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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 7 star ratings
2 reviews
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3.7 out of 5
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    When The Past Comes Back

    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 the 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.
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    Decent enough.

    Firstly I have to say that "The French Girl" was a decent enough read that was without doubt, well written by debut author Lexie Elliott and I did enjoy reading it. But - unfortunately not a lot happens during the story and I don't even think I'd say this was a slow burn book as even the denouement is a little lacklustre and predictable. The story focuses mainly on Kate's narrative and thoughts regarding the ill fated holiday trip to France, however I found there was a little too much detail into her job as a legal recruitment agency owner to be entertaining and the constant appearance of Severine - which should have been eerie - was just too often. Perhaps if there were flashbacks to the events leading up to Severine's disappearance ten years ago it may have given a little more intrigue to the plot and I did find it a tad unbelievable that the relationships between all the characters from so many years ago would still have such a strong hold over everyone, even after they had all moved on. I never wanted to stop reading this book, it just wasn't the fast paced psychological thriller I was maybe anticipating but I imagine it will still be liked and enjoyed by a lot of readers, young and old alike and I would probably still read more by this new author in the future. 3 stars
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