The Chalet is a debut thriller, and it’s a great ride. Told from several vantage points, and from two timelines, we are taken to an Alpine ski resort. In the present day, a wealthy group has gathered in a luxury chalet, and of course there are secrets. Ria has come with her husband Hugo, who in turn is hoping to impress Simon so that he might invest in Hugo’s travel business. The lecherous Simon has brought his young wife Cass, their infant baby and a nanny. Meanwhile, everyone is catered for by a chalet girl in this designer paradise.
In a separate timeline we go back to 1998 where brothers Adam and Will are on holiday in the same resort with their girlfriends. Something goes amiss and an off-piste skiing session in bad weather goes awry.
How are these stories related? What happened more than twenty years ago that will impact on the present day?
These are the questions we face in this fast-paced page-turner that I read in a single sitting.
The narrative is presented in the first person, and it jumps around between the characters, in a style similar to Lucy Foley’s The Hunting Party and The Guest List.
What’s interesting is that it’s not always easy to know who you should be rooting for. Most of the characters have flaws in some way, and a couple of them are particularly unlikeable.
There are a few good twists along the way, and while things mostly become obvious in due course, Cooper still has a couple of things up her sleeve.
Thanks to the NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book in return for an honest review. The Chalet is published in paperback and ebook on 12 November 2020.