FORECAST FRIDAY: THE GIRL REMAINS by Katherine Firkin (Penguin, May 2021)
Katherine Firkin’s debut novel Sticks and Stones got a little lost in the flood of very good Australian crime novels last year and probably overshadowed by the outstanding debuts by Kyle Perry and Gabriel Bergmoser. Which is a shame, as it was a very entertaining police thriller with a good storyline.
The good news is that Katherine is now back with what seems to be a stronger second novel, The Girl Remains.
Due out in early May 2021, The Girl Remains has a classic cold case premise. Twenty years ago fifteen-year-old Cecilia May disappeared while on a camp with her two girlfriends near the small Victorian coastal town of Blairgowrie. The other two girls told conflicting stories of what happened that night and the only suspect had an airtight alibi. No one knows what happened to Cecilia, but now her bones seem to have been found on an isolated beach. Detective Emmett Corban and his team dig through the evidence to identify what was missed in the original investigation and to finally bring a resolution to a case that has haunted the community and the families of the three girls for over twenty years. But their investigations are also complicated by internal politics and the arrival of a mysterious woman in Blairgowrie who is prepared to do whatever it takes to bring her own form of justice.
I have started reading The Girl Remains and I am impressed with what seems to be a good step-up in writing and plotting by Katherine. The story quickly engages the reader and it moves along at a good pace. The central characters have a ring of truth to them and those who liked Sticks and Stones will enjoy the return of Emmett Corban and his wife Cindy from that earlier book. It is shaping up as a good winter read.
I will be doing a review of The Girl Remains closer to the release date, but it certainly seems like one that you should be putting down on your ‘to read’ list. It also has a really good, evocative cover.
The Girl Remains will be released on 5 May 2021 in Australia and on Kindle in the United States. Thanks to Penguin Random House Australia and the Canberra Weekly for an advanced copy of the book.
Here is a link to my review of Sticks and Stones from last year: https://murdermayhemandlongdogs.com/sticks-and-stones-by-katherine-firkin-bantam-2-june-2020/