„Loosing Leah“ starts very slowly and not very unusual. A couple stops at a rest stop on their way to their holiday home in Wales. The woman, Leah, goes to the bathroom. But she does not return. Her husband is completely dissolved and calls the police. Leah just disappeared. The whole story becomes more mysterious with every page and inconsistencies arise.
The book is a slow burner. The writing style is calm and unspectacular. At first I really had to concentrate to focus on the story. But gradually the whole thing became more interesting. The many little things that did not fit together and the mystery of Leah’s disappearance made me curious. I soon had an idea how it could have been. I was right with my assumption. However, the book ends a bit abruptly.
„Loosing Leah“ is a slowly increasing subtle drama. Leah remains an enigmatic figure all the time, and one can understand why the investigating officer Mel Delany gets so into it. I especially liked the gloomy atmosphere and how slowly more and more abysses are opening up. I can understand when some readers classify the book as too lengthy. It took me a while to get into it. But then I would have liked to read it in one sitting. I found the private problems of Mel Delany a bit unneseccessary. The character drawing is a bit superficial on all characters and maybe this storyline should give Mel some depth. I could have done without it. But the story about the disappearance of Leah and the police work around it convinced me. I really enjoyed this book.
The French Girl is a slow burner. Be aware of that when you start reading it. Sometimes it is almost a bit dragging. The things concerning Kate’s job are somehow irrelevant to the story. But at the same time they fill out the lives of the characters and make them so lifelike. Something in the book caught my attention the whole time. The dynamics within the circle of friends is interesting. I also liked that the story was told only from one point of view, Kate’s. The story would be perfect for two narrative levels, today and the past. But the author does without it and there are no direct flashbacks but only Kate’s memories. I thought that was pleasant, because the narration on second time levels is a bit overused lately.
The story is told quickly. 6 friends spent a holiday in France 10 years ago. The enigmatic neighbor, Serverine, disappeared at the same time as they left. Now her body has appeared on the property and a French policeman is traveling to London to interrogate the friends again. Kate’s life gets completely out of balance. The relationship between friends also changes.
Despite some lengths, I found the book very entertaining. The characters are very lifelike and all the details make them very real. I felt well entertained. I can understand when other readers find the book boring. But for me it had something that kept my interest alive. The end is a bit unusual and maybe a bit unsatisfactory. Meanwhile, one expects almost naturally a spectacular twist or a showdown. But the author also refrains from this and I also found that to be pleasantly different. The French Girl does not differ at first glance from other books, but in such trifles it shows that it is different, something special.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
About the Author: Kaela Coble lives in Burlington, Vermont, and is a member of the League of Vermont Writers and a graduate of the WoMentoring Project. This is her first novel.
You will find her here:
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/friends-and-other-liars-kaela-coble/1126273509
To all my old friends:
So here you all are. Nice to see you can show up for a person once he’s dead.
When Ruby St. James returns to her hometown, it is to the grave of her old friend Danny, a member of a group that was, ten years ago, Ruby’s whole world. The crew made a pact back then: stay together, stay loyal, and stay honest. But that was before all of the lies.
Because even friends keep secrets. They just don’t stay secret for long.
Now Danny has left behind a letter for each of them, issuing one final ultimatum: share your darkest betrayal to the group, or risk it coming out in a trap he has created. When past mistakes resurface, the lines of friendship blurb, and four old friends are left trying to understand what it means to lie to the ones you love best.
Ruby grew up in a small town. She moved away 10 years ago right after High School and never returned. Now she has to come back for a funeral because one of her old friends committed suicide. Coming home brings back bad memories. She used to be very close to her childhood friends. They promised themselves to look out for and be absolutely honest to each other. But everybody keeps a secret. Somehow Danny knew these secrets and after his death he leaves some letters for his friends. He wants them to reveal their secrets to each other or otherwise somebody else will expose them.
It took a while to get into the book. At first it is confusing with all the characters and their connections. The book is told from multiple POV and time, past and present. I must admit that I was not able to connect to any of the characters. They seem so unlikely friends. They all came from more or less dysfunctional families and that tied them together. But I thought that they were all very different I was wondering if the really still liked each other or just thought they have to stick together because of their history. They kept secrets about the most important things in their life and did not share them with one another. So I get a weird feeling about their so proclaimed friendship.
