Book Review: Next Girl To Die by Dea Poirier

This is one of the first books in ages that I per-ordered, like, six months ahead of time. I’ve been excited about it since whenever I started following Dea Poirier on Twitter, and though it is a month since it was released, I managed to get to it before too long. I knew from the release that it’s been very well accepted, so I was really itching to get on with it. And boy, let me tell you…

To paraphrase the official blurb, the plot is that Detective Claire Calderwood is called back home to Maine, to help the local police, fifteen years after her own sister was murdered there. She has to come face-to-face with her own past, to be able to solve the eerily similar crime.

Poirier’s writing is compact. That’s the best way I have to describe it; it’s not overly complex or difficult, but it’s still very all-encompassing and comprehensive. It’s beautiful and sincere, and it paint a very vivid picture, very quickly. The result is that it pulls you in fast. I felt like I’d read a lot of Poirier’s books before, I felt like I recognized the feel, the atmosphere, her style, even though I’ve never read a word of it before. It’s familiar and it grips you quickly, and it’s all very well done.

The plot is exciting, and I was hooked pretty fast. It has this Noir feeling over it that I love it, you get pulled into this dark (and I imagine foggy), island atmosphere, and I loved it.

It’s written in first person, present tense, and though it’s no fault of this book, it’s just a style I struggle with. It’s difficult for me to read for some reason, I find I often have to reread sentences because I don’t get them at first. Also, I know first-person present is supposed to feel more immediate and that you’re closer to the protagonist, but to me it often feels more static, and choppy. You have this robot narration that happen a lot, and I hate that I never see the protagonist from the outside, from an objective view-point. But again, nothing to do with this book – just my stance on the style.

It took me a while to get that Detective Calderwood had moved back home. I didn’t get that she would uproot her whole life just to help with this one case, so that was a bit confusing. Also, she meets her mom and dad for the first time in ages, when she arrives, yet her dad is never in the picture again? Not even once? Also, somewhere toward the middle of the book, she starts to wonder if the fifteen-year-old murder of her sister and this new crime is related, but I thought that was the whole premise of the book? That that’s why she was called by the local police, wasn’t it?

Anyway, these aren’t and weren’t any major issues for me, and with the exception of a few typical debut-book-errors, this book is excellent. I was excited about this for ages, and it wasn’t without reason. The writing is dark, eerie, and beautiful, but at the same time to the point and powerful. There’s somewhat of a romantic subplot that I didn’t care about, but that’s just a personal preference, I’m sure most people will love that.

If you’re looking for your next chilling thriller read, set on an island in Maine, where dark things have been happening for ages, and every other person seem to have something up their sleeve, you should check this out!

You can find Dea Poirier and her writing here.


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