To celebrate its publication on 1st September, I’m delighted to share an extract from The Last Girl To Die by Helen Fields with you today as part of the blog tour. Thank you to Olivia Collier from Midas for giving me the opportunity to share this extract with you today.
About the book:
The seaweed was a grotesque crown – she was a dead beauty queen belonging to the sea.
In search of a new life, sixteen-year-old Adriana Clark’s American 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?
Beautifully haunting with twists and turns you’ll never see coming, The Last Girl to Die is your next obsession waiting to happen. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride and MJ Arlidge.
About the Author
A former criminal and family law barrister, Helen Fields has the expertise and experience to make the characters and plots scorch with authenticity.
With a background as both a prosecutor and defence counsel, Helen Fields has a depth of knowledge about crime that lends a fierceness to her writing. From Court Martials to care proceedings, the Coroner Courts to the Crown Court, Fields draws on her professional years for the extraordinary colour and texture that makes her writing jump off the page.
Twice long-listed for the McIllvanney Scottish Crime Book of the Year, and a multi-bestselling author whose books have been translated across the globe, Fields consistently produces high impact, compelling novels that readers love.
Now translated into 22 languages, and also selling in the USA, Canada & Australasia, Helen’s books have won global recognition. In 2020 Helen’s novel, ‘Perfect Kill’ was longlisted for the Crime Writers Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger. In 2020 Perfect Remains was shortlisted for the Bronze Bat, Dutch debut crime novel of the year. Helen also writes as HS Chandler, and has released legal thriller ‘Degrees of Guilt’. Her audio book‘Perfect Crime’ knocked Michelle Obama off the #1 spot
The Last Girl to Die Extract p.10-12
by Helen Fields
‘You often find yourself in the right place at the right time to find a dead body, do you?’ Sergeant Harris Eggo asked. He was six foot two, with mousy brown hair and the sort of body that would be soft and warm on a cold night but a liability chasing a semi-fit criminal uphill.
‘A few times now, actually,’ I told him. That was the truth. I had a policy of rarely lying to the police. ‘One lie leads to another’ was one of my mother’s favourite sayings. Once you started, you had a way of slipping and landing in a pile of them when you weren’t paying attention.
‘Are those the qualifications that persuaded the Clark family to hire you? Because where I come from, we’re more impressed if you bring missing persons back alive rather than dead,’ he said, aiming it at the room rather than at me. A few people rewarded him with muted laughter. That’s who he was – a populist point-scorer. I wasn’t in the mood for it. Adriana’s parents were waiting for me.
‘Why hadn’t you sent out a search party?’ I cut the laughter off. ‘Adriana’s been missing eleven days. No word. She didn’t have her passport. There were no sightings of her catching the ferry to the mainland. Where I come from, we prefer our police officers proactive rather than sloppy.’ It was more aggressive than I generally allowed myself to be, but then Sergeant Eggo was more of a dough-head than the police officers I was used to.
‘You want to watch the tone with me, girl,’ Harris Eggo murmured. ‘You turn up on my island and suddenly a young woman is dead? We can conduct this interview under caution if you like.’ ‘Would that make it faster and more professional? Because that would be an improvement.’ Eggo stood up, walked around from his side of the desk, knocking knees with one of the other officers in the room. The tiny police station on Erray Road in Tobermory was an unloved single storey unit. Grey and drab, it had seen better times.
I sighed. It would have been comical if a girl weren’t dead. He perched on the desk in front of me, folded his arms and scowled. ‘You jumped up fuckin’ Yank—’ ‘I’m Canadian, but carry on,’ I said. There was a knock at the door, which probably saved both Sergeant Eggo and me from losing our tempers.
Earnest hazel eyes and an impressive jaw, set in smooth black skin, graced the room. ‘Thought you might like my preliminary findings,’ the man said. ‘Was it you who found the body?’ ‘It was,’ I confirmed. ‘I’m Sadie Levesque.’ ‘Right, I’m the forensic pathologist. Nate Carlisle.’ He held out his hand and shook mine. His hand was warm and smooth. I don’t know why I’d imagined it would be cold. Perhaps because of the time it spent inside cadavers. ‘We’re in the middle of something here,’ Harris Eggo said. ‘What was it you had for me?
‘Adriana’s been dead a minimum of eight days, more likely nine or ten. Cause of death was drowning.’ ‘Could we take this outside, Dr Carlisle? I’m interviewing a potential suspect here.’ Eggo stood up and pulled his shoulders back, which had the unfortunate side-effect of pushing his stomach out.
‘I don’t think you are,’ Carlisle said, his tone light, volume set to low. ‘I gather Miss Levesque only arrived in Scotland five days ago.’ ‘We don’t know that for sure . . .’ Eggo said. ‘You can run my passport to check my arrival date. I’d be happy to hand it over,’ I said. ‘The Clark family has already sent a message requesting that I share the details with Miss Levesque. They’d rather not have to deal with the forensics themselves. She’s their chosen representative for now.’ I liked Nate Carlisle already.
‘She interfered with a crime scene,’ Harris Eggo said. ‘Then there’s the fact that she knew exactly where to find the girl. I’d like to finish this interview, if I may.’ ‘I was ascertaining who the deceased was before calling the authorities. I was careful not to remove any evidence from the scene. As for knowing where Adriana was, I’ve been searching the island for four days now. The question isn’t how I found her, it’s why you didn’t.’ I stood up. ‘Dr Carlisle, can we talk?’ ‘Now listen—’ Harris Eggo began.
‘I have a blank witness statement form,’ I told Eggo. ‘I’ll write all the details out tonight and drop it in to you tomorrow. If you have questions after that you can call me.’ Nate Carlisle exited and I followed him to the front door. ‘It’s late. I’m guessing you’ve missed the last ferry back to the mainland?’ ‘I’m being airlifted out with the body at first light. I’ve booked into a hotel,’ he confirmed.
End of extract
The Last Girl To Die by Helen Fields is available to purchase now:
I can’t wait to read it and hope to share my review with you soon!