Girl, 11 by Amy Suiter Clarke. (2021).
**4.5 out of 5 stars**
Former social worker Elle is the host of a popular true crime podcast. In her fifth season she decides to tackle her white whale: The Countdown Killer (TCK). 20 years ago TCK established a pattern of taking and realistically murdering girls, each a year younger than the last. Nobody knows why he did it, and why he stopped with his 11 year old victim. Weeks into her new season, Elle sets out to interview a listener promising a tip, only to discover his dead body. When a child is abducted days later in a familiar pattern, Elle is convinced TCK is back…
This is a truly amazing debut for the author, who is US-born but lives in Australia at the moment so I think it’s only fair we claim her as an Aussie Author haha. In all seriousness, I can’t wait to see what’s next because the author absolutely killed it with this one, pun intended. Combining the always popular topic of true-crime podcasts and the terrifying notion of a serial killer, this story is sure to be enjoyed by many readers. It’s scary, it’s twisty, it’s clever and the fast pace would keep you on the edge of your seat. I must admit, Elle irritated me at times with single minded attitude towards TCK; but I think this made her feel like a real person with real flaws and fears. I appreciated that later in the book we learn of the killer’s background and history through their eyes.
Overall: I rate this really high, and strongly recommend for any thriller fans.