Review: Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan


3 stars


Today I know that L. is the sole reason for my powerlessness. And that the two years that we were friends almost made me stop writing for ever.

Overwhelmed by the huge success of her latest novel, exhausted and unable to begin writing her next book, Delphine meets L. L. is the kind of impeccable, sophisticated woman who fascinates Delphine; a woman with smooth hair and perfectly filed nails, and a gift for saying the right thing. Delphine finds herself irresistibly drawn to her, their friendship growing as their meetings, notes and texts increase. But as L. begins to dress like Delphine, and, in the face of Delphine’s crippling inability to write, L. even offers to answer her emails, and their relationship rapidly intensifies. L. becomes more and more involved in Delphine’s life until she patiently takes control and turns it upside down: slowly, surely, insidiously.


This is a slow burner, don’t expect to go into this one and be met with action and mystery straight away… Or at any point, really. This whole book is a character study, and if you’ve been following my reviews for a while, you know I’m not hugely into these kinds of books, unless I’m absolutely captivated. Unfortunately, I wasn’t completely captivated by this one.

I really loved the writing in this novel, it was superb and if de Vigan wrote more books in my favourite genres, I’d likely read them just for her style of telling a story. This book is written as though you are reading a book… if that makes sense, so you are instantly pulled in to the narrator’s life, but unfortunately, it wasn’t all that exciting.

I was waiting for some big reveal in the story, as others had claimed this was to come… but nothing happened that I wasn’t expecting to happen. This lack of twist was a real let down for me, it’s one of those books that’s left me thinking “really, that was it?”.

I don’t hate this book. It was well thought out, well written and has very well developed characters. The tension of the novel is built perfectly, but it leads to nothing. Yes, this leaves you questioning the truth, it makes you think, but it didn’t leave me excited, shocked or thrilled, and that’s ultimately what I look for in a mystery / thriller novel.  

P.S. Don’t read this book if you haven’t watched The Usual Suspects but you want to, it spoils the entire plot… I hate when books do that! Good thing I’ve already seen the movie.

Buy it here!

Thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.


8 Replies to “Review: Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan”

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