THE GIRLFRIEND, by Michelle Frances, Pan Macmillian UK/Publishers Group Canada


The addictive Number One bestselling thriller, perfect for fans of Into the Water.

A girl. A boy. His mother. And the lie she’ll wish she’d never told.

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances is a gripping and chilling debut psychological thriller, based on the fall-out following an unforgivable lie. It looks at the potentially charged relationship between girlfriend, boyfriend and his mother, which most women can identify with, and locates it in an extreme but believable setting.

Laura has it all. A successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn’t had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura’s life.

Cherry comes to the family wide-eyed and wants to be welcomed with open arms, but Laura suspects she’s not all that she seems.

When tragedy strikes, an unforgivable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.

Michelle Frances

Michelle Frances graduated from Bournemouth Film School in 1996 and then from the Masters program at the American Film Institute, Los Angeles, in 1998. Returning to London, she has worked for several years in film and TV as a script editor and producer for both the independent sector and the BBC.

The Girlfriend is her first novel.


Okay, I received this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

As a debut novel, I felt this book was well done.  Vibes from the movie “Monster-In-Law” came into play for me while reading this book.   Although it’s suppose to be a Suspense Fiction, I really felt it was more to do with family drama involving one majorly dysfunctional rich family.  A slow burn up until about halfway and then an explosive shove occurs to race to an unforgettable end.

The character development was awesome despite the slow moving transitions from one plot event to another. There were a few predictable plot twists (and a few unpredictable), ending with very predictable turns. The saving grace for all the plot issues was the author’s incredible voice. Her writing style was smooth and unexpected for a debut author.

Laura comes across as very strong, yet desperate. She seems to have a lot to deal with. Her obsession, although unhealthy, is understandable considering the idiot of a husband she has.  His affair and treatment of her would put anyone in therapy for years because of the emotional abuse she endures. I do and don’t understand why she chooses to stay, but this relationship breakdown with her husband absolutely explains her obsession with her son.  That, and the fact that she lost one child before Daniel and feels partly to blame for this death, her desire to hold tightly to her only remaining child is understandable.  The woman needs serious therapy. Perhaps, Michelle Frances can write it up in the sequel, “The Analysis of Laura.” lol ok, maybe not.

The manipulation of Daniel was pitiful. It was written well, but was so sad to watch it unfold, and all I could think of, was how dense he was, or, how naive and shame on the women for treating him so horribly.

So, I was obviously invested in this story, being pulled in to the cat fight and emotional tug-of-war Daniel faced.

Cherry was a typical money grubber, out to find herself a rich husband. I didn’t like her, or her character as it grew. She was fake, selfish, self-centered oh, I should just say a narcissistic sociopath.  I’d protect my family from that too.

Laura and Cherry’s interactions were excellently written.  I hated it all. lol I found myself enjoying the story even if it did strike me a time or two as being something that Danielle Steele would write.

As a character driven book reader, finding myself hating both the Protagonist and the Antagonist was quite unexpected, interesting and enjoyable, not to mention something I rarely read. It was interesting to find that I could still like a story despite hating the main characters which surely points to the writing prowess of the author? Kudos for such an accomplishment.

If you like insane roller coaster rides, then I highly recommend this book.

I gave it:


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