Lexie Elliott’s debut, The French Girl, is a strong entry in the psychological suspense category.

A decade after six Oxford friends spend time in a farmhouse in the French countryside, the week comes back to haunt them in a way that no vacation should.

Kate Channing narrates the story of the week she and her boyfriend, Seb, and four others left London for a carefree summer escape. Tensions between several of the friends escalate by the end of the week, added to by girl living next door, who uses the pool at their house with the owner’s permission.

Severine is mysterious, lithe and beautiful and knows her power over men. When she disappears just as the group is leaving, it’s a horrid ending to a week that’s been ruined by revelations inside the group that broke up Kate and Seb.

Now years later Severine’s body has been found in a well at the farmhouse next door, and the primary suspects are Kate and her band of friends.

As a persistent French detective interrogates the friends, alliances shift and reform, exposing old secrets and complications. Misunderstandings surface; old opportunities are exposed and rued.

When it’s recommended that Kate hire her own lawyer, the tension rapidly escalates and as Kate’s memories of that last evening start to coalesce, she fancies that she sees Severine watching her try to figure out what really happened to the French Girl.

A captivating read that will leave readers asking how well they really know people they call their friends.

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