Book Review: The American Girl by Kate Horsley

The American Girl by Kate Horsley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publisher: William Morrow

Summary:   On a quiet summer morning seventeen-year-old American exchange student Quinn Perkins stumbles out of the woods near the small French town of St. Roch, barefoot, bloodied, and unable to say what has happened to her.

Quinn's appearance creates a stir, especially since her host family, the Blavettes, has mysteriously disappeared. Now the media, and everyone in the idyllic village, are wondering if the American girl has anything to do with the missing family.

A Boston reporter named Molly Swift travels to St. Roch, prepared to do anything to learn the truth and score the ultimate scoop. After Quinn is arrested and a trial by media ensues, she finds an unlikely ally in the young journalist. Molly unravels the disturbing secrets of the town's past in an effort to clear Quinn's name, but even she is forced to admit that the American girl makes a compelling suspect.

Is Quinn truly an innocent abroad, or is she a cunning, diabolical killer intent on getting away with murder?

This began so very strong with Quinn, the American study abroad student who stumbles out of a copse of trees into the road and is promptly run down by a hit and run driver. The principal mystery of what's happened to her was solid. Enter Molly, podcast reporter, who surreptitiously gains access as Quinn's "aunt". to the hospital where Quinn is convalescing. Add in more layers with a dying resort town with some serious creep and organized crime, some eerie caves and a dead girl. This is a great setup and sadly it didn't fully deliver for me. And the final resolution left me incredulous.

Somewhere around a third of the way in, the tension falls off a bit and this meandered more than was necessary. This definitely straddled the line of my patience where I almost didn't give a damn about the central mystery and I tend to have a lot of patience for mysteries. By three quarters of the way in, I pretty much ceased caring deeply and just wanted to know if my suspicions were correct.

I'd say that if you never read it, you'll still have lived a full life but it isn't a bad book at all. It's a twisty story with a few mysteries but the suspense just evaporated. This one just didn't live up to my expectations. Neutral on recommendation.

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