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.
Aura and Nick are a mismatched couple. Married in their early twenties, they have two young children named Sorrel and Bay. This probably says a lot more about Aura than it does about Nick.
Aura is like a poor man’s Gwyneth Paltrow with all her new age beliefs, some of which I agreed with (healthy food, no plastic toys) and some of which I didn’t (children sleeping in the same bed as their parents, homeopathic remedies for everything). And a brain like a sieve. She is training to be a counsellor. Of course she is. I’m saying nothing.
The couple have moved to France, where they have purchased a run down chateau which they plan to do up and run as a posh B & B. Unfortunately their decision to move to France was far from romantic – it was driven by something awful which involved Nick and this was a last-ditch attempt to save their marriage. Personally I wouldn’t have bothered, but I guess they thought it was worth trying for the sake of the kids.
Just to make it worse, Aura has agreed for a documentary crew (Seb and Chloe) to come in and film them 24/7 for a TV programme called French Fancy. Oh dear, I hear you say, this can only end in disaster. Anyone less naive than Aura knows all about editing. They can make you appear like a loving couple on a life-changing journey, or they can show you as a constantly arguing pair of idiots. You can guess which one applies here.
The story takes place in two locations – partly in France at the chateau and partly in London before they ‘had’ to move. But it’s not long before things start to go wrong in their new home. Dead bunnies, strange noises and things that go bump in the night, coupled with some seriously odd neighbours including the slightly pervy Frank and glamorous hostess Thea with her ‘special’ parties. Then there is Helen who gets free board and lodging in exchange for being an unpaid au pair. She’s great with the children but she could be an axe-murderer (or bunny boiler) for all Aura knows.
The Chateau is one of the most entertaining books I have read this year. It gallops along, full of tension, twists and excitement. In fact there are so many possibilities, you’ll be sent down dead end after dead end thinking you’ve worked it out – and haven’t. I loved it.
About the Author
Catherine Cooper is a freelance journalist writing for many national newspapers and magazines, specialising in travel. She also makes regular appearances as a talking head on daytime TV. She lives in France with her husband and two teenage children. Her debut thriller THE CHALET was a top five Sunday Times bestseller and spent three weeks in the Kindle top 100. THE CHATEAU is her second novel.