07 October 2020

The Chalet

By Catherine Cooper
Psychological Thriller

My Review

For a debut novel I was very impressed with this one. The book cover is simply stunning and it was this that initially caught my eye. Once I'd read the blurb I was hooked. I love books with a wintery setting; especially those where snow-covered roads or a remote setting creates an unsettling atmosphere. This is exactly the feeling you get with The Chalet.

The story gradually unfolds through dual timelines — the French Alps in 1998 and 20 years later. In 1998 two skiers, brothers, are caught up in a blizzard. They find themselves dangerously off-piste with the weather closing in. They know their lives perilously hang by a thread. One survives but the other doesn't. 

Two decades later in the same resort, Ria and Hugo are holidaying in a catered luxury ski chalet hoping to finalise a mutually beneficial business deal with guests Simon and Cass. But not everyone is who they appear to be. The past has a way of catching up. Someone knows what really happened back in 1998 and is out for revenge.

The Chalet was a fairly quick read and hugely enjoyable. There were plenty of twists and turns and 'I didn't see that coming!' moments. Characters were fully developed with most being flawed and ruthless. This may be an issue for some readers but personally I loved the hidden agendas and deceptiveness; it made the story exciting and addictive. A fabulous debut indeed!                 

Book Source: Review copy from the publisher
My Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (12th Nov 2020)

The Blurb

French Alps, 1998

Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.

20 years later

Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.

Someone knows what really happened that day.

And somebody will pay.

The Author

I am a freelance journalist living in the South of France with my husband and two teenage children. We moved from London in 2009 so that the children could grow up bilingual and we could all ski more, and to enjoy a more relaxed pace of life.

I learned to ski on a school trip when I was 14 and have loved it ever since. The Chalet is set in a fictional ski resort in the French Alps which is a kind of amalgam of some I have been lucky enough to visit over the years. Many design aspects of the chalet itself are inspired by some of the luxury hotels I have reviewed - though obviously it is entirely fictional!

I'm an avid thriller reader and have been since I discovered Agatha Christie as a child.

The Chalet is my first published full-length novel, though I have also written several (unpublished) thrillers for teens and a (what used to be called) chick lit novel set in TV production.

Other than skiing and reading I love travel, theme parks (the pic on this page was taken on a rollercoaster in Spain) and I spend far too much time on social media. Some of my other favourite things include Alan Partridge, sparkly flip flops and salt and vinegar crisps.

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