and their friendship. This story started out very slow for me. I almost put it down several times. As I read the first part of the novel, I felt like I had missed something or read over something. I think this is eventually what makes this book so good. It's not really a thriller or even much of a mystery - it's more of a mind game the whole way through. I really enjoyed this and imagine that this will be one to read in 2018.

It took me a little while to get into The French Girl, but by the end I was totally hooked! (I actually read the end of the book whilst at a party because I needed to know what happened next and couldn't wait to find out.) I really enjoyed Kate as a narrator and found her relationships with the other characters to be very interesting. The story unfolds in a way that was quite cool to me — it was easy to make guesses about who the murderer would be, but I still carried suspicions regarding other characters and felt like the focus wasn't so much on solving the crime as figuring out how it would impact the characters in present time. I did find it a bit far-fetched that Kate could be so oblivious regarding the feelings and motives of certain people, but Lexie Elliott writes the story in a way that makes it believable anyway. I look forward to reading more from her in the future!

This was fantastic! Definitely a mystery/thriller, but with a lovely slow burn that let the tensions simmer throughout. Lexie Elliott gave us complexly unlikable characters with real depth that had me rooting for them all the way through, as she tells the story of six friends from university and their involvement in a murder investigation. I really liked that the mystery is about Severine's death, but the novel is not at all about Severine. Kate was great as a narrative voice because she was smart and sharp but not infallible. It's interesting that I wouldn't call the plot twisty, but I wouldn't call it predictable either, and the ending tied things together, but not too neatly.

Although this book did start a little slow, I really enjoyed it! The characters were interesting and it was tough to tell throughout the entire book who could be trusted and who could have been a murderer. Once I got going, I didn’t want to put it down! The twists and turns definitely kept me into it. I suspected each of the main characters at some point of being the killer. The minor presence of Severine, the French girl of the title, throughout the tale kept a little mystery and intrigue going.

I give Lexie Elliott a great deal of credit for crafting this book as her debut novel. The concept is a fascinating one and the dynamics between all of the different characters were pretty well executed. However, I must admit The French Girl came off as a bit of a disappointment for me. Maybe this is in part because people seem to churn out new suspense novels with some "girl" involved almost every month that everyone attempting one needs to work extra hard to make their book stand out from the rest. Maybe The French Girl simply wasn't my style. What I will say is that this is a rather slow read. Sometimes this comes off well, with the gradual pace allowing readers to really understand the characters and get a feel for the setting. Unfortunately, The French Girl felt like it was dragging too much without making much forward progress. Moreover, the protagonist, Kate, really doesn't feel like she earns all of our attention. She wasn't annoying and I didn't hate her by any means, but her constant disaster of a life made me tired rather than sympathetic or interested. It also felt kind of strange that she was so seemingly obsessed with the titular French girl after so many years. It's totally understandable someone would remain curious about the truth, but too much of Kate's life felt like it continued to revolve around Severine. The culprit was fairly easy to guess, but that may be more a result of my tendency to guess these sorts of things than because of the writing style, so I don't want to dismiss that aspect of the novel. What weirded me out most of all was the paranormal aspect of the book. Not expecting that heading in and naturally wary of paranormal/ghost plots since they're not usually my thing, this insertion felt unnecessary and like a let down of sorts. Despite all of these critiques, I'm still very grateful I had the chance to read The French Girl! It may not have gripped me as I wished it would or been as much my style as I'd hoped, but it's a promising debut novel, and I look forward to seeing what Ms. Elliott writes next.

Unfortunately I had a really hard time getting into this one even though the synopsis makes it sound really good. I tried to continue reading but couldn't make myself pick it up. Hopefully I can check it out when it's published and try again.

What a fabulous book. I adored The French Girl in all of its twists and turns and mysterious glory. It was just the right blend of anxiety and thrills that keep me reading this genre. Kate was such a delightful heroine. I’ve had my fill of the unlikeable, drunk, unreliable narrator and was so glad to finally have a lead character that I actually liked. She and Severine made the book perfection for me. I found myself thinking about this book and hurrying back to it every time I had to put it down. And there were a couple of nights that I had to go back and reread because I’d slept through several pages, I call this Sleep Reading - believe me it’s a thing - because even though I obviously was tired and needed to sleep, I just couldn’t bear to put the book away. This is the hallmark of a fabulous book for me! I highly recommend this book to lovers of psychological suspense with a heroine that you actually love and a mystery that keeps you guessing until the very last pages. It’s is so well worth your time.

