Title: Girl, 11
Author: Amy Suiter Clarke
Publisher: Pushkin Vertigo
Publication Date: 3rd June 2021
True crime podcaster Elle Castillo has long been obsessed with The Countdown Killer.
Twenty years ago, he went on a killing spree. Each new victim was a year younger than the last.
Now, he’s back.
Elle must stop the deadly countdown before the killer can claim his next victim.
In the past I’ve really enjoyed books that include the format of a true crime podcast (Sadie by Courtney Summers and the exceptional Six Stories series by Matt Wesolowski spring to mind) so I had really high hopes for Girl, 11 and I’m pleased to say my expectations were met and quite possibly exceeded! The story follows Elle Castillo, a podcaster doing a series on the infamous Countdown Killer, a serial killer from the 90’s. As her podcast gains more and more attention and she starts to get close to unmasking the killer suddenly he seems to resurface from his twenty year hiatus and Elle finds herself in a race against time to stop more bloodshed.
I absolutely loved Girl, 11 which is the very definition of unputdownable – I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough as the the pace gathered speed towards a dramatic conclusion. I don’t want to give much away because there are some fantastic twists and red herrings which I would hate to spoil but I will say that the story is a smart and thrilling journey into the mind of a brilliant lead character and a terrifying villain. I was rooting for Elle from the start. She is capable and brave but also very human with layers and flaws that made me like her all the more. The podcast element works beautifully, we get transcripts of the episodes whilst also following Elle in real time as she digs further and further into the darkness of The Countdown Killer. Girl, 11 is a current, intelligent and unnerving psychological thriller which also take things further and begins to explore the fascination people, often women, have with true crime. It is an immensely skilful debut and all I can say is I desperately hope that we get more instalments of Elle’s podcast, Justice Delayed in future books from this very talented author.
I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.
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