When I found out that Max Allan Collins is coming out with a new book, ‘Girl Most Likely,’ pub date April 1, 2019 I rushed to check it out. As most of you know by now I devour crime books, espionage, mystery and suspense. And when I got my hands on a copy of Collins’ hotly anticipated Girl Most Likely I parked myself on my favorite reading chair and ignored the dishes in the sink calling out to me, the laundry politely asking if I was getting it done and my family wondering if I will be providing a cooked meal for them that night. How could I? I was in Galena, a small town in Illinois, getting acquainted with Chief of Police, Krista Larson, did I mention she is the youngest police chief ever, and her retired cop father, Keith.
One weekend in February, the slow paced town begins to burst with out-of-towners, who have gathered for the Galena High School, class of 09, ten year reunion. Krista’s class. While the classmates catch up, gossip, flash pictures of their kids, at a lakefront resort, one of their classmates, the most popular girl in the class of 09, The Girl Most Likely to Successed, whom is deeply hated by her female classmates, having stolen some of their high school boyfriends, is murdered, gruesomely stabbed to death, at her parent’s home. This is Galena’s first homicide in twenty years and Krista’s first major crime as a police chief. She too has a bone to pick with the Girl Most Likely, Astrid Lund.
A connection is quickly established with the murder of another female classmate, who was killed in Clearwater, Florida, six months before the reunion. Krista commissions the help of her father, Keith, to help with the murder investigation, since the Galena police department has only twelve officers at its disposal and she could use his help. After all, in this investigation everyone could become a murder suspect.
I had a hard time deciding which character was my favorite in this dynamic duo – Krista or her father. I connected with both in a different way and each one brought a crucial element to the plot.
‘Girl Most Likely’ is superb, and no, I’m not exaggerating. It has all the right ingredients to introduce a new character in a series and become a staple in your library. It’s suspenseful, it’s complex, at times funny and at times dark.
Collins knows how to craft a story that won’t reveal it’s self too quickly, on the contrary. I pride myself on being able to early on establish whodunnit in books, but not in this case and isn’t that after all why we read murder mysteries?! I think so.