The story is very slow moving and I felt that much of the description of Kate's work could have been eliminated. I found that I really didn't like Kate, and often wished that she would give up her obsession with Seb. We don't really know enough about Severine, (the French girl of the title) to care about what happened to her. It was hard to believe that a police detective would get so close to people in the investigation. The action picked up slightly at the end, but by then, I had already guessed the killer.

10 years after a week in France, the body of a neighboring woman, Severine, is discovered at the bottom of a well. The story follows the 6 people, well 5 now, who stayed next door and interacted with the woman prior to her disappearance. The story is told through the point of view of Kate Channing who has self-esteem issues and potentially still in love with her boyfriend from that week away. Throughout the story Severine's ghost visits Kate. The ghost is benign and only communicates through facial expressions and body language. Is this guilt? I do not think the book is written to be some crazy twisty thriller even though it seems to be promoted as such. Instead, it is about the intrusion of the murder case and how it impacts the people who were peripherally involved with the victim. I wasn't very surprised by the ending and felt that Ms. Elliott didn't intend it to be shocking. I feel like this book was written as a look into the crevices of friends who think they know each other better than they do.

Thank you to First-to-Read and Berkley Books for this Advanced Reading Copy. Expected publication is February 20th 2018. My rating = 4 stars On the last night of their stay in a French farmhouse Severine was killed. Six college friends were on holiday and Severine was from the neighboring farmhouse. It took 10 years for the cold case to be reopened and to bring everyone back together. Severine's body has been found. Everyone is a suspect. However it is Kate Channing who is visited by the memories of Severine and also appears to be the prime suspect for the murder. Does she have an alibi, does any of her 5 college friends? Once they are brought back together it is obvious what each of them have to lose. Will the murderer be found before they lose everything - to focus on one person and ignore the rest may be the biggest mistake. I found Lexie Elliot to be easy to read. Having not read her before, I found the development of her characters to be very good. The story seemed to lurk just out of sight around a dark corner as you waited for answers that were just out of reach. Her writing allowed you to follow strings randomly crisscrossing, then starting to align so that they led to one point - but is it possible to predict that point? Elliot was good at worming her way into your subconscious, until the words said and unsaid, and the series of disclosures brought you to the things that were as they always had been.

Ten years ago, 6 college-aged friends from England spent a week at a French farmhouse. Severine Dupas was the French girl from the cottage next door and the 7 people spent a lot of time together. The 6 friends were the last people to talk to Severine on their last night in France. The next day she went into town and was seen getting on a bus and was never seen again. Now her body has been found in a well at the farmhouse and a dogged French detective has come to England to question the friends about Severine's death, despite the fact that there is zero evidence linking any of them to her death. The book is told from the point of view of Kate Channing, a former lawyer who is now a legal headhunter. Once Kate learns that Severine is dead, the ghostly image of Severine constantly hovers around Kate. Other than that presence, Severine remains a complete enigma in this book. One of the friends has since died, but the remaining 5 are still bonded by their various romantic entanglements, as well as by the events of their week in France. The detective's repeated questioning raises suspicions and creates fissures in their relationships. The pacing of this book was a little slow and perhaps the villain was a little too obvious, but I was enjoying this psychological suspense novel up until the end when the author got a tad melodramatic and I also wanted a more satisfying resolution. However, she got the law firm details exactly right, the characters were credible and I didn't detect any plot holes. I'd be willing to read more by this author. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

Fascinating. The story follows Kate as she tries to figure out who may be behind the cover up of a murder from a decade before among her group of friends who were away together on holiday. I actually found Kate quite detestable throughout the story but I think that might have been intentional on the part of the author. Kate is oblivious, paranoid, and obnoxious but unlike usually when an awful protagonist ruins the story, I think her imperfection added complexity to the plot. It's a true whodunit up until the end with a nicely tied off ending. I greatly enjoyed reading this.

