Girl, 11
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"Propulsive... Not only is the book difficult to put down, it’s also an adroit exploration of the ethical quandaries of true-crime storytelling, particularly in podcasts."

The New York Times Book Review

Elle Castillo once trained as a social worker, supporting young victims of violent crime. Now she hosts a popular true crime podcast that focuses on cold cases of missing and abducted children.

After four seasons of successfully solving these cases in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, Elle decides to tackle her white whale: The Countdown Killer. Twenty years ago, TCK was terrorizing the community, kidnapping and ritualistically murdering three girls over seven days, each a year younger than the last. Then, after he took his eleven-year-old victim, the pattern—and the murders—abruptly stopped. No one has ever known why.

When Elle follows up on a listener tip only to discover the man’s dead body, she feels at fault. Then, within days, a child is abducted—a young girl who seems to fit suspiciously into the TCK sequence halted decades before. While media and law enforcement long ago concluded that TCK had suicided, Elle has never believed TCK was dead. She had hoped her investigation would lay that suspicion to rest, but her podcast seems instead to be inciting new victims.

“A masterful, heart-pounding suspense that ushers in an astonishing new voice in crime fiction."

—Samantha M. Bailey, internationally bestselling author of Woman on the Edge

“A tale of obsession, dark histories, and one woman’s quest to bring a terrifying killer to justice, GIRL, 11 is delivered with poise, style, and cunning - making it impossible to put down.”

—Alex Segura, acclaimed author of Miami Midnight and Blackout

Available Resources

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  • Format: Audiobook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780358449386

  • ISBN-10: 0358449383

  • Duration: 10 hr 35 min

  • Price: $22.95

  • Publication Date: 04/20/2021

Amy Suiter Clarke
Author

Amy Suiter Clarke

AMY SUITER CLARKE is the author of Girl, 11 and is a writer and communications specialist. Originally from a small town in Minnesota, she completed an undergraduate degree in theater in the Twin Cities. She then moved to London and earned an MFA in creative writing with publishing at Kingston University. She currently works for a university library in Melbourne, Australia.
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  • reviews
    "Propulsive... Not only is the book difficult to put down, it’s also an adroit exploration of the ethical quandaries of true-crime storytelling, particularly in podcasts." 

    The New York Times Book Review 

     

    "Clarke deftly moves the narrative using transcripts of Elle’s podcasts, recordings of her thoughts that never air, and her actions outside the recording studio. This one is not-put-downable." 

    St. Paul Pioneer Press 

     

    "A masterful narrative...Elle’s remarkable poise throughout is a credit to Clarke’s style and makes her a highly engaging character. Perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter and Meg Gardiner." 

    Booklist 

     

    "Clarke’s nuanced narrative will keep readers hooked." 

    Publishers Weekly 

     

    [Girl, 11 preserves] a real sense of suspense and mystery while respecting the real people behind the genre it's a part of. This was a remarkably strong debut, one which entertained and kept me in suspense in equal measure. Amy Suiter Clarke is an author to be excited about." 

    Mystery & Suspense 

     

    "Girl, 11 is a dazzlingly twisted and dark thriller with complex characters, a neo-Gothic atmosphere and a killer that ranks with some of the most disturbing in the genre. Amy Suiter Clarke is a magnificent guide through this macabre labyrinth!"  

    —S.A. Cosby, author of Blacktop Wasteland 

     

    “Clarke knows how to get a reader’s heart hammering.” 

    —Candice Fox, international bestselling author of Never Never and Crimson Lake  

      

    “Amy Suiter Clarke comes out of the gate running with a confident and riveting debut perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter and Meg Gardiner. GIRL, 11 follows the host of an investigative podcast tracking a bloodthirsty serial killer as he counts down to his youngest victim yet. I bit my nails through every twist in this pitch-perfect thrill-ride--and teared up at its commitment to honoring victims of violence everywhere.”  

    —Amy Gentry, bestselling author of Good as Gone and Bad Habits 

      

    “Delectably tense and terrifying, GIRL, 11 introduces us to a dormant serial killer and the podcaster who will risk everything—even her own life—to uncover his identity. With psychological precision and electric storytelling, Amy Suiter Clarke has created a thriller that feels ripped from the headlines, her Countdown Killer becoming as real to the reader as the Golden State Killer or BTK. True crime fanatics will find their new obsession in this dark, page-turning debut.” 

