Thank you so much to Berkley Publishing for providing my free review copy – all opinions are my own.
We all have our secrets…
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…
“Severine, slim and lithe in a tiny black bikini, her walnut brown skim impossibly smooth in the sun, one hip cocked with the foot pointing away as if ready to saunter off the moment she lost interest”
Kate Channing and a group of friends who attend Oxford University together decide to spend a week long vacation in a farmhouse in the South of France. A terrible tragedy takes place as Severine, the beautiful girl next door, goes missing and no one will confess to what happened.
Ten years later, Kate has moved on with her life, working hard to start anew, when she receives a phone call which informs her Severine’s body has been found. Now she must revisit a past that she tried so hard to forget. Did the schoolmates she vacationed with really kill Severine? What happened all those years ago?
I’ll start off by saying that none of these characters are particularly likable and have tumultuous relationships, but I certainly enjoyed reading about them. The entire story is told through Kate’s eyes, WHICH I LOVED! Plus, I adore a good unreliable narrator so this did not disappoint! I got swept up in Kate’s memories of Severine and what did, or did not happen, all those years ago.
The pace is a little slower on this one but it’s not a deal breaker. It reminded me a lot of I Know What You Did Last Summer which I’ve seen more times than I’ll care to admit. Overall, I think this is a solid debut and I really enjoyed Elliott’s talent for writing. Although a bit slow in some parts, it kept me steadily entertained throughout and I would most definitely read another book by Elliott! Highly recommend this one!!
My rating is 4 / 5 stars!
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