This book was a little hard to get into at first because the story developed slowly. However, the pace did pick up and I did find myself wanting to keep reading. The addition of the "ghost" felt unnecessary and didn't see anything to the story. Other than that it was a good story!

A decade after a french girl goes missing she is found throwing a group of 6 friends back into the limelight of the investigation. Kate is being haunted by the girl next door, Severine. What really happened that night? With political pressure opening up the cold case and tension and old hurts pulling apart the once close-knit group secrets are coming to light. I felt constantly behind in the story. Which is a good thing. Who is who, who did what, what changed that night, what happened before that fateful trip? This was a slow paced story but the tension was palpable throughout.

From the beginning it felt like I was the last person to enter a conversation already started. Who's who? When did that happen? What are we talking about now? Gradually the situation is revealed. Ten years ago 6 friends went on holiday to a French farmhouse. While there they meet Severine, a longtime friend of one of them. One the morning they leave they realize Severine is nowhere to be found. They all return home thinking no more about it. Now they get a visit from a French police detective who informs them that her body was just discovered in a well on the property they had stayed. Time has changed the friends and their relationships and time has blurred their memories. As the story progresses everyone seems to have an ulterior motive that lies under the surface on every conversation.

A really impressive debut! 4.5/5 Excellent character development and a good mystery. it was hard to put down and I really looked forward to coming back to it. Kate was a complex but likeable protagonist, and her friends and the other characters were nice and multifaceted. I do wish, as others have said, that there was more explanation about the long-ago vacation and that last night when the murder happened. That would have made the book stronger imho. The ending was mostly satisfying. But overall an excellent read, especially for fans of modern British mysteries. I really look forward to her next book.

Very good mystery involving a loosely configured group of college students sharing a vacation house in France. While all the students know one another from school, it would be a mistake to assume they are equally friendly. Our narrator, even ten years later, is forced to admit that she often felt left out of ‘inside’ references shared by a subset of the group. That this subset included her boyfriend at the time has left lasting pain. Now, all these years later, they are all told that a very attractive neighbor has been found dead, or rather her skeleton has been located. As more details emerge, the little group appears to hold within it the murderer, single or plural. The book moves quickly although there are quite a few side stories that add details to the characters and help set the stage for the final reveal. While not an enormous surprise, the info gleaned along the way is definitely worth the journey.

When this novel began, I found it a bit boring because nothing really happened. However, I was very excited about the premise and was waiting for when things would speed up a bit. It didn't take too long for the author to bring about the murder aspect of the story, which was good. I also liked all of the characters that the author introduced; while they were all flawed, they were well developed and easy to understand (for the most part). One thing I was really intrigued by was how Kate was constantly seeing Severine's ghost. I definitely thought the author could have done more with it than she did, and when I got to the ending and nothing happened with those hallucinations, it made me quite disappointed. The author kept building up the tension, which I really enjoyed, delving into the different connections between all of the characters. It was very interesting how the author decided to portray the story and it captured my attention. But I felt like nothing was ever resolved. Nothing was ever revealed about what exactly happened that night. On top of that, the actual solving of the crime was very abrupt and rushed and didn't give me any satisfaction at all. Everything ended up being so anti-climactic and that is really such a shame because it had all the works to be a good novel. Based on all of this, I would give it a 2/5 stars - and the 2 stars is because I liked the characters.

I really liked this book. The first 75 pages or so were a bit slow to me. After I got about 100-150 pages in, I couldn't put it down! I had to know what happened. Overall, I really enjoyed the book and recommend it to mystery-lovers.

Great read, the mystery of who killed Severine was only one layer to this book. The mystery itself kept me guessing, especially to the how. I also enjoyed the relationships between the characters and to the group as a whole. Kate’s interactions with Severine made this book unique and not just a standard murder mystery as well.

I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end. The mystery about what happened to Severine, as well as the relationships between Kate and Tom, Kate and Caro and Kate and Seb were well thought out and believable. It always amazes me how a writer can make an audience feel sorry for an unlikable character. I would have liked to know a little more about Seb and his background with Kate. And I'd like to read more about her and Tom. All of these characters were very real and we probably all know somebody like each of them. Nobody seemed too good to be true or too perfect. Very good read.

