Girl, 11 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Including enhanced audio features
Former social worker Elle Castillo is the host of a popular true-crime podcast that tackles cold cases of missing children in her hometown. After four seasons of successful investigations, Elle decides to tackle her white whale: the Countdown Killer, or TCK.
Twenty years ago, TCK established a pattern of taking and ritualistically murdering girls, each a year younger than the last. No one’s ever known why - why he stopped abruptly with his 11-year-old victim, or why he followed the ritual at all.
Weeks into her new season, Elle sets out to interview a listener promising a tip, only to discover his dead body. When a child is abducted days later, in a pattern that looks very familiar, Elle is convinced TCK is back. Will she be able to get law enforcement on her side and stop TCK before it’s too late?
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 50 minutes|
|Author||Amy Suiter Clarke|
|Narrator||Aimee Horne, Anna Hruby, Annabel Stephenson, Brad Grisaffe, Chris Coucouvinis, Markus Hamilton, Emma Chelsey, Felicity Jurd, Jacqui Duncan, Paige Walker, Philippe Klaus, Zoe Carides, Emma Leonard, Blazey Best, Taylor Owynns|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||08 July 2021|
|Publisher||Wavesound from W. F. Howes Ltd|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 5,183 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
148 in Police Procedural Mysteries
323 in Suspense
464 in Serial Killer Thrillers
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Top reviews from Australia
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Cold cases hold a special fascination for the public – a killer who has never been found is a killer who is still out there, potentially still posing a danger to innocent people. And everyone likes to see justice being done, not someone getting away with murder (quite literally). Which are two of the reasons that attract me to the theme of cold-case investigations. In GIRL, 11, we have a particularly nasty serial killer, one who targets children. He is also meticulous in his planning and the execution of his crimes, which has seen him evade law enforcement for over twenty years. Elle, a social worker who specialises in children who have been the victims of violent crime, has targeted The Countdown Killer (TCK) in her true crime podcast in an effort of unearthing more witnesses and evidence that could lead to his capture. But then a listener who calls Elle with information suddenly winds up dead and the stakes become a lot higher still...
Let me start by saying that I absolutely loved the podcast elements in this book, which were brilliantly done. Even though we cannot hear the music scores, special sound effects and voiceovers in the podcast, nor are we able to see or hear all the characters involved, the author has written the podcast chapters in a way that brought it to life for me. I felt as if I was tuning in, and I was excited to come along for the ride!
It’s hard to put my fingers on reasons why the rest of the story didn’t grab me as much as I would have liked, but I think that with a bit of tweaking and editing out of information that didn’t add all that much to the story, the book would have moved at a faster pace and kept my interest for longer. As it was, I eagerly devoured the podcast chapters but almost groaned every time TCK made an appearance.
GIRL, 11 will appeal to readers who enjoy the use of different story elements in a thriller, in this case episodes of a true crime podcast. The author really brought the podcast elements to life with the use of snappy dialogue and descriptions of other effects used to garner the audience’s attention. And whilst some of the other story elements dragged a little for me, the overall mystery was intriguing enough to keep reading.
The main narrative is interspersed with transcripts of Elle Castillo's current podcast series, focussing on the crimes of a brutal and unidentified abductor-murderer of young women, known as The Countdown Killer (TCK). Over twenty years previously, TCK abducted a series of women and girls, each victim a year younger than her predecessor, and each found dead exactly seven days after her disappearance, with the exception of the last intended victim, an 11-year-old girl, who escaped her captor. In the present, it seems Elle's investigation has stirred the long-dormant killer, as a potential witness is killed virtually under Elle's nose, and another 11-year-old girl goes missing.
As Elle, a former child protection officer, chases down leads provided by her listener base, she liaises with her contacts within the local law enforcement and forensics community, including her own husband, Martín Castillo, a forensic pathologist. Not unexpectedly, this uneasy relationship gives rise to many ructions, as Elle repeatedly withholds information and oversteps the mark as she involves herself in the current investigation. Amy Suiter Clarke explores the phenomenon of true-crime podcasts - their proven popularity with listeners, occasional tendency to prurience or voyeurism, their magnetism to trolls and weirdos and occasional potential to aid police in solving long-running "cold cases".
I found Girl, 11 stimulating and compulsively readable, with a genuinely thrilling conclusion and several well-plotted twists along the way. Some of Elle's decisions and behaviour, and the relative forbearance of police, especially her friend and former colleague Commander Ayaan Ridwaan, stretched credibility at times. However, this isn't an unusual experience within the genre and most readers are, like myself, prepared to suspend their disbelief for the sake of a good story. Amy Suiter Clarke's strong characterisations really galvanised her imaginative and complex plot. Elle Castillo is a flawed but incredibly conscientious investigator, with a complex personal history that's gradually revealed over the course of the book. Her relationships with both her husband, the supportive but deeply concerned Martín, and the intriguing police Commander Ayaan Ridwaan are convincing, and reinforce the emotional toll this particular case is taking on Elle and those around her.
I'd strongly recommend Girl, 11 to any and all readers who enjoy an action-packed but cerebral mystery-thriller. I'd be delighted if Amy Suiter Clarke were minded to continue a series featuring these characters.
Top reviews from other countries
The characters were diverse and felt realistic and you could really emphasise with the struggles and emotions they were going through.
One negative was that I did get annoyed when the plot 'twist' I had been hoping so much wouldn't happen, did occur as it just felt a little too predictable from the get go.
However I take back that it is entirely predictable as some of the things it threw at me had me gasping in shock.
Overall, it was a great, fast-paced read that had me captivated, even if at times a little predictable.
Favourite Quote - But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Favourite Character - Natalie
The story was the perfect mix of action in typical format, and info sharing in the form of podcast transcripts. I only wish it was real so I could listen!
The characters were great. There was a twist about 3/4 in that I NEVER saw coming!
Definitely recommend if you love true crime podcasts or expertly paced thrillers! And to think this was a debut!!