The book did not quite grip me as I hoped it would. For a long time it’s all about the complicated relationship between Ruby and Murphy and their on/off love affair. Both are back and forth all the time about themselves and most of the time they talk past one another. This part of the story was dragged too much for my taste. I don’t like love stories. And this book felt too much like one. But nevertheless it kept my interest all the time.
This is not a bad book, it is an easy and interesting read. I don’t mind when I don’t like the characters. I still can enjoy the story. And I did most of the time. I liked the ending, though. It is not a very twisted story but somehow honest and true to life. Just a little bit too much lover’s struggle for my taste.
This was absolutely crazy! Mindf*cking genius!
I will not try to retell the story. I don’t know if I really understood everything. I experienced a revelation a few minutes ago about one thing I was wondering about and it made me gasp in adoration about the cleverness of the story. This unusual book is a mix of a good old crime story à la Agatha Christie, time travel, Groundhog Day and something else which I have no word for. Neither in English nor in my mother tongue German.
Imaging yourself waking up every morning to the same day but inside a different person. You have to live through the same day again and again. You remember what happened the last time you relived it and what the person you were did. I began to ask myself very soon why this is happening and how this can be possible. To my great pleasure the riddle was solved at the end. And in a way I did not expect.
I will not even try to summarize the complex story. It is full of details and surprising moments. There were many situations in which I asked myself how this could work and how the main character Aidan had figured this all out. I was totally lost with the time table. I just trusted Aidan and the author of getting it all right. But at the end I –almost- understood everything and it left me back in awe of the talent of the author. What a great story and a great concept. What an amazing piece of work.
The book takes its time and it is a very long book. But it needs all this pages to unfold its story with every detail. You can be sure that your patience and confusion will be rewarded at the end. I was so pleased how everything turned out and was explained. This is the kind of story where a struggling ending could have ruined everything. But here happened quite the contrary. The end and the moment I really got the book finally made it for me all the better and it turned into a 5 star while I considered it temporarily as a 4 star.
This book may not be for everyone. It is beautifully written but also a bit slow and confusing. The story is so far away from everything I have read in the last years and that was so refreshing. It was worth my time and the little struggle with keeping up with all what’s happening. I really had to focus while reading. But it was fun and amazing. I really enjoyed it. If you are up to something unusual and want a challenge then this may be the right book for you.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
This was one of my most anticipated books from last year. I received it from NetGalley months ago but I wanted to read it closer to its publishing date and because I had so much other books to read. I’ve read so many raving reviews about it and its twists. So my expectations were high and that is not always a good thing.
Sometimes it is good to read reviews and know what you are expecting and sometimes you better avoid knowing too much about a book. Both apply to this book. I was glad that I read so many reviews which praised it twistiness because for the first 40% into it I was a bit disappointed. The pace was extremely slow and it felt like a mediocre psychological thriller. I must admit that I guessed the first twist. I can’t say why because that would be a spoiler. After that the story moved on faster and finally it griped me.
So, if I had not read all the frantic reviews, I maybe would have stopped reading. That was the good thing about knowing something about the book: that there was something going to happen. The other good thing is that I did not know much about the story itself and I will not tell anything about it neither. So I kept reading. I desperately wanted to know what the fuss was all about.
After finishing the book I understand why the first part was so slow. Everything was built up and we get to know the characters and what is going on, at least you think you know what’s going on. You think you know the story already: wife, cheating husband, mistress and drama. So the twist will come like a blow into your face. It is kind of a cheap trick how the author built this first part of the book. But it worked. So if you don’t see what the author has in stock for you it is a major surprise. And there are more surprises on the way.
What you get here is a well-crafted and twisted domestic drama. My only problems with it were that it started very slow and a bit dragging. I could also not connect to the female main character. I just think she was stupid. All the time until the end even all she went through. But as I said, after struggling my way through half of it I suddenly found it extremely gripping and could not stop reading.
Although I guessed the major twist and being only mildly surprised about the other turns I can say I enjoyed it. It held my attention not right from the beginning but it got better. The story was not as shocking or inventive as I expected but it was a fun read. I would recommend it to anybody who loves a twisted psychological thriller.