The mystery of what happened to Severine certainly kept me guessing. I wasn't really sure which direction the story was going to go since there were quite a few possibilities. I do think though the big reveal was a little disappointing. I don't mind a slow moving story, and this one certainly qualifies, but the payoff better be big and in this case it just wasn't all that satisfying. Still though, it was an enjoyable read and I'm probably in the minority but I found the parts with Kate's job interesting. Thanks First To Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy!

A great read! It took me a little time to get into the book and figure out what was going on, but once I did, I was all in. A mystery/thriller with a somewhat surprising answer at the end of who the protagonist is, with some romance to fill in the cracks. I loved the development of all of the characters. Lexie Elliott did a great job bringing them to life. In fact, I wish (most of them) were friends I could hang out with - I felt like I really knew them! Very enjoyable.

I loved this book. ?????????? Seriously I fell asleep with my IPad (luckily I didn’t rollover and break it) since I didn’t want to put the book down. Great psychological suspense and the solution to that mystery came as a surprise. I decided to post my thoughts and chose leave a review after receiving an advance copy of this book from Penguin Random House's First to Read program courtesy of Berkley, the Publisher. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to read this book before the publication date of February 20, 2018.

I enjoyed this book until the very end. It was a fast read, mostly because once I started, I couldn't put it down. However, I felt like the murder was solved too abruptly. Its like the author was writing this interesting story about people who were good friends, but maybe didn't know each other as well as they thought, but then the author realized she actually had to solve the murder and so she did it in a couple of pages. The ending was mostly realistic, but it wrapped up too neatly and too quickly.

Most thrillers leave me desperate to figure out the answer to the story's mystery. When the potential suspects are a group of six friends, however, I felt myself searching for far more as I became deeply invested in the characters. When conflict arose between potential love interests, my heart broke as their cruel words cut one another. And at the same time, I found it suddenly necessary to ask: does that violent temperament make them capable of murder? While the real killer could potentially be seen as predictable, I found myself--again, out of my attachment to the characters--focusing on a different question entirely. Even if the murderer is who I suspect them to be, will the truth ever come to light, or will the wrong person be blamed and left to face the consequences forever? Ultimately, The French Girl was a book that had me racing to find answers and left me entirely satisfied when I did. The perfect book to start a month of creepy October reads.

I enjoyed The French Girl. It was a good mystery with enough plot twists to keep me interested.

I usually don't enjoy novels written by authors that are not American, because I have trouble with the manner in which other nationalities speak and end up having to look up words in order for a sentence to make sense to me. That was not the case with this book. It wasn't a fast paced book by any means, but I was interested and invested enough to read it to the end. Thanks First to Read for my advance copy!

This book was incredibly slow-moving. The plot sounded interesting, so I kept waiting to get to the point that the suspense had built and I needed to find out what happened. This point never came. I did finish the book, but it was anti-climactic. I think it would have been better with alternating chapters between present-day and the French holiday, or maybe told from several different characters' points of view. Thanks to First to Read for letting me read the advance copy, but I don't think I will seek out other novels by this author.

This was good twisty read but also a very slow moving read. So, while I wouldn't personally categorize it as a thriller, nor particularly suspenseful because of the slow pacing, it was definitely a very good mystery and very well done.

