Release date: February 14, 2023
A remote back-to-basics mountaintop retreat in the French Alps turns deadly as an Oxford fellow finds herself in the crosshairs of her late husband’s dangerous secrets.
The Chalet des Anglais should be the ideal locale for recently-widowed Oxford don Emily to begin cutting through the fog of her grief. With no electricity, running water, or access by car, the rustic chalet nestled at the foot of the verdant, snow-topped Alps should afford Emily both time and space to heal. Joining her will be a collection of friends from the university, as well as other fellows, graduates, and undergraduates.
Something feels off, though—heightening Emily’s existing grief-induced anxiety. Before even making it to the airport, she’s unnerved by a break-in at her home. Once at the chalet, tension amongst the guests is palpable. Her friends and colleagues are behaving oddly, and competition for a newly opened position has introduced a streak of meanness into the otherwise relaxing getaway. As hostilities grow, Emily begins to wonder if the chalet’s dark history has cast a shadow over the retreat. In the salon, a curious grandfather clock looms, the only piece of furniture to survive a deadly blaze a century ago. As its discordant bell begins to invade everyone’s dreams, someone very real has been searching through Emily’s things and attempting to hack into her computer.
When a student disappears, Emily realizes that she’d better separate friend from foe, and real from imagined—or the next disappearance may be her own.
This one started out strong for me, you could almost immediately feel a sense of dread and unease and the author did a great job of creating a sense of place. I’m a sucker for a locked room style mystery and remote retreat in the French Alps seemed like the best combination of beautiful with a sinister edge that I enjoyed. My interest did start to diminish a little though as things progressed, maybe it was a little too much of a slow burn for me. But there were many clever aspects and despite figuring out the big reveal before it was actually revealed I did mostly enjoy it. Definitely recommend if you enjoy a slow burn and quieter style of suspense.
Overall rating: 3.5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.