Originally published: 1 September 2022
Author: Helen Fields
Published by: Avon
Genre: Crime thriller
Page count: 384
Reading dates: 29 August – 1 September 2022
In search of a new life, seventeen-year-old Adriana Clark’s family moves to the ancient, ocean-battered Isle of Mull, far off the coast of Scotland. Then she goes missing. Faced with hostile locals and indifferent police, her desperate parents turn to private investigator Sadie Levesque.
Sadie is the best at what she does. But when she finds Adriana’s body in a cliffside cave, a seaweed crown carefully arranged on her head, she knows she’s dealing with something she’s never encountered before.
The deeper she digs into the island’s secrets, the closer danger creeps – and the more urgent her quest to find the killer grows. Because what if Adriana is not the last girl to die?
Before I start, can I just say how much I love Helen Fields writing? I have really enjoyed the DI Callanach series of novels so I was expecting great things from The Last Girl to Die and it did not disappoint!
The Last Girl to Die is set on the Isle of Mull on the western side of Scotland. With a population of just over 2500, it is a community where everyone knows everyone else. So when the Clarke family arrive from California, there is some fascination with this new family. Sadie Levesque is a private investigator from Canada who is hired by the Clark family when their teenage daughter Adriana goes missing. They feel the police are not taking them seriously as they are not one of the islanders.
Sadie isn’t on the island long before she finds Adriana’s body inside Mackinnon’s Cave, a seaweed crown on her head and her mouth packed with sand. A murder investigation is launched. The police are distrusting of Sadie and their assumption is that it is a tourist or outsider that has done this, not wanting to accept someone on the island is capable of it. Their main suspect is Adriana’s twin brother Brandon.
Without giving too much away, Adriana is not the last girl on the island to die. And Sadie finds herself having to learn about the ancient traditions of the people including paganism and witchcraft to understand what is happening, as the common factor between the bodies is the sand packed in their mouths.
This was a fabulous book! Sadie is a great character that wants to do the best by Adriana and has no problem standing up to the police and putting herself in perilous situations to get answers. The Isle of Mull was also a brilliant location for a crime thriller – both beautiful and remote. Fields’ doesn’t shy away from describing the gruesome details of the crimes committed – you do need a strong stomach! There is a real sense of tension and danger throughout and I literally couldn’t put it down. Fields’ writing is compelling and action packed – just when I thought I could take a breath and relax, she throws a new threat into the mix.
I loved The Last Girl to Die. Helen Fields has become one of my must buy authors and I would love you to read this! Please say I’ve convinced you!
Many thanks to Avon Books for sending me both a copy of the proof and a finished copy.
About the author:
Helen Fields’ first love was drama and music. From a very young age she spent all her free time acting and singing until law captured her attention as a career path. She studied law at the University of East Anglia, then went on to the Inns of Court School of Law in London.
After completing her pupillage, she joined chambers in Middle Temple where she practised criminal and family law for thirteen years. Undertaking cases that ranged from Children Act proceedings and domestic violence injunctions, to large scale drug importation and murder, Helen spent years working with the police, CPS, Social Services, expert witnesses and in Courts Martials.
After her second child was born, Helen left the Bar. Together with her husband David, she went on to run Wailing Banshee Ltd, a film production company, acting as script writer and producer.
Helen self-published two fantasy books as a way of testing herself and her writing abilities. She enjoyed the creative process so much that she began writing in a much more disciplined way, and decided to move into the traditional publishing arena through an agent.
Perfect Remains is set in Scotland, where Helen feels most at one with the world. Edinburgh and San Francisco are her two favourite cities, and she travels whenever she can.
Beyond writing, she has a passion for theatre and cinema, often boring friends and family with lengthy reviews and critiques. Taking her cue from her children, she has recently taken up karate and indoor sky diving. Helen and her husband now live in Hampshire with their three children and two dogs.