An elite prep school frozen in the snow
Three friends linked by a tragic secret
One girl taken by the night
The Côte d’Azur – 25 years ago
One freezing night, as her campus is paralyzed by a snowstorm, 19-year-old Vinca Rockwell, the most beautiful and glamorous girl in her prep school, runs away with her philosophy teacher, with whom she has been conducting a secret affair. For Vinca, “love is everything or nothing.”
She will never be seen again.
The Côte d’Azur – Present day
Once inseparable, Manon, Thomas and Maxime — Vinca’s best friends — have not spoken since graduation. They meet again at their reunion. Twenty-five years earlier, under terrible circumstances, the three of them committed a murder and buried the bodyin the gymnasium wall, the same wall that is about to be demolished to make way for an ultramodern new building.
What really happened that long-ago winter night? Now nothing stands in the way of the truth coming out.
Set on a dual timeline the story is told between past and present as it follows Thomas, a successful author, as he returns to France to attend a school reunion. A return to his past and a return to that one night that changed the lives of Thomas and his best friend Maxime’s lives for good. And now the secrets of that night are about to come to light and change their lives once again.
Thomas was in love with Vinca, everyone is in love with Vinca but Thomas’s love isn’t reciprocated and campus rumour is that she is in love with the philosophy teacher, Alexis. Rumour also has it that the pair eloped together and neither has been seen since. But Thomas and Maxime know that that’s all it ever was, a rumour. Vinca couldn’t have run away with Alexis because Alexis is dead and the reason they know that is because they killed him. What they don’t know is what happened to Vinca, where she went and why.
Translated from French there is a lot of references to literature, music and arts that maybe didn’t translate into English so well but it could be that I am not as educated as the author! My school education is lacking as I hated school so I certainly won’t be attending any school reunions! But our intrepid protagonist didn’t have much choice to attend his school reunion. His best friend from his school years has contacted him after 25 years with news that will turn both their lives upside-down.
After killing Alexis his body was buried inside the wall of the schools gymnasium and now that building is about to be demolished. Alongside the body is the murder weapons which have their fingerprints and DNA so it won’t be long after the body is discovered for the police to be knocking on their doors. Returning to the school also brings back old feelings Thomas still harbours for the missing Vinca so he decides to revisit the past and begin his own investigate to what did happen to her and why she disappeared.
Full with a diverse range of characters, set in a beautiful location the story flows at a moderate rate that is easy to read, all but for me the French references of which there are quite a few, but they don’t distract from the plot and it is to easy to forget the time as you become drawn into the mystery that is Vinca Rockwell.
What begins with a murder soon leads to a host secrets and lies and the plot thickens. With some twists and turns along the way this is one hell of a school reunion!
The Reunion will be published on 11 July 2019 and is available for pre order now
Thank you to the author Guillaume Musso, publishers Orion Publishing Group and NetGalley for my copy of the book in exchange for an honest and independently review.