The Prized Girl by Amy K. Green
Penguin Random House: 1/14/20
eBook review copy; 384 pages
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
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
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.
My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.