Killing the Girl
Independently published on April 27, 2019
For over forty years Carol Cage has been living as a recluse in her mansion, Oaktree House. Fear is her constant companion. She’s been keeping a secret – and it’s about to be unearthed. When she receives a compulsory purchase order for her home, she knows that everyone is going to find out what she did to survive her darkest weeks in 1970. She writes her confession so that we can understand what happened because she wasn’t the only one living a lie. The events that turned her fairy-tale life into a living hell were not all they seemed. She’s determined not to pay for the mistakes of others; if she has to suffer, then they will too. Carol Cage has a terrible secret … and she’s about to exact retribution on everyone who’d let her suffer.
“I have the life and death of him inside me. Deep in my belly where sometimes he stays calm, and other times he stirs until I try to vomit him out.”
Elizabeth Hill’s “Killing the Girl” centers around Frankie and Carole, and an event that changes both of their lives in 1970. We first meet Carole in 2016, when a new road is being built on her inherited land, which will force her to relocate. As this unearths secrets buried for over 40 years, Hill takes us back to 1970 to explain Carole’s present-day anxiety and introduce us to an eclectic cast of characters.
In 1970, Carole meets Frankie, a complicated narcissist (aren’t they all complicated though, really?), who sweeps her off her feet by saying all the right things. She quickly falls under his spell and creates her world around him.
I’ve felt that, you know. Some call it infatuation, others call is obsession.
But I’ve felt it. That feeling so powerful that you give up your life as you know it to be with that person.
I won’t tell you I was 18 and it was my first love, or that I was grieving the loss of my spouse in my 40’s. It was neither of those times, when you could easily blame it on my age or depression.
No. It was in the middle of all of that, at an appropriate age and a normal mental state.
Sometimes, it just hits you. You meet someone and you NEED to be with them. Similar to how you need air to breathe? It is that powerful.
What turns some of us to a person who has that type of power over us? Is it in our DNA? An almost grotesque need to have someone tell us we’re pretty and convince us that we deserve them? Why do some of us fall victim to this? Can we really blame it on “daddy issues” or not being loved enough as a child? Because I did not suffer either of those fates. I was a normal child, born into a normal middle-class family, with normal friends and experiences.
In Carole’s story, she is obsessed with Frankie. She actually craves- and would pretty much do anything for- him. This has heartbreaking results, as his is the body that is discovered when the construction begins. And so begins the story of how and why Frankie ended up in the garden.
As the story progresses forward, we are brought up to speed with the events of the past and we discover that the story did not end with Frankie’s death. We meet Sarah, Thora and Perry, who all play an intricate role in Carole’s journey. While I was reading this I was constantly asking myself if there was ONE more thing this girl could experience. And then, as if by reading my mind, Hill delivered another blow.
Is she schizophrenic? Maybe. Multiple personalities? Possibly. But “The Girl” inside her needs help. And reassurance. And love. But mainly, peace.
Overall, a solid story of love, obsession, fear and redemption. I felt sorry for some characters, loathed others and ultimately grieved for a woman who could’ve had a very different life had she made just a few different choices.
About the Author
Elizabeth published ‘Killing The Girl’ in April 2019, which has won the ‘Chill With A Book’ Premier Readers Award and Book Of The Month for October 2020. She is now busy working on her second novel, Killing The Shadowman. We all love a great murder mystery and ‘Killing The Girl explores the reasons why an ordinary woman kills. What pushes her to her limit of endurance and sanity? And could that woman be you? Elizabeth is a member of The Alliance of Independent Authors, The Bristol Fiction Writers Group and Noir At The Bar, Bath. She was a speaker at the 2019 Bristol Festival of Literature. Find out more on her website or twitter.
Elizabeth lives in Bristol, UK.