Series: The Calderwood Cases #1
Published by Thomas & Mercer on May 1, 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Crime, Mystery & Detective, Thriller
Source: I Bought It
Reading Challenges: Monthly Motif 2019, New Release 2019
Solving the case will avenge her sister—unless the killer finds her first.
It’s been fifteen years since Claire Calderwood’s sister, Rachel, was brutally murdered in their small hometown in Maine. Claire has finally carved out a life for herself as a homicide detective in Detroit, but the past comes calling when the local police back home ask for her help with a murder eerily similar to Rachel’s.
Still haunted by Rachel’s cold case, Claire returns home, hoping to solve the crime and finally put her grief to rest. As she starts investigating, the last thing she needs is tenacious journalist Noah Washington asking questions she’s not ready to answer. But like her, Noah won’t give up until he finds the truth—and Claire reluctantly finds herself relying on him more and more when disturbing new details about Rachel’s death come to light.
When the killer strikes once again, Claire knows he’s not done. Now he’s set his sights on Claire, who will have to find the courage she needs to survive a deadly confrontation years in the making.
I am hugely fascinated by True Crime yet when it comes to reading fiction, crime is not a genre I naturally gravitate towards. I’m not sure why because when I do read crime fiction, I usually enjoy it quite a bit. The Next Girl to Die is the debut novel of author Dea Poirier and is the first in a series focusing around a detective called Claire Calderwood.
my review of Next Girl to Die by Dea Poirier
In her first outing, Claire is beckoned back to her hometown following the murder of a young girl, a crime which holds many similarities to a death around 15 years earlier – Claire’s elder sister Rachel.
Although Claire has carved out a pretty decent career for herself as a homicide detective in Detroit, she is still haunted by the death of her sister and when the local police department ask her to head up the investigation, Claire knows she has no choice but to return home, despite serious misgivings she may have about returning to her old life.
The investigation is initially hampered by a journalist called Noah Washington who has been digging into her sister’s cold case, asking questions Claire isn’t quite ready to answer about her sister’s final days. However, after a further murder, Claire realizes she may have a serial killer on her hands. Initially skeptical of Noah’s interest in the case, she soon realizes he may be crucial to helping her solve these sinister murders, before anyone else gets hurt.
This was definitely a strong debut from Dea Poirier. I instantly connected with Claire, despite her initial aloofness you could tell she was nursing a lot of old hurts. She kept herself at a distance from everyone around her, which while understandable, only added to the feeling she was alone against the world.
I was never able to get a decent read on Noah, and thought his relationship with Claire sprung up a little too fast, but given the circumstances I could see why Claire would turn to him.
The townsfolk were a mixed bag. Some real strange characters – it was hard at first to get a sense of them and you knew one of them had to be behind the killings but it wasn’t an obvious suspect because they all seemed like suspects if that makes any sense?
I did also really enjoy the dual narratives – some of the story was told in flashback form and although it doesn’t always work for me as a narrative choice, I thought it did a good job here making Rachel feel like a real person despite being long dead.
The ending was maybe a little abrupt but the build up was pretty great and I did enjoy Claire as a main character. Given that this is going to be an ongoing series with Claire at the centre, the overly quick resolution can be forgiven and I don’t doubt that Claire will be given the chance to reflect on everything in the next books.
to sum up
A solid debut with an interesting story and a main character who was compelling if not overly warm (but hey, she doesn’t have to be!) I would definitely recommend this one and I will certainly be continuing with this series.
for more of my reviews, click the below link:
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: