Review: The Girl Remains by Katherine Firkin


Title: The Girl Remains {Detective Emmett Corban #2}

Author: Katherine Firkin

Published: 4th May 2021, Bantam Australia

Status: Read May 2021 courtesy PenguinRandomHouse Australia


My Thoughts:

The Girl Remains is the second crime fiction novel to feature Detective Emmett Corban from Katherine Firkin, following her debut novel Stick’s and Stones (2020).

When human bones are discovered on a beach in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsular, hopes are raised that they will reveal the fate of fifteen year old Cecilia May who vanished from the small coastal town of Blairgowrie two decades earlier after she’d become separated from her two best friends during a late night walk. Detective Leading Senior Constable Emmett Corban is tasked with re-investigating the crime, sifting through old evidence while searching for new leads. The local community are certain the girl’s killer has already been identified – a neighbour with a previous charge of child sexual assault, but Emmett soon suspects that Cecilia’s friend’s have yet to tell the whole truth about the night Cecilia missing.

Firkin creates an intriguing, complex plot with this cold case murder of a teenage girl at its centre. Though Emmett agrees Warren Turton is the main suspect, and is under some pressure to wrap up the case quickly, he and his team must still do their due diligence. As the police begin to discover new information the focus of Emmett’s investigation subtly begins to shift and more potential suspects enter the frame. I thought the murder mystery was well crafted and comfortably challenging to piece together.

While the investigation moves forward, the reader is given insight into the thoughts and behaviours of some of the case’s key players including Cecelia’s friends, Scarlett and Gina aka Gypsy, Scarlett’s father, the wife of the local priest, and an enigmatic young drifter whose interest in the town, and Cecilia’s case in particular, seems oddly intense. Firkin manages the large cast quite well,  and the additional perspectives provide tantalising pieces of information, adding depth to the storyline.

Emmett’s wife, Cindy, also becomes tangentially involved in the case as she continues to pursue photography as a career. There is still some tension between the couple after the events in Firkin’s debut, and it spikes again when her desire for an exclusive threatens to interfere with Emmett’s investigation.

A confident sequel to Sticks and Stones, though it can be read as a stand alone, The Girl Remains is a clever and absorbing crime novel.


Available from PenguinRandomHouse Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Booktopia I Amazon

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundaySalon #Sunday Post | book'd out
  2. Helen Murdoch
    Jun 01, 2021 @ 00:33:37

    I like a good cold case mystery and this one sounds well done.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Trackback: Crime Round-Up May-June 2021 | Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

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