Detective Morgan Brookes is called to assist prevent the suicide of her childhood friend but Brittany’s behaviour is erratic and Morgan is not able to save her. The other former friends begin to act strangely too, possibly as a result of poison, and Morgan realises their lives are all in danger. Does the current situation relate to the death of a teenaged boy 5 years earlier…?
First Girl To Die is the fourth book by Helen Phifer to feature Morgan Brookes. I have reviewed all of the earlier books in the series: One Left Alive, The Killer’s Girl and The Hiding Place.
Morgan’s has personal involvement of the case and knowledge of the victims which increases the tension and emotion. She is also dealing with fallout from the previous books which involves her family and there are spoilers about her family members in this book.
Morgan’s boss Ben, with whom there is a spark of attraction, causes her great anguish in this book as he suspects her aunt of accidentlally poisoning the women using herbal tea. Morgan jumps straight to Ettie’s defence and finds herself increaslingly isolated within the police team.
The action is fast paced and there are plenty of victims despite Morgan’s frantic attempts to save her former friends. The chapters are quite short to maintain the momentum. The book is written in the third person, mostly in the present day but interpersed with chapters from 2016 to show the connection with the past.
First Girl To Die had me completely hooked and I look forward to the next book in the series.
Book: First Girl to Die
Author: Helen Phifer
Pub Day: Oct 11th 2021
About the Book:
Morgan shudders as she leans out of the window and takes in the familiar blonde curls and clear blue eyes of the fallen girl below. She knows this woman, and she realises with sickening certainty that her friend is now gone forever…
When Detective Morgan Brookes is called to the scene of a suicide, she’s devastated to recognise the young teacher sprawled out on the grass like a broken doll. She hasn’t seen Brittany for years. Not since the tragic death of Morgan’s high-school boyfriend ripped their friendship group apart. But when witnesses describe Brittany’s erratic behaviour and jumbled speech that morning, Morgan is convinced the fearless, life-loving girl she once knew didn’t jump of her own accord.
Traces of poison found in Brittany’s blood prove Morgan’s theory right, but no one can find the source. Then Morgan uncovers a distinctive jar in Brittany’s home filled with toxic herbs, and the sight of it turns her blood to ice. She has a jar just like it, a handmade gift from her aunt. Is this a coincidence, a set-up, or could the only person she’s ever trusted with her damaged past be capable of murder?
Then another woman from Morgan’s past is found, close to the scene of that fatal teenage party. Has Morgan been looking at this all wrong? Are these deaths connected to that deadly night? And how could someone from her own family possibly be involved?
With her aunt’s freedom and more innocent lives at stake, Morgan must dig deep into her painful memories for answers. Who else was there that night, and what exactly did they see? She must stop this twisted killer before any more of her old friends become new victims – but at what cost?
An absolutely heart-stopping and unputdownable crime thriller, perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Lisa Regan and Rachel Abbott.