FORECAST FRIDAY: THE GIRL SHE WAS by Alafair Burke
There is still a month to the end of 2021, but the advance proofs of books due out in 2022 are already beginning to mount up!
One book I have already dived into is Alafair Burke’s The Girl She Was (Faber, 5 January 2022).
This is the sixth book in Alafair’s well regarded series about New York detective Ellie Hatcher, but most of the action this time is seen through the eyes of other characters, principally lawyer Lindsay Kelly who is looking for a lost friend, and can be read as a stand-alone novel.
The basic premise of the story is that fourteen years ago the woman now known as Hope Miller was found unconscious, thrown from an overturned vehicle, with no clue to her identity. Partially adopted by the local police chief and his then teenage daughter, Lindsay, Hope eventually started a new life, but never recovered her memory. Now Hope has gone missing after moving to The Hamptons to gain some independence. Lindsay is concerned for her friend, although the local police are reluctant to do much about it. When a drop of blood connects the site of Hope’s disappearance to a notorious Kansas murderer, Lindsay turns to NYPD homicide detective Ellie Hatcher for help. Ellie has her own personal connection to the Kansas case and she joins Lindsay in the search for the truth beneath long-buried secrets and Hope’s real identity.
Alafair is a talented and entertaining author and The Girl She Was certainly provides plenty of enjoyment and mystery. The investigative detail is nicely woven into the story and the plot generally moves along at a decent pace. The opening sections certainly keep you engaged and interested in what is happening, and there are some solid twists and turns as the story unfolds. The characters are nicely handled and developed, especially Lindsay, and there is a real tenderness to some of the relationships.
The Girl She Was probably lacks the high tension and suspense you would want from a thriller and falls more into the crime/police novel camp, with a heavy dollop of the relationship angst you would expect from a domestic suspense novel. The ending probably comes together a bit too easily, but it is certainly entertaining and Burke concludes the book with a nice gentle twist.
In all, certainly one to look out for in the New Year!
The Girl She Was will be released in Australia on 5 January 2022 and in the United Kingdom on 11 January 2022. It will be released in the United States on 11 January 2022 under the title Find Me.