Kate Channing is stressed out with starting her own business and looking so far in the future that she is blindsided when the past catches up to her. 10 years ago, she and some friends went on a holiday at a farmhouse out in the country, not everyone survives. What happened that day has haunted the survivors for the past ten years and now the case has been reopened. The investigation brings most of that group back together but so much has changed. This brings them each to ask tje same questions: What happened that day? How well can you really know your friends? I enjoy reading murder mysteries as well as stories about secrets within friendships. This book was well paced, however, I could tell who the murderer was fairly early in the story and the other red herrings were not strong enough to sway me. I did not really care for any of the characters, least of all pathetic Seb. I did not particularly like the narrating character, Kate, although her dark humor did have me chuckle a time or two. Another thing that I did not particularly care for about the book was that justice does not really ever come for the deceased. The story is confessed but there is only social reprimand for the villain, not anything legally, which could have caused a stronger conclusion in my opinion. Two things were rather distracting for me: Kate's business and the ghost haunting. Kate started her own business but it is on the verge of bankruptcy and she often takes off work to grab lunch, drinks, or coffee with a friend or two. Furthermore, there is an instance where she does not show up for work on time because she simply does not want to go in. Perhaps I'm a stickler for work ethic but that was distracting and irritating for me. Then the lingering ghost of the deceased was also distracting at times and even the main character states that she cannot figure out the purpose of the character's presence. On a more positive note, I did enjoy the eventual romance of two of the characters (I won't say which in order prevent a spoiler) and thought that was authentic and sweet. I would recommend this book for readers who like a murder mystery as well as a story on friendship. I would also recommend this book for those who are in/enjoy reading about the field of corporate law practice as that is included in the plot. Lastly, I would recommend this book for those who adore London as that is the setting for this book. This also makes room for some jokes about Americans that even I snickered at, despite being an American. I would not recommend this book for those who may be offended or triggered by foul language, jealousy, manipulation, alcohol use, drug use, mild sexually suggestive scenarios, murder, and infidelity. Please note: An electronic advanced reader copy of this book was generously provided by the Penguin First To Read Program in exchange for an honest review. This book is not expected to be released until February 20, 2018.

Thank you First to Read for the opportunity to read The French Girl. Ten years ago, six students meet a young woman named Severine. She is everything they are not and she throws a "monkey wrench" into the young women's relationships. Then Severine disappears and they are haunted because she was not found until she is found, ten years later, and she is dead. This book reminded me of Ruth Ware's debut, In a dark wood - but I loved Ware's book. I found this book slow moving, filled with unnecessary details, and I was confused on which character's POV was speaking. The issue that I have is that there are far too many books on the market written like Girl on the Train, Woman in Cabin 10, etc. So for me this is just another copy cat - I didn't like the characters and unfotunately, found this book forgettable. 2 stars - thank you for letting me preview this new book.

I found this book very slow with far too much information on the world of legal recruiting and stock trading and very strange with the "ghost" of Severine. I thought the book was just ok and would give it 2 to 3 stars, but thanks for the read!

I would give this book 3 stars. I found it very slow moving. It kept me interested enough to finish it but it definitely wasn't a "can't put it down" story. The characters were clearly developed and the setting was described in detailed. I also thought it was creative to have the ghost girl pop up throughout the story. I didn't like the main character and I felt some parts really dragged. Thanks for the read!

I love a good twisty suspense novel, and The French Girl did not disappoint (too much!). Ten years ago, six university friends encountered a seductive French "mademoiselle-next-door" during their holiday. By the end of the week, their relationships have fractured, and the French girl has disappeared - until the police discover her skeleton at the bottom of a well. . Kate, the narrator, must figure out what she really knows about her friends and what happened that night in France. . I definitely enjoyed a lot about this book. The plot was quick-paced, the first person narrative was engaging, and I was fascinated by the web of relationships presented in the story. Friendships aren't always what they seem, and the author uses the murder mystery to explore what that looks like. . I did feel like the ending was a bit anticlimactic and didn't fit well with the rest of the story. I also wish the author had given us some flashbacks to the holiday week that preceded the girl's murder. It is referenced constantly but we don't ever experience it for ourselves.

While not a "page turner" this book was an entertaining read . A book for reading on the beach, or curled up on the sofa with a hot cup of tea. The

Very good read. The only reason it's not four stars is the way it ended. No spoilers though. A group of six friends vacationing in France many years ago, become suspects after the remains of a missing girl are found in the well on the property they were staying. Kate becomes the prime suspect and must try and prove her innocence. The book has lots of intrigue and is quite a page turner. I'm definitely putting this author on my radar for future reading. Special thanks to the First to Read program from Random House for ththe opportunity to read this book before it is published.

Loved this book. The story was great and not a lot I would have changed. I do wish we could have heard more about what happened the night before the event. But I loved the characters and look forward to reading more by this author.

This book was just ok, no other way to describe it. It kept me interested enough to see how it ended, although it was pretty predictable. Spent way to much time talking about her business and seeing the ghost. Should have at least told the story of the night the French Girl died in much more detail.

