Happy (day after) publication day to Lexie Elliott! I’ve been literally waiting since November to share my thoughts with you all, and finally the time has come! Pour yourself a glass and join me…
When Kate Channing was still at university, she went with 5 friends/frenemies to a farmhouse in France. As they are leaving their holiday, Severine, the French girl next door goes missing. Flash forward ten years, and Kate is struggling to keep her business afloat, still hung up on her ex-boyfriend, and seeing the ghost (?–not sure if that’s the best description of what she is) of Severine. When Severine’s body is found in the bottom of a well, the friends are being questioned once again. As the stories come undone and evidence mounts against Kate, she must figure out what actually happened to the French girl to free herself from the past and save her future.
This story started very slowly, but it definitely picked up its pace and maintained its pace until close to the end. While I personally was not a fan of the ending (because it felt…forced?) I felt the overall story line was definitely intriguing. It gave me “I Know What You Did Last Summer” vibes (the movie, not the book…which maybe the first movie I prefer over the book?!).
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. My personal opinion? This novel was reminiscent of The Girl on the Train with the unreliable narrator, but it created a much richer plot line overall.
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!
Thank you so much to Penguin House First to Read for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.