BOOK REVIEW: The Girl Remains by Katherine Firkin

The Blurb (from Goodreads):

A chilling police thriller set in a small coastal town on the Mornington Peninsula, where the discovery of human bones on an isolated beach has reawakened a twenty-year-old cold case…

On the evening of September 22, 1998, three teenage girls venture out for a night of mischief in the coastal town of Blairgowrie. But only two return . . .

For over twenty years the disappearance of fifteen-year-old Cecilia May remains a baffling cold case - until human bones are discovered on an isolated beach.

Now it’s up to Detective Emmett Corban and his team to dig up decades of trauma, and find the missing piece of an investigation that’s as complex as it is tragic.

Does the answer lie with the only suspect, a registered sex offender who confessed, then immediately provided a rock-solid alibi? Or with the two teen survivors – neither of whom can keep their story straight?

But the police aren’t the only ones hunting for the truth: someone else has arrived in the seaside town. And she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to find her own version of justice…

My Thoughts:

I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary crime written by Australian women in the past couple of years, loving the mix of suspense and intrigue with the moody Australian landscape. The Girl Remains by Katherine Firkin is set on the Mornington Peninsular, and the small coastal town with its fibro shacks, wild beaches, and stretches of impregnable bush reminded me vividly of my own childhood summer holidays. Luckily none of mine ever turned out like the characters in this book! 


In September 1998, three teenage girls on school holidays together went out for a night of illicit fun and games. Only two returned. The disappearance of fifteen-year-old

 Cecilia May has haunted the town of Blairgowrie ever since. Twenty years later, her bones turn up on the beach and police detective Emmett Corban is tasked with investigating the cold case. His life is complicated by the fact his wife is a freelance photographer seeking to make her break with stolen photos of the crime, and a convicted paedophile who lives in the town has already been judged and found guilty by the townsfolk. 


Well-paced and full of twists and turns, this is a very readable police procedural. I had the added pleasure of guessing the identity of the murderer (which, given the tricky plot, was not easy). 

You might also like to read my review of Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox:

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