Before I start my review, I would like to thank Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for allowing me to review Girl Number One by Jane Holland.
**All opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone. I received Girl Number One from Thomas & Mercer through NetGalley as an ARC for my honest review**
Now onto my review:
Title: Girl Number One
Author: Jane Holland
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Date of publication: September 27th 2016
How many pages: 360
Part of a series: No
Where you can find this book: Amazon
As a young child, Eleanor Blackwood witnessed her mother’s murder in woods near their farm. The killer was never found.
Now an adult, Eleanor discovers a woman’s body in the same spot in the Cornish woods where her mother was strangled eighteen years before. But when the police get there, the body has disappeared.
Is Eleanor’s disturbed mind playing tricks on her again, or has her mother’s killer resurfaced? And what does the number on the dead woman’s forehead signify?
Eleanor was 6 years old when she witnessed her mother’s murder on a path in the woods by her farm. She was so traumatized that she couldn’t remember who the murderer was…even though she looked him right in the face. She spent years in therapy trying to remember who the “shadow man” was and always it was a bust.
So needless to say, her childhood from that day on wasn’t that great. Her dad turned into an alcoholic mess and she struggled with the stigma of being the girl who couldn’t remember her mother’s murderer. She went to university with the plan to stay away but she ended up coming back and teaching physical education at one of the primary schools in the area.
Her life is going great and she decides to take a run on the path in the woods where her mother was murdered. During her run, she sees that the main path is blocked off and the secondary path, the one her mother was killed on, is the only one available. Going down that path, she feels like someone or something is watching her and then she stumbles upon a body of a naked woman with the number 3 on her forehead. Understandably upset, she books it out of the woods and calls the police….only to find the body has disappeared and people are looking at her like she has lost it. Even her own father says as much before telling her to leave and never come back to see him again.
Not going to go into the rest of the book but it was great and definitely kept me guessing as to who the killer was. I did think that I had him/her pegged at one point in the book. Boy, I was wrong.
I did feel bad for Ellie but I did think that she was very immature. Her temper seemed to get the best of her at times. I do think that body slamming the student who was being rude to her and calling her a freak was a little much and I am very surprised that she only got talked to and not fired.
The ending was fantastic. So much was revealed, though, that my head was spinning.
How many stars will I give Girl Number One? 3-3.5
Why? While it was a great psychological thriller, I was a little taken aback by Ellie’s immaturity and the fact that she acted like she was 19 (she is 24 in the book). It took away from the book, in my eyes.
Will I reread? yes
Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes
Age range: Adult
Why: Sex, drinking, violence