Cover Image: The Chateau

The Chateau

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Member Reviews

Having loved the chalet by this author I was looking forward to
This. It is a great thriller with lots of twists and turns set in what you would imagine to be an idyllic chateau in the French countryside although all isn’t as it seems and there are lots of deep and dark secrets hidden between the surface. This is a parallel storyline with current events being intertwined with events from
The past. This was
An engaging read.
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With The Chateau Catherine Cooper has produced another really pacy, twisty read.

The story is set in France where Nick & Aura have bought a Chateau to do up but really they're escaping their lives & pasts in London. The action goes back & forth between France now & London in the recent past, slowly revealing the events that have led them to uproot their lives. I thought I had it all figured out but the twists kept coming as the story was revealed. The ending had me with a satisfied grin on my face as certain characters revealed their motives & some got the ending they deserved. 

This would make a great holiday read as its got lots of chapter breaks, moves quickly & is full of action.
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Catherine Cooper has written another cracking piece of fiction set in the southern French region of Mozène. Nick and Aura live in London and decide to take a rustic chateau in need of renovation. Their marriage is on the rocks and they are hoping for a fresh start after something happened in England that they don't mention. The couple have two children, Bay and Sorrel, both very young lads, and the chateau was bought from a windfall; money Aura inherited. They have ambitious plans for their property and the couple quickly make friends finding the ex-pat community welcoming. That is until they are guests at an extravagant party held at the turreted Chateau Amaryllis for Halloween and someone dies, found by a waitress...

The story is presented across dual timelines: around the time of the family's move to France, but then also to a point a few months earlier when Aura and Nick were still in London. The author uses various protagonists to provide the narrative and succeeds in giving each a creditable voice.

The setting was fantastic and richly described in all its beauty. With plenty of chilling notes, dodgy incidents and unexplained occurrences, my attention never wavered. Even though few of the characters were really likeable and one or two downright deplorable, they were all excellently drawn and developed and were perfect in their roles. I was blind-sided many times with misdirection, twists and seemingly innocuous details. The Chateau was a wildly entertaining and mesmerising tale with brilliant pacing and a delicious ending and I'm sure you'll want to keep turning the pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from HarperCollins via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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I mostly enjoyed reading this book. I feel it started well, I loved the setting, and the mysterious death at a Halloween party.  But as the story progressed the focus shifted to past events and an inappropriate relationship (no spoilers).   I didn't enjoy these characters, I found it rather predictable and frustrating to read. With a cast of unlikable characters it was difficult to find anyone to root for but it did keep me interested enough to want to find out what happened in the end. I enjoyed this authors previous book The Chalet much more.
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So many unlikeable characters but makes for an interesting read.
Nick and Aura buy a run down Chateau in France after an indiscretion at the school Nick works at which forces him to resign.
There with their two boys they start working  on the Chateau followed by a camera crew who are filming for a documentary. 
Their marriage is crumbling and Aura has some very weird ideas about how to bring up her boys. Most of the time Aura dumps them on the nanny Helen who is backpacking around France.
There are two plots here running parallel. 
Plenty of drama and spooky goings on.
Generally I did enjoy this although not as much as The Chalet.
Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins for the ARC in return for an honest review
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The Chateau is the story of Aura and Nick who have just arrived in France to start a new life with their children in their newly purchased Chateau. It does need a hell of a lot of work and renovation though to get it to the point where they can run it as a B&B for tourists. Not only do they have all that to get on with but they understandably want to start to get to know the local expat community. Not long after they arrive strange happenings start in their home, lights randomly turning on in the middle of the night, music playing in the early hours of the morning, and dead animals appearing in the house. But do they deserve it?? Has someone discovered their dark secret? As the story goes on tensions and stress levels rise as Nick and Aura try to keep the secret of why they really left the UK. And when a neighbour is murdered at an expat party the couple don't know who they can trust any more.
I have previously read and really enjoyed The Chalet by Catherine Cooper so when I spotted The Chateau I couldn't not jump at the chance to read it. I love this author's writing style and story telling so I was predictably gripped from the very beginning of the book. There are quite a number of characters in the book but they are so distinct that it's easy to keep track of who is who which was great. Each character has a sort of dark side which made me want to keep reading to discover what it was. I think it's brilliant how the author has written the book in a way that it sort of pushes readers down a path with regards to our feelings about certain characters but then in the next part it would completely flip that and I'd end up doubting and being suspicious of them. So I never had a chance to guess what the ending or the twist would be. And that's what I want from a thriller.
The Chateau is another fantastic book by Catherine Cooper and I can't wait to read more from her in the future.
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The Chateau is the story of a family who sold up their home in London and bought a property in France, in serious need of repair. We learn from Aura, wife and dedicated mother, that the decision to move was taken following a misdemeanor by husband and secondary school teacher Nick requiring a fresh start. The expat community in the area are very welcoming and helpful, suggesting local agencies that can provide live-in help for almost no cost. Aura applied to a television production company to have their transformation filmed as a warts-and-all style of documentary to provide additional income.

