Book Review: Girl Most Likely by Max Allan Collins

girl most likely

NetGalley Summary:

It’s never too late for revenge in this thrilling novel by New York Times bestselling and award-winning crime master Max Allan Collins.

In a small Midwest town, twenty-eight-year-old Krista Larson has made her mark as the youngest female police chief in the country. She’s learned from the best: her father, Keith, a decorated former detective. But as accustomed as they are to the relative quiet of their idyllic tourist town, things quickly turn with Krista’s ten-year high school reunion.

With the out-of-towners holed up in a lakefront lodge, it doesn’t take long to stir up old grudges and resentments. Now a successful TV host, Astrid Lund, voted the “Girl Most Likely to Succeed”—and then some—is back in town. Her reputation as a dogged reporter has made the stunning blonde famous. Her reputation among her former classmates and rivals has made her infamous. Astrid’s list of enemies is a long one. And as the reunion begins, so does a triple murder investigation.

Krista and her father are following leads and opening long-locked doors from their hometown to the Florida suburbs to Chicago’s underworld. They just never imagined what would be revealed: the secrets and scandals of Krista’s own past.

My Thoughts:

This book starts off with a bang! Right out of the gate, the reader is introduced to mystery and mayhem, and the the first third of the book has great build up and suspense. Unfortunately for me, it sort of petered out until it was just over, and I was left feeling a little disappointed.

Krista and her dad have for me, a weird relationship that I had a hard time getting over. He is living with her at her suggestion following the death of her mother, and he repays her by going through her garbage and confronting her about things he finds there. I mean, I get he is a retired detective, but jeez – boundaries might need to be in order! Then later, she invites him to go with her to her class reunion. It has only been ten years, so it seemed like she should still be feeling young enough to go and cut loose with her old classmates, without her dad there. Maybe it is just me though. I love my dad and I think he is pretty cool, but I think he would feel wildly out of place there anyway, even knowing my classmates. Anyway, that is just a small part of this book, but it was weird enough to me to jolt me out of my reading experience.

Whena murder occurs, Krista, who is hailed for being the youngest female chief in the country, calls in her dad to help her out as a consultant. This made sense, she had never covered a murder before and she wanted to catch this killer. However, to me, it feels like she is just sort of there for the rest of the book. Like her dad is in charge, and is a much bigger character – he is the dominant character that emerges in this story. I wish there had been more about Krista, proving her capabilities and showing her strengths. And then when we find out the murderer, I felt sort of like we never got a true explanation of why they did what they did. I didn’t get enough of an explanation to satisfy me.

This book was not all bad though. Overall, I liked the premise, I liked the setting, I liked the characters – I liked the bones of this book, if that makes sense. To me, I feel it could have been fleshed out more, and that this reads more like a rough draft than a finished book. It was almost there, but not quite  I can see this as a series that will become more sophisticated, with more detail, more depth to the characters. I think this as a potential series has legs, but this book didn’t quite go the distance.

**Update! Check out the comments area for insights from author Max Allan Collins himself! It was a great conversation and I enjoyed hearing what he had to say – and I even came to a few different conclusions!**

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you NetGalley!

7 thoughts on “Book Review: Girl Most Likely by Max Allan Collins

  1. I like the premise of this one- a high school reunion and a murder (surprised that isn’t done MORE lol). But yeah sounds like Krysta needed to stay front and center as the protagonist. Hopefully like you said this series gets its feet under it as it goes. Great review! I’m tempted to pick this up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! Agree!

      I would be interested in your thoughts after you read it, if you do!

      And thanks, I don’t often write *negative* reviews so this one made me slightly uncomfortable honestly! I wanted to be honest and critical but not trash talk it accidentally. So it was tricky for me!

      Like

      1. I thought you handled it very well, it doesn’t come off as a negative or trashing the book kind of review at all, I felt like it gave a good, balanced account of both the good and bad things. I think the best reviews do that, cause let’s face it no book is perfect, so I wouldn’t worry- I think it’s a very fair review!

        Like

  2. Pingback: My Sunday-Monday Post! | Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs..

  3. macphilms

    Thanks for reviewing my novel. Though you didn’t love it, you were thoughtful and fair, and that’s appreciated. I hope you don’t mind a few comments from my end. Krista insists that her father move in with him when she determines he’s suicidal as he fails to deal sufficiently with his wife’s/her mother’s death. He only gradually succumbs to his detective instincts to realize Krista has been living with somebody, and his response is to try to make sure she didn’t move her boy friend out the door for his (her father’s) benefit. She goes with her father to the reunion because she has just broken up with her boy friend (who she’d gone to the first night of the reunion with the night before); her father and her late mother (a teacher) were well-known to her friends. Krista, as police chief, finds “cutting loose” with her friends a tough thing, because of her position of responsibility (again, as police chief). The structure of the book is designed to absolutely divide the chapters between Krista and her father — Keith does not have more to do in the book than she does. She has overall responsibilities over the investigation that he does not. Some find the ending of the book abrupt — it is; that’s intentional, with the villain vanquished, taken out by Krista not Keith. Roll credits. Again, I appreciate your attention and the thoughtful way she expressed your positive and negatives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my review and comment! It is always so exciting when an author pops by! I did know that she had her dad move in due to suicidal thoughts, although somehow I missed that he was digging through her garbage to make sure she didn’t move a guy out on his behalf. I blame my four year old for distracting me. Lol. I can see that she might have issues cutting loose due to her position in town – that would make it tough. Although having your dad there might make it tough too, if you don’t mind my saying so. 🙂 I can see how Krista had her own duties to carry out for the investigation, but I did feel like Keith’s character overpowered her character. Perhaps it was just the fact that Keith had more confidence and was used to murder investigations, where Krista was still finding her way. I might have read his confidence as dominance. I didn’t have a problem with the ending actually – I didn’t need a big wrap up, and in reflection on the killer and motivation, I do feel now that I have enough of an explanation, so I should probably amend that in my review. Like I said though, I did really like this setting and these characters, and I really hope that you plan to write more books with them. I would really like to see how Krista evolves, especially after solving such a big case, her first murder investigation.

      Thanks again for coming by and taking the time to comment!

      Like

  4. macphilms

    You’re very welcome. I have delivered Book Two. The chapters are strictly back and forth between Krista and Keith again. This time, however, Keith does not leave Galena to track down an out-of-town lead. This means that there are chapters where the two work together, which I really like, because they make a good team — neither dominating the other, really. Thank you again for your measured look at my novel and in your comment. And I know all about four-year-old distractions. We have two grandchildren, a three year-old boy and a seven-month old girl, and the grandparent gig is every good thing you hear it is.

    Like

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