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 Chalet is a wonderful wintry novel set at the foot of the ski slopes in the French alps. The plotline jumps between two time periods following different sets of people in each storyline. In 1998 two brothers came to the Alps with their girlfriends Louise and Nell and they went skiing in very bad weather. There was an accident and only one of them made it from the mountain.
In the present two couples are spending a week at La Madière (Ria and Hugo who invited Simon and Cass with their little baby and the nanny in the hope of reigning in Simon as a new investor for Hugo’s travel agency) and Millie and Cameron (the ‘cabin girl’ who cooks and cleans and the owner of the luxurious chalet). Someone among this (not always very lovely) bunch of people is putting on a show and it becomes clear that there are some invisible ties to the past and someone has to pay for what this person believes is not an accident but murder.
The Chalet intrigued me from the word go! I was looking for someone with a hidden agenda and at least one of them seemed to fit the bill a little too perfectly but could it be that easy? It took me a long time to make up my mind but in the end I settled on a suspect, even though my conclusion didn’t even sound very logical to my own ears, there was just this thing that didn’t add up, but in the end I was still right on the money! It is only with the big reveal that everything falls in place though and it finally makes so more sense. I loved how the background story of the past bleeds so well into the present happenings and I didn’t even mind that I had a hunch who was masquerading in The Chalet because I was so engrossed in untangling the secrets in the lives of all these people. I did feel Ria and Louise were the most developed and deep of the whole cast and I liked to read about these women most of all. It felt to me that the bad guy was in this case actually a bad woman so I didn’t mind that the men’s contributions to the story were smaller or at least didn’t leave the same impression as the women’s, I was interested most of all in the women anyway. Revenge is a dish best served cold and The Chalet hits the spot.
The Chalet is a great debut with interesting characters and a decent revenge plot, and it didn’t disappoint at all. Mystifying, addictive and surprising!
I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley for review. This is still my honest opinion.