There is clearly some tension in their marriage but the new environment and circle of friends provides Aura and Nick a platform to move on; will the new project make or break their relationship?

The Chateau is full of interesting and suspicious characters whose interactions all keep the story moving along at a good pace. The plot is cleverly unraveled and perfectly resolved.
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Last year I read and loved The Chalet by the same author so I was very excited to read this one. Excited and also a bit apprehensive , would it be as good or would I be a bit disappointed.  Well I needn’t have worried as The Chateau was another excellent read.   From the very start I was hooked on the story and loved the two settings , what went on in England and the current setting at the chateau in France.  A book that I would highly recommend.
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After reading and enjoying The Chalet by this author I was excited to read the latest book The Chateau. I wasn’t disappointed.

Struggling couple Nick and Aura have moved to France and at the start we see them at very early stages of renovation on what they hope will become a beautiful chateau that will be their home and welcome paying guests. The book offers a dual time line so we see a before look at their life in the UK and slowly we discover what has made the couple decide on this major change after hearing from both Aura, Nick and others in the cast of characters.

In France the couple seem to be welcomed into the expat community, but who is friend and who is foe? Strange things start to happen which frighten Aura and the children but who can she trust? Back in time in the UK we see why the move was made and the potential scandal facing Nick.

The book builds suspense well and the characters are interesting, complex and unpeeled like onions. Some are more loveable than others are there are some very dark and disturbing parts with twists and turns especially at the climax.

Well worth a read for fans of thrillers and thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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A suspense thriller but where we could guess why things were happening and had an idea who might be behind them. I hadn't quite worked out who was who, and when we found out the killer I was left wondering about my initial assumption until the final twist. Nick and Aura are not likeable characters - Nick is firmly in the "my wife doesn't understand me" camp, and Aura is a self-indulgent, spoilt child who doesn't show any motherly instincts, apart from over protectiveness. The main back story was the scandal that drove them to move to France and renovate a dilapidated chateau, but the effects of Aura's decision not to vaccinate her children was on point and very topical. A troubled marriage, an emphasis on the "me, me, me" culture and some dramatic outcomes. #netgalley #thechateau
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I somehow didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would - there are many things that I liked such as the French chateau setting, the expat community, the TV show filming the family as they attempt to renovate their chateau and not snap at each other in front of the cameras… but my main issue is that there was a huge amount of build up and then all the drama was squashed into the last couple of chapters. I thought the characters were written well and I felt quite invested in Nick and Aura and their family. The story is split into two timelines of present day France and the year before in London - I much preferred the France timeline and felt that didn’t get enough airtime and a lot more could have been done with it throughout the story rather than crammed in at the beginning and end. 

The author’s writing style is definitely good and this story did have potential but it didn’t quite work for me. The final plot twists felt rushed and unbelievable and I wasn’t satisfied with the ending. I will be reading The Chalet at some point and will hope that I get on with that one better!
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The Chateau is a compulsive and luxurious thriller set in the French countryside. Meet Aura and Nick, a married couple from London who uproot and decide to emigrate to live in and drastically renovate a rustic chateau in the southern French region of Mozène. They moved there two months ago with their two young boys - Bay and Sorrel - and although it needs lots of work it has the potential to be their dream home. Purchased using money recently inherited by Aura, they also plan to run it as a chambres d’hôtes business in order to finance their lives after they escaped from an unspecified scandal that happened back in England. 