    —Megan Collins, author of The Winter Sister and Behind The Red Door 

      

    GIRL, 11 is a powerful, engaging debut from Amy Suiter Clarke—and gives readers a memorable, genuine protagonist in Elle Castillo. Clarke crafts a tale of obsession, dark histories, and one woman’s quest to bring a terrifying killer to justice, GIRL, 11 is delivered with poise, style, and cunning - making it impossible to put down.” 

    —Alex Segura, acclaimed author of Miami Midnight, Poe Dameron: Free Fall, and Blackout 

      

    “Twisty and tense! GIRL, 11 is a stirring and stunning tale of secrets, saviors and serial killers. This story stays with you long after you've reached the last page!” 

    —Rachel Howzell Hall, author of the critically-acclaimed And Now She's Gone, They All Fall Down, and the Detective Lou Norton series 

      

    GIRL, 11 is a chilling, expertly-constructed thriller that strikes the perfect balance between page-turning twists and piercing commentary on the true cost of crime. If you devoured I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, Amy Suiter Clarke’s debut is about to be your new obsession.” 

    —Layne Fargo, author of Temper and They Never Learn 

     

    “In this remarkable debut, Amy Suiter Clarke weaves together narratives from a true crime podcaster’s real life and her broadcasts as she tracks down a serial killer who may have returned after years of lying in wait. This compelling and skillfully crafted story will keep readers glued to the pages. GIRL, 11 is current, twisty, and utterly irresistible!” 

    —Wendy Walker, bestselling author of Don’t Look for Me 

     

    “A masterful, heart-pounding suspense that ushers in an astonishing new voice in crime fiction." 

    —Samantha M. Bailey, internationally bestselling author of Woman on the Edge 

     

     

  • excerpts
    1Justice Delayed podcastDecember 5, 2019Transcript: Season 5, Episode 1Elle voice-over:

    Minnesota is known for the cold. Frigid winters and stoic Nordic sensibilities. On this bright November morning, as I drive southwest in the land of ten thousand lakes, drifts of snow gust over the highway, aloft and swirling like phantoms. One minute I’m winding my way through flat expanses of prairie and farmland, the next I’ve arrived in the city—all concrete and lights and neat, modest lawns. Like many Midwest American states, there’s a separation that runs along the invisible but impenetrable borders between rural and urban. Just a few miles is all it takes for demographics, ideologies, cultures, and customs to change. 

          But every now and then, something happens that shakes a whole state. Its impact is felt by everyone, uniting people in grief and a common purpose. 

          Just under twenty-four years ago, in the lively college student community of Dinkytown, a young woman named Beverly Anderson disappeared.

    [THEME MUSIC]

    Elle Intro:

    The cases have gone cold. The perpetrators think they’re safe. But with your help, I’ll make sure that even though justice has been delayed, it will no longer be denied. I’m Elle Castillo, and this is Justice Delayed.

    [SOUND BREAK: Snow crunching underfoot; the echoes of “I’ll Make Love to You” by Boyz II Men playing in the distance; the laughter of young adults.]

    Elle voice-over:

    In February 1996, twenty-year-old Beverly left a party she was at with her boyfriend and several other fellow juniors from the University of Minnesota. When the group walked out of the party, Beverly’s boyfriend tried to convince her to come with them up to Annie’s Parlour for late-night burgers and milkshakes. But Beverly had to get up early the next morning, so she insisted on going home. She was three months away from finishing her psychology degree and had already started an internship with a local clinic. They had an argument about it—nothing serious, just a spat like college lovers do. Eventually, he gave up and followed his friends alone. It was only five blocks to her apartment—a short walk she had made alone a hundred times before. Beverly zipped up her black wool coat, dipped her chin into her scarf, and waved goodbye to her friends. 

          It was the last time any of them saw her alive. 

          When she didn’t show up for her internship the next day, Beverly’s supervisor phoned her apartment. Her roommate, Samantha Williams, answered.

    Samantha:

    I don’t know how to explain it. As soon as I got the call, I had a feeling that something was wrong. I went up to her room to check, just to make sure, and yeah. Her bed wasn’t slept in. None of her stuff was there, like her bag and keys and everything. I could tell she had never come home.

