|Title:||Girl Number One|
|Published:||September 27, 2016, Thomas & Mercer|
|No. of Pages:||368|
|Cover Price:||$15.99 Paperback, $3.99 Kindle|
Ellie Blackwood witnessed her mother’s murder in the woods when she was six years old. Eighteen years later to the day Ellie is jogging in the woods and sees the body of a woman, who appears to have been strangled, lying on the exact spot where her mother was found. There is a distinct number 3 on her forehead. When Ellie reports it to the police, they come to investigate but find no evidence of a body. Girl Number One by Jane Holland is a psychological thriller set in the small town of Cornwall (UK). She has much to deal with, and the police think she is seeing things and is possibly a bit unstable. Since her mother’s death, Ellie’s father has lived the life of an alcoholic, so he is no help. When Ellie and one of her friends find another body of a strangled woman with the number 2 on her forehead, Ellie realizes that she is number 1. As the story unfolds, Ellie works hard to uncover clues to the new murders, her mother unsolved murder, and also to prevent her own murder before the murderer is exposed. There are several acquaintances that she suspects may be the murderer, including an old boyfriend who isn’t interested in her anymore, but with whom she is friends. When Ellie was six, she saw her mother’s murderer, but her mind has blocked out everything except his white tennis shoes.
Holland is an excellent storyteller, and not only is the story interesting, but the suspense is palpable and will keep readers on the edge of their seats. There is some charm in the UK setting, and most of the characters seem to be typical lower-class kids with questionable morals and language.
The book is fast-moving and well-written. The suspense builds throughout, and readers won’t know who the murderer is until the very end. While there are some adult situations that may not be suitable for younger adults, the violence, sex, and language are not particularly graphic and mostly serves to set the scene and portray the characters and their roles in the story.
Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.