Former teacher Nick and his free-spirited wife agree to take part in a documentary, French Fancy, in which a television crew films them at home 24/7; a reality show depicting the process of home renovation after a family relocation to France. The crew consists of twenty-somethings Seb - the producer and director - and Chloe - the researcher - both of whom will reside with them for the entire filming process. Helen also lives in their spacious abode as Aura has embraced a scheme that allows her to provide Helen with room and board in exchange for assistance looking after her demanding children while they transform the property. 

The ex-pat community is large in the area too and they are welcoming to the family with Aura having made a few friends. But when an ex-pat neighbour, Thea, invites them to a sumptuous Halloween party at the fairytale-esque pristine Chateau Amaryllis, a gruesome murder of one of the guests takes place which they become alerted to when a waitress who had served them their extravagant hog roast dinner screams that she has found a body. Aura and Nick now don't know who to trust and the crime brings tensions back to the surface regarding their reason for escaping England. Is this their past threatening to come back to haunt them as it often does? 

Who is the victim, and why were they killed? This is a compulsive and enthralling thriller with plenty of eerie, unexplained incidents, devious twists and a story all about the desire for vengeance. It has a really brilliant setting – you have both beauty and danger which is a great mix and the lavish surroundings are not only beautifully described but provide some much-needed escapism. It is told from multiple perspectives and switches between the lead up to the murder and the eight months before the move to France where the reason for the move slowly unravels. If you enjoy shocking revelations and pacy drama set against a high-end backdrop, this is well worth a read. Highly recommended.
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I found The Chateau a little slow at the start but it doesn’t take too long to get going. There are lots of twists that I did not see coming particularly towards the end and what great twists they are! I thought it was really good how the past and present tie in together and also how the events from the past have led them to the chateau in France.
The characters were quite likeable despite some of the things they did however I did find Aura a bit annoying. Even though I think I preferred The Chalet the ending to The Chateau is fab! 
I constantly wanted to pick it up and keep reading!
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I previously enjoyed Catherine Cooper’s book The Chalet and so I was excited to read the ARC for The Chateau. 

The covers to the books are very similar and both felt very much within the same style. The Chateau is a twisty psychological thriller with well-drawn characters and Cooper’s writing leads you gently to make certain assumptions before twisting everything on its head. The characters are well developed, however I didn’t particularly like any of them! Aura and Mike seemed very self-obsessed and we didn’t particularly warm to any of the other side-characters either meaning you didn’t really have anyone to root for throughout the plot.

The piece jumps from present day in France for the first third, the past in London in the middle and then back to present day. The narration also jumps between three key characters which I thought worked well and helped to keep the pace up. However, there is a lot of build-up here, to the point that I got to around the 80% mark and I was still waiting for the main storyline to kick in as all we had were various parts to the story without an idea of how they all fit together. The middle London story line, which is more relationship and domestic focussed, also felt very different to the crime and horror elements which had been presented in the first third so in comparison it dragged a little as I wanted to skip through it to find out how it impacted what was happening in the present day.#

The ending was split into two parts which made it feel a little unrealistic – you have to hold your suspension of disbelief a little for it to work. Although one strand of the ending was well set up and made sense, the other one came completely out of left field. This was great to make a hard-hitting twist but it also felt a little ‘shoe-horned’ in and the end few chapters felt like a monologue of someone explaining why and what they did rather than making it a seamless piece of the story.

Overall, The Chateau isn’t quite as tightly plotted as Catherine Cooper’s previous book The Chalet but it’s still an engaging read and I’ll certainly keep an eye out for her next one! Thank you to NetGalley & Harper Collins UK – Harper Fiction for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I am not sure how to review this book.  I was a little frustrated because it changed locations and had too many cliff hangers! It seemed as though several stories were interacting and in too much detail  
But, clarification comes to those who read to the end where all the lose ends are finally tied up after a satisfying climax. 
An unusual plot expansion which had me guessing until the end.
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After an incident at school forces Nick to leave his teaching job, he and Aura decide to buy a rundown chateau in the South of France to start again with their two young sons. But then strange things start to happen that unsettles them all, and a body is found. Is somebody trying to stop their idyllic new life?

