The Next Girl by Emiko Jean

The Next Girl by Emiko Jean book review

Losing her sister cemented Chelsey’s decision to become a detective. Throughout her career, she’s done everything possible to bring justice to missing girls.

One day, a cold case is blown open when a local teenager, Ellie Black, is found after being missing for two years.

The traumatised girl is a shell of herself and isn’t cooperating. Chelsey suspects there’s more to this case and will do anything to solve it.

When two hikers discover Ellie Black, a teenager who’s been missing for two years, Detective Chelsey Calhoun rushes from her bed to investigate.

Thankfully, Ellie is still alive. Last seen at a motel party, all previous leads did little to help the case.

As expected, Ellie is much changed and a shadow of her former rebellious self.

In turn, Detective Chelsey Calhoun has had a traumatic life and is sympathetic to Ellie’s harrowing experience. Losing her sister in her youth, her family and entire world fell apart. Thus, Chelsey will do anything to protect other troubled girls.

However, Ellie refuses to cooperate and with time being of the essence, Chelsey is suspicious. She is relentless in furthering the case and bringing the perpetrator to justice. What is Ellie hiding?

A traumatised teenager who refuses to talk

Told in a dual narrative, The Next Girl by Emiko Jean builds suspense with memory snippets throughout, adding context and depth to the story and its characters.

Both characters are incredibly complex with traumatic pasts. However, the point of view is predominantly told from Chelsey’s perspective. This was interesting as it added a unique insight into the workings of the police.

In contrast, I particularly liked the way Jean demonstrated Ellie’s fractured mindset and illustrated the PTSD she faced from her ordeal. She does an excellent job exploring the psychology of a kidnap victim alongside complex trauma.

Many twists will keep you guessing throughout this dark thriller. Overall, you’ll struggle to put it down and it’s certainly worth a read in 2024.

The Next Girl by Emiko Jean will be released on May 9 2024 via Penguin General UK.

I personally have read The Next Girl. However, I did receive a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley and this post does contain affiliate links.

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