Published in 2020, The Chalet by Catherine Cooper follows two timelines. The first is set in 1998 in the French Alps who two young men ski into a blizzard, but only one returns. Twenty years later, four friends go on a luxury getaway to the same resort. Each has a secret, two may have blood on their hands, and one is a killer-in-waiting. Someone knows what really happened that day. And somebody will pay.
A gripping and chilly thriller, The Chalet is a thoroughly entertaining read that feels like a weekend away with all of the fun that it takes you on.
Combining her love of skiing and thriller books, you can tell that Cooper is writing from some experience as I felt like I was on the slopes with these characters, feeling the harsh wind on my cheeks and the aching in my thighs from the exercise. Unlike those attempting a ski, I was dreaming of being back at the luxury resort, sat in the hot tub with a glass of bubbly and getting stuck into this gripping thriller.
I didn’t read the synopsis before starting this book (I merely went off the constantly great reviews I was reading!) and I’m glad that I didn’t, as I had no idea how the two narratives were going to come together. I think that there were parts that could have been more seamless in their transition, but I also appreciate that Cooper didn’t take too long to get to the main action.
As a debut novel, Cooper does a remarkable job of building up the tension. The drama is entertaining, the revelations are dark, and the thrills are adrenaline-pumping. With engaging characters and beautifully-described settings, it’s everything that you want from a quick-paced thriller.
Immensely enjoyable, this is definitely a book worth picking up. I can’t wait to see what Cooper writes next!