The Chateau is a good but complicated story, both in terms of the plot and the characters. Aura (short for Alison?) is so over the top obsessed with her children and herself that she is impossible to like or empathise with. At the same time, Nick, while not totally responsible for the situation, is definitely not completely innocent either. Of all the characters, about the only one to feel anything for would be Helen, the nanny, who obviously has a secret agenda, otherwise she wouldn’t put up with Aura’s behaviour for more than a day!

Full of twists and turns, with a finale that I certainly didn’t see coming, and with many coincidences that would be unlikely in real life, Catherine Cooper has written an entertaining novel, good for escaping with!
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This book was fast paced and jam packed with plenty going on!  It was very cleverly plotted, split in to three parts with multi narratives. 

We get to see the sides of both Nick and Aura .. neither really likeable but with more and more being revealed about their pasts it just made it more intriguing!

Nick and Aura meet some very eccentric characters as they start their new life in France. Alongside that they are being filmed for a TV show, following them in their new life as they do up the Chateau. They have also hired in Helen from 'happy help' who helps in the chateau with the children in exchange for free board. 

But with so many new faces and strange things starting to happen  Nick and Aura dont know who to trust! And we as the reader are kept guessing too...

What did they leave behind in London?
Who is behind the murder at the lavish party? And who is behind the strange goings in the Chateau? 

When the back story is revealed the plot really starts to come together.. although there are some surprise turns and plot twists that we didn't see coming..this made for a real page turner! ..🍷

I will definitely be reading more from Catherine Cooper!
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Wow,what a breathtaking read!
I loved it.
One of the main characters of Aura I throughly disliked,liked Nick though til partway through the story when my feelings changed,the characters so well written.
I could not read fast enough so engrossing was the story,so many twists and turns and offshooting tales but never overtaking from the main story and the ending expolsive!
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After loving The Chalet last year, I couldn’t wait to read Catherine Cooper’s follow up. And The Chateau is another fast-paced and mysterious holiday-set thriller full of exciting twists.

Cooper’s stories always gave a strong sense of entertainment to them, and The Chateau is certainly another wild journey told through a multi-layered narrative to keep you constantly on your toes.

However, I really struggled to engage with this one for two reasons. First, the story is split into present and past instead of going back and forth between the two timelines. Although this allows you to get to know Aura and Nick individually to sway your loyalty, I found the disconnect too much and started to forget about what was going on at the chateau while we were back in England.

Second, I constantly kept changing my mind about which character I hated the most. At first, it’s easy to put the blame on Nick because he seems so disinterested in his family. But then when you see things from the other side, you begin to see the flaws in Aura, instead. But what I didn’t like about this was that it felt like I was being convinced to dislike Aura because of her “hippy” parenting style. Although she was obviously struggling and there was plenty that I didn’t agree with, I’m quite open-minded and believe that parents can bring up their children however they see fit, so I felt like she was being attacked which is what prevented me from engaging fully.

This was just a personal niggle for me, though, and there is still so much that I enjoyed about this book. There are some great twists, and I love how Cooper adds a sense of fun in trying to figure out who’s behind these strange ongoings. I wasn’t far off with some of my predictions, but there’s sure to be plenty that will leave you gasping in shock.
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Aura and Nick have bought a chateau in France, it needs a lot of work but then so it seems does their marriage. They have to stay together because of the children. And they don’t ever mention what happened in England.

The community they move to has many expats and they are welcomed into this community. But one of the parties seems rather more than Aura and Nick bargained for.

Then the next party a dead body is found.

Nothing is as it seems and can anyone be trusted?

But then can Aura and Nick be trusted? What really happened in England and will that have any bearing on what seems to be going on in this French Chateau.

With plenty of twists and turns and the events in England you start to from your own opinion about this married couple until the inevitable happens?

Can you find the truth?

For me this was a fast paced, page turner which whizzed backwards and forwards from events in France and whatever happened to add the background of England. I despised the characters but that doesn’t mean I disliked the book. The skill in creating and writing people who you cannot bring yourself to like but still need to know more about is not easy. It can go two ways, readers sometimes don’t like it. For me I loved it.

A good second book and I would love to see what this author comes up with next as she definitely has the skill of hooking you in to a plot and some great characters.
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