First Girl to Die (Detective Morgan Brooke Series Book 4) – ARC Book Review

First Girl to Die: A completely gripping crime thriller (Detective Morgan Brookes Book 4) by [Helen Phifer]

Morgan shudders as she leans out of the window and takes in the familiar blonde curls and clear blue eyes of the fallen girl below. She knows this woman, and she realises with sickening certainty that her friend is now gone forever…

When Detective Morgan Brookes is called to the scene of a suicide, she’s devastated to recognise the young teacher sprawled out on the grass like a broken doll. She hasn’t seen Brittany for years. Not since the tragic death of Morgan’s high-school boyfriend ripped their friendship group apart. But when witnesses describe Brittany’s erratic behaviour and jumbled speech that morning, Morgan is convinced the fearless, life-loving girl she once knew didn’t jump of her own accord.

Traces of poison found in Brittany’s blood prove Morgan’s theory right, but no one can find the source. Then Morgan uncovers a distinctive jar in Brittany’s home filled with toxic herbs, and the sight of it turns her blood to ice. She has a jar just like it, a handmade gift from her aunt. Is this a coincidence, a set-up, or could the only person she’s ever trusted with her damaged past be capable of murder?

Then another woman from Morgan’s past is found, close to the scene of that fatal teenage party. Has Morgan been looking at this all wrong? Are these deaths connected to that deadly night? And how could someone from her own family possibly be involved?

With her aunt’s freedom and more innocent lives at stake, Morgan must dig deep into her painful memories for answers. Who else was there that night, and what exactly did they see? She must stop this twisted killer before any more of her old friends become new victims – but at what cost?

No. of pages:- 207 pages

Date published:- will be published on October 11th 2021

Publisher:- Bookouture

Genre:- Thriller


Wow! Just wow! I was patiently waiting for the Morgan Brooke series to come out soon and finally it came and boy, I was not disappointed at all!

Though I did not leave a favorable review on Book 3, I must say, Book 4 is so much better that I enjoyed it so much!

Detective Morgan Brooke was called to a school where her old friend from school, Britanny, after taking in the herbal tea and apparently muttering to herself jumps out of the window, dead. A few days later, Sienna, another friend of Morgan from school was found naked inside a cave in the woods, with no recollection of how she ended up naked in a cave although she too had taken the herbal tea as well. All these herbal teas are purchased from Morgan’s aunt Ettie who becomes the viable suspect. But Morgan believes that these things are connected to an incident that happened many years which involved the death of a student…

From the first chapter to the end was intense and intriguing that I was literally hooked from the beginning to the end.. This was actually an unusual homicide case and I couldn’t help wondering–is Ettie Morgan’s aunt the killer? Or is someone else responsible? And for what??? This book is such a page turner filled with unexpected twists and turns and the ending was a OMG moment!!! There were some funny parts in the book which was laughable and Morgan Brookes has become a favorite female protagonist in my book.

So I’ll summarize the whole book in one go

–intriguing, intense and a complete page turner
–fast paced, twisty with unexpected turns–a plus sign for a good thriller
–You’ll soon learn to love Morgan Brooke and her partner Ben (not love partner, work partner)
–AND love the plot

Overall, I give this book five stars!

Note:- If you really want to read this book, do you have to read book 1. I think I’ll recommend reading book 1 before jumping directly to book 4.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

Helen Phifer

Helen Phifer is the #1 Bestselling crime and horror novelist of the Annie Graham, Lucy Harwin and Beth Adams series. Helen lives in a small town in Cumbria. Surrounded by miles of coastline and only a short drive from the beautiful Lake District. She has always loved writing and reading since the days she learnt how to in infant school. She loves reading books that make the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end and make her afraid to go to the toilet, alone in the middle of the night. She is eternally grateful to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Herbert and Graham Masterton for scaring her senseless in her teenage years. Unable to find enough of the scary stories she loves to read, she decided to write her own.

Her debut novel The Ghost House was released October 2013 and introduced readers to police officer Annie Graham. It went on to be an Amazon #1 bestseller in Canada. It reached #1 on the Amazon Contemporary Horror Charts in both the UK and the US, pushing her idol Stephen King off his #1 spot many times. She was thrilled when the second book in the series The Secrets of the Shadows managed to push The Ghost House off its #1 spot even if it was a little surreal. This was followed by The Forgotten Cottage, The Lake House, The Girls in the Woods and The Face Behind the Mask.

The Good Sisters is a standalone old, fashioned horror story which Helen admits scared her so much when she was writing it that she couldn’t write once it got dark. Set in an abandoned convent it will definitely give you the chills.

March 2017 saw the publication of Dark House, a gripping psychological thriller which introduced readers to the dangerous world of Detective Inspector Lucy Harwin. This was followed by Dying Breath and Last Light.

The Haunting on West Tenth Street is a supernatural thriller set on the streets of New York and features Homicide Detective Maria Miller.

Her brand new series featuring Forensic Pathologist Beth Adams is published July 16th 2019

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