    Elle voice-over:

    I’m sitting with Samantha Williams, now Carlsson, in her kitchen. She lives about an hour outside Minneapolis with her husband and two beagles, who sounded the warning before I even made it up to her front door.

    Samantha:

    [Over the sound of two dogs barking.] Hush! Go to your crate. I said crate. Good girls. You see, they’re well trained when they want to be.

    Elle:

    So, what happened when you realized Beverly hadn’t come home?

    Samantha:

    Well, I told her supervisor, and he said we should call the police, so that’s what I did. At first, they didn’t want to investigate—you know, it hadn’t been long enough or whatever. But once her boyfriend and me told them she was seen walking home alone, and that she was a dedicated student who had just started an internship, they started getting more worried. I know they interviewed [redaction tone], but his friends gave him a solid alibi. Other than that two or three minutes when they argued about her coming up to the restaurant with him, he was with them the whole rest of the night. The police came and talked to me that day, I think in the afternoon. You could find out in their report, if you have it.

    Elle voice-over:

    I do. According to Detective Harold Sykes, Samantha was interviewed on February 5, 1996, at 3:42 p.m.—approximately seventeen hours after Beverly was last seen.

    Elle:

    And from what you remember, what happened next?

    Samantha:

    Nothing, really. All her close friends had been with her that night, and they were at Annie’s Parlour for at least two hours after she left. Her family lived hours away, in Pelican Rapids. They figured there was no way the boyfriend did it, because he was only out of their friends’ sight for a couple minutes. She just . . . vanished. Everyone thought she might have gotten lost or disoriented, maybe she was drunker than her friends thought and fell into the Mississippi River and drowned. It’s happened before. But they searched the banks and snowdrifts for days, and there was no sign of her. Not until a week later.

    Elle voice-over:

    Seven days after Beverly went missing, the manager of Annie’s Parlour was locking up for the night when he noticed someone huddled up against the outside wall. He thought it was a homeless person and bent over to offer to take them to a shelter. When they didn’t respond, the manager pulled the scarf away from their head and discovered the lifeless face of Beverly Anderson.

    Samantha:

    [Through tears.] All anyone could focus on then was Beverly. Everyone was horrified, you know. This sweet, innocent, smart girl—dead. I couldn’t believe it. I barely left our apartment for weeks after that, I was so afraid. Turns out, I had good reason to be.

    Elle:

    Do you remember when you found out about the other victims?

    Samantha:

    They didn’t say anything on the news until they realized that second girl, Jillian Thompson, died the same way Beverly had. And she was missing for the same length of time—seven days. I think they found something on Jillian’s body that linked her to Beverly, some DNA or something.

    Elle voice-over:

    It was skin cells on her jacket. The police figured Jillian must have offered it to Beverly when she got cold, wherever they were kept together. Jillian Thompson disappeared from a parking lot at Bethel University three days after Beverly did. Her family thought she had run off with a boyfriend they disapproved of. He was the primary suspect until the cases were finally connected.

    [SOUND BREAK: A chair squeaking; a man clearing his throat.]

    Elle:

    Can I ask you to introduce yourself for new listeners?

    Martín:

    Uh, yes, I’m Dr. Martín Castillo, and I’m a medical examiner, an ME, for Hennepin County.

    Elle:

    And?

    Martín:

    And, full disclosure, I’m Elle’s husband.

    Elle:

    Regular listeners might remember Martín from seasons one and three, where he provided expert insight about the autopsies of Grace Cunningham and Jair Brown, respectively. His identification of an oddly shaped lividity mark on Jair’s back helped us make a connection to a sofa in his uncle’s house, which was key to helping the Minneapolis Crimes Against Children Division solve that case. I’ve brought him back into the studio to discuss the other way the cases of these murdered girls were connected, before the DNA test from Jillian’s body even came back.

    Martín:

    The simplest answer is that they were killed in the same way. The same, unusual way.

    Elle:

    Explain that.

    Martín:

    While Beverly Anderson showed signs of trauma on the right side of her head, her autopsy revealed that she had b...

Available Resources

Related Categories

  • Format: Audiobook

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780358449386

  • ISBN-10: 0358449383

  • Duration: 10 hr 35 min

  • Price: $22.95

  • Publication Date: 04/20/2021

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