Title: Girl 4 (January David #1)
Author: Will Carver
Audio Book Narrator: NIcki Paull, Richard Aspel
Genre: Thriller/Crime novel
Date Read: 17/11/2016 – 21/11/2016
Detective January David is called to a murder scene, the fourth by a serial killer terrorising London, and finds that he recognises the victim, and that she is actually still alive… As the novel progresses, we hear from not only January, his wife, the murderer and the other murder victims as January races to try to prevent the murder of a Girl 5.
This book has a really interesting format. While it is written in first person present tense, it is like the characters are watching a movie of the events and giving commentary. Though they’re narrating as things happen, they also have knowledge of events that yet to come. “Little do I know that the killer is standing right behind me…”, that sort of thing. The other murder victims are often narrating from beyond the grave, which seemed a bit weird at first, but eventually I settled into the format and it didn’t seem so strange.
None of the characters were particularly likeable, but I still wanted to know exactly what was going on, and how the case would unfold. The story starts in the middle, with the discovery of Girl 4, then goes back to the beginning when Girl 1 was murdered, then comes back and through to several more murder victims. I did find the twist at the end a little bit unbelievable, though there had been some clues to it previously, so it wasn’t completely out of the blue.
There is a small speculative fiction element to the novel in the form of January’s prophetic dreams that warn him that another murder victim will be found within 24 hours. At first it felt a bit out of place in an otherwise straight thriller/detective novel, but it actually worked quite well, and I think this plays more of a part in the later books in the series as well.
Overall, while it took a little while to really settle into this book, I found it quite entertaining in the end and look forward to continuing the series.