Girl, 11

Amy Suiter Clarke. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25 (352p) ISBN 978-0-358-41893-1
In Clarke’s solid debut, former social worker Elle Castillo investigates unsolved crimes against children and shares her findings on the true crime podcast she produces from her home in the Twin Cities. Her current podcast focuses on the Countdown Killer (aka TCK), whose first known victim was a 20-year-old Minnesota woman. TCK is a meticulous planner. Each victim is one year younger than the last, poisoned with ricin, and her body is discovered exactly seven days after her abduction. TCK’s crimes stopped after an 11-year-old victim escaped, but Elle’s focus on the case seems to end his hiatus, as a 10-year-old girl is abducted soon after Elle goes to interview a man who emailed a tip to her program and finds him murdered. As Elle embeds with the police, the case reawakens memories of her own childhood trauma. Her stress turns to panic when another 10-year-old girl, a neighbor’s daughter, disappears after Elle forgets to pick her up from piano lessons. Despite some implausibilities, such as the police allowing Elle to consult on the case, Clarke’s nuanced narrative will keep readers hooked. Fans of Lisa Jewell should take note. Agent: Sharon Pelletier, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/02/2021
Release date: 04/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-358-49493-5
Compact Disc - 304 pages - 978-0-358-44902-7
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