Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Prized Girl

The Prized Girl by Amy K. Green
Penguin Random House: 1/14/20
eBook review copy; 384 pages
ISBN-13: 9781524745103 

The Prized Girl by Amy K. Green is a highly recommended psychological thriller.

Twenty-six year old Virginia Kennedy is the black sheep of the family and an ongoing disappointment to her father. When her half-sister, 13-year-old beauty queen Jenny Kennedy was found raped and murdered, Virginia becomes obsessed with finding out who is guilty. Although she wasn't close to her half-sister, she is determined to find justice for her. As Detective Brandon Colsen  works the case, Virginia stays in contact with him and shares clues she finds.

There is more going on than the police know. The main suspect is a developmentally disabled man, Benjy Lincoln, who followed Jenny when she was in beauty pageants, but Virginia knows there could be other suspects in the small town where they live. Virginia also doesn't have a problem with looking into suspects or snooping around on her own. Her teenage years in this small town were troubled, and resulted in the mess she has made of her life to date. Every Saturday night she allows herself to take pills and drink until she passes out, but she also knows the secrets no one is mentioning.

The chapters alternate between events leading up to Jenny's final days and Virginia's present day search for the truth. It becomes clear immediately that Jenny was not living the charmed life everyone thought and Virginia has a reason to be a mess. There are several suspects presented in the novel that could all be equally culpable in Jenny's demise. As Virginia works with Detective Colsen, he makes clear he is interested in her beyond the case.

I enjoyed this thriller and liked the assortment of potential suspects. Green does a good job introducing several suspects that could all equally be guilty. Choosing to alternate between the point-of-view of the two sisters in the two different timelines is an effective way to tell the story. Everyone is keeping secrets and holding back the truth. The pace picks up as the novel progresses and I was actually surprised at the final denouement. I quite enjoyed this psychological thriller.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.

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