3.0 Lexie Elliot's The French Girl describes a moment in the life of six thirty-something Londoners from the twenties threatening to overhaul their present lives. A body's discovered. Secrets unravel. Friendships overturn. Twists and turns peak. Pros 1. Set in London. I love stories set in or around the city. 2. Unlikable characters. With the exception of Lara, everyone's worthy of a side eye. Do not trust them. 3. Despite their unlikability, each character presents their own personalities. You can differentiate them without issue. 4. Severine's presence threatens to undo Kate while throwing the story's reader into several theories needed exploration. Is Kate mad? Is Kate guilty? Is Severine posing for attention? 5. Kate and Lara's friendship's genuine and I enjoyed their moments together. No overstating cattiness involved. 6. Tom and Kate. (view spoiler) Quite refreshing in the days of forced love interests. Cons 1. Slow and confusing beginning. At the story's start, one may get confused by whose perspective the story follows. In addition, it's slow enough to initiate some readers to not finish. While an okay story, it take to long to find its footing. 2. Some work drama slows the story's pace even further. You can skip paragraphs without missing the gist. 3. I didn't care for Kate's description of her lawyer, which borders on some weird racial bias. There were better ways to describe her. Elliott needed an editor. While not the greatest story ever told, The French Girl's worth a read. Verdict: 3/5 French girls.

I read this entertaining easy book in three days and it's the perfect weekend read if you're going on holiday or you need a breather from the world. It's a funny thriller which will make you want to read more and more. I enjoyed the mysterious dynamic between the characters, the love stories and empathized with their urban struggles. Great for fans of Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train.

I found that this book was very suspenseful. It starts with a summer get away that leads into the disappearance of an outsider. When the skull of Severine is found, the whole group is investigated to find out what happened to Severine. This book had a mixture of the occult and lost loves throughout. I had my suspicions as I got close to the end and was able to figure it out, but getting there with the author was awesome. The book was a slow starter for me, but once I was hooked (about 1/4 way in), I could not put it down.

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott Kate Channing did not know the French girl all that well. She’d only met her that week in France 10 years ago. Now the French girl, Severine hovers. I enjoyed this thriller by Lexie Elliott. I found Kate while often stiff (British) mostly relatable. Not that I’ve ever been involved in a person’s disappearance. Yet, how often do we find ourselves trying to remember some pinnacle event 10 years down the road. Time is “like a ribbon” Kate reminds us. I enjoyed that while we were never fully filled in on the events of the week in France, Kate as a narrator was reasonably reliable. While many of the plot points were telegraphed well in advance, it next felt like being handed a map and flashlight. This was a fun early fall read.

DNF at 15%. I tried to get into the book half a dozen times. The slow pace and unlikable narrator made staying with the book impossible for me.

The story started with a strong lead character and her friends being questioned about a death that happened 10 years earlier when they were vacationing together. Kate the main character starts seeing the dead girl Severine when the investigation begins, from there on the story focuses on personal relationships among the friends, job frustrations and an old breakup. Unusual that 10 years later the group dynamics have changed little, especially Kate's stagnant breakup. Several twists while the suspects are wondering if, then who could have perpetrated the murder to outright plotting blame. Psychological thriller with suspense and dark suspicions spiraling out of control. The ending was easy to guess, a different killer would have been a great twist. Kate still seeing Severine's specter after the reveal is strange. The story was interesting enough just wanted a more satisfying outcome. Fast read to celebrate Fall.

I don't remember enjoying a thriller as much as this one after The Girl on the Train that I had read at the beginning of this year.The French Girl ticks all the right boxes when it comes to the plot, the story-line, character development and a decent ending. I feel the ending could have been better. Having said that, there are ample number of books with even worse and predictable endings, so I am not the one to complain. I would not be surprised if the book is made into a movie - it has all the characteristics of the book-to-film transition. The characters are friendly, yet dark enough. The story is gripping. The presence of Severine through Kate's vision add to the interest factor although she is mute through out the story. This is a great debut novel by Lexie Elliott and I would surely be looking forward to more of her work in future. Detailed review -


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