The French Girl by Lexie Elliott falls squarely into the genre of “Girl in the Title Gets Murdered or Does the Murder or Investigates a Murder,” otherwise known as Psychological [Thriller] Fiction. A group of Oxford graduates goes on a trip together to a family vacation home in France. Friends, lovers, or both, the group is steeped in turmoil before they even arrive. When the gorgeous and enigmatic Severine – the girl next door – shows up to use their pool, the drama only intensifies. Then, the day of their departure, Severine disappears. Ten years later, the friends have scattered to the wind, but the discovery of Severine’s body – and the presumption that one of them murdered her – draws them all back together.
Elliott’s is neither a light read nor a deep delve into the psychology of relationships and the human experience. It is, however, a page-turning mystery with a likable woman at its center. I doubt The French Girl will change your life, but it’s perfect for the summer when you just want something that will keep you engaged. I read it in one week and highly recommend it for those who liked Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, The Woman in Cabin 10. If you like a mystery that isn’t particularly graphic but still sends chills down your spine, a book that’s Good but not Deep, The French Girl is for you!