20 August 2021

The Chateau


By Catherine Cooper
Psychological Thriller

My Review

Married couple Aura and Nick buy a dilapidated chateau in France with the dream of fixing it up and opening a chambre d’hôte (bed & breakfast). They believe it will be the new start their family needs after leaving behind a troubled past in the UK. The renovation is being filmed as part of TV makeover series French Fancy.

The atmosphere quickly deteriorates when strange things begin happening at the chateau. Is the past finally catching up with them? When a neighbour is brutally murdered at a Halloween party, Aura and Nick realise how little they actually know about their new friends in France. Have they made the biggest mistake of their lives by leaving the UK?

The Chateau was an enjoyable and engaging read despite feeling disjointed when, partway through the book, the story abruptly switched from 'now' in France to 'then' in the UK. Had there been alternating timeline chapters I think the story would have flowed more naturally. However, that being said, it was well-paced with fully developed characters. 

Although I had to suspend disbelief several times as the plot became a little far-fetched, I enjoyed the ending and the various threads being pulled together. Overall I thought it was very entertaining and a good read.               

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

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (2nd Sept 2021)
ISBN-13: ‎978-0008400255

The Blurb

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 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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