*** - The Chateau
CATHERINE COOPER ***
They thought it was perfect. They were wrong…
A glamorous chateau
Aura and Nick don’t talk about what happened in England. They’ve bought a chateau in France to make a fresh start, and their kids need them to stay together – whatever it costs.
A couple on the brink
The expat community is welcoming, but when a neighbour is murdered at a lavish party, Aura and Nick don’t know who to trust.
A secret that is bound to come out…
Someone knows exactly why they really came to the chateau. And someone is going to give them what they deserve.
THE REVIEW ***
I previously enjoyed Catherine Cooper’s book The Chalet and so I was excited to read the ARC for The Chateau.
The covers to the books are very similar and both felt very much within the same style. The Chateau is a twisty psychological thriller with well-drawn characters and Cooper’s writing leads you gently to make certain assumptions before twisting everything on its head. The characters are well developed, however I didn’t particularly like any of them! Aura and Mike seemed very self-obsessed and we didn’t particularly warm to any of the other side-characters either meaning you didn’t really have anyone to root for throughout the plot.
The piece jumps from present day in France for the first third, the past in London in the middle and then back to present day. The narration also jumps between three key characters which I thought worked well and helped to keep the pace up. However, there is a lot of build-up here, to the point that I got to around the 80% mark and I was still waiting for the main storyline to kick in as all we had were various parts to the story without an idea of how they all fit together. The middle London story line, which is more relationship and domestic focussed, also felt very different to the crime and horror elements which had been presented in the first third so in comparison it dragged a little as I wanted to skip through it to find out how it impacted what was happening in the present day.#
The ending was split into two parts which made it feel a little unrealistic – you have to hold your suspension of disbelief a little for it to work. Although one strand of the ending was well set up and made sense, the other one came completely out of left field. This was great to make a hard-hitting twist but it also felt a little ‘shoe-horned’ in and the end few chapters felt like a monologue of someone explaining why and what they did rather than making it a seamless piece of the story.
Overall, The Chateau isn’t quite as tightly plotted as Catherine Cooper’s previous book The Chalet but it’s still an engaging read and I’ll certainly keep an eye out for her next one! Thank you to NetGalley & Harper Collins UK – Harper Fiction for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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