Review: The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

10:25 PM

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott | Rating: ★★★★☆

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via Edelweiss by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

Just a quick question before I start reviewing the book it-self: Is anyone else flinching at the complaints of the title? Oh-My-God, it has the word "Girl" in it! Gone Girl! Girl on the Train! The Good Girl! The French Girl! It's almost like it's a mystery novel about a--gasp--young woman. However will we survive the use of a word that is entirely relevant to the plot!? Are we going to lift our noses at the use of the word The, next? No? Double gasp. I didn't think so.

All in good fun, kids! My sarcasm is all in good fun! I do wish they had used the original/working title of The French Girl--The Mademoiselle Next Door, it was very catchy. For the most part, I just cannot wrap my head around people just latching negative attention on the use of one word in the title. That's just me. The book in question would have been phenomenal with any title. It was bleak. It was a dreary mystery. There's this charge to the book that will electrify thriller lovers because of its dishy-but-subtle prose. I adored the entire premise and the manner in which the main mystery unfolded.

I love an old fashioned whodunnit. I love a story of friendships and secrets and one massive event that lingers in the background. I love conflict and most of all, I love how the past doesn't always stay buried.


So, it should come as no shock that The French Girl is one of my favourite fictional releases this year. Although the genre is quite well crowded, and some tropes and twists used in this specific book can be viewed as predictable, Lexie Elliott brings to life characters such as Kate, Tom, Caro, Lara, Seb, Alina and Alain. You get to know them in a way that is strangely intimate but still rather... from afar. I rather like that when it comes to mysteries. You feel like you know someone but at the same time you don't.

Perfect for fans of (you guessed it) Gillian Flynn, Megan Abbott, Paula Hawkins and Mary Kubica, The French Girl follows the secretive nature of one group of friends' trip to France--ten years later, as a case reopens and the body of one long-since missing girl is found. Suddenly, the past is colliding with the present and everyone is a suspect in the death of the young girl.

I appreciated the dynamics of the central characters and how their pasts had tangled up. It's always an interesting story to see old friends coming back together for two different reasons. It's even more fun to see old relationships develop or be closed off and for new ones to take form. And even though the novel had its flickers of romance between characters in the past and present, the biggest focus was the case at hand.

I really just appreciated the way everything unfolded. Of the two suspects I had throughout the novel, I can't say I was altogether shocked at who was the killer. I was, however, surprised at how the rest of it unfolded and what almost happened. It was very fast paced and intelligent; there was a serious chill and bite to the reveal and the aftermath. Lexie Elliott knows how to tell a story.

Although a lot of the central questions were answered--I had a lot more that I truly wanted to know.

How--exactly--did Severine die? Why did she seem to be haunting Kate, of all the others? Was she truly a figment of her imagination, despite being (spoiler) innocent in Severine's death? And why is she still with her, even after the killer is revealed? Why did we learn so little about Theo, even if he was dead before the novel began, when he seemed to be such a huge part of the past? Why did Caro approach Kate at the end of the novel--and what was it she wanted to to say? 

At the same time, I'm rather appreciative of the lingering questions because it really got the wheels in my head turning with possibilities. The French Girl lulled me into a tense sort of comfort when it came to the conclusion and I do fancy that. Elliott crafted a story that will surely hum at the back of my mind for months after I finished it and for some reason, I'm quite okay with this.

In short, The French Girl really was a fun thriller to dive into. I can definitely see it getting the big-or-small-screen treatment in the future because the overall image that Elliott provides in her prose is a good mix of vivid and complex; you can see it come to life from its pages and it would make for a perfect adaptation in the future.

You Might Also Like