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Girl Number One

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  5,304 ratings  ·  336 reviews
As a young child, Eleanor Blackwood witnessed her mother's murder in woods near their farm. The killer was never found.

Now an adult, Eleanor discovers a woman's body in the same spot in the Cornish woods where her mother was strangled eighteen years before. But when the police get there, the body has disappeared.

Is Eleanor’s disturbed mind playing tricks on her again,
Paperback, 360 pages
Published September 24th 2015 by Createspace (first published September 21st 2015)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,304 ratings  ·  336 reviews

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Dec 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
When she was 6 years old, Ellie witnessed her mother’s murder. She blocked out the memory of who committed the crime. 18 years later, Ellie goes for a run and finds a body where her mother was killed. The killer starts tormenting Ellie, leaving another body for her to find on her mother’s grave, and sending her a message to let her know that she has been chosen to be his “number one girl.” Ellie needs to try and remember who murdered her mother in order to save herself from the same fate.

Dec 13, 2015 rated it liked it
When Eleanor Blackwood finds the body of a young woman in the woods, in the exact same spot where she witnessed her mother’s murder 18 years ago, it seems that history is repeating itself. However, when the body disappears before the police arrive everyone seems to assume that Eleanor’s mind is playing tricks on her. Are they correct, or is someone deliberately trying to scare her?

On the surface this book ticks all my boxes, a dark psychological thriller which keeps you guessing all the way
Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Family, relationships, murder, revenge, tragedy.

For a little while, I thought I had this book worked out.

I was wrong.

This book is full of the twists and turns that you'd expect from a mysterious psychological thriller, and it certainly kept me on my toes. I never knew quite where it was going to go next. It was full of surprises and I kept second guessing myself - and rightly so because I didn't guess whodunnit!

Eleanor was a bit of a weird one, and I loved the different sides to her -
Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣

Girl Number One started on a good premise, and left me totally uninterested.

When she was six years old, Eleanor saw her mother murdered. She was terribly traumatized, and the murderer never got caught. Eighteen years later, on the anniversary of her mother's death, she finds another dead woman in the exact same spot.

That's cool, right? Interesting? Well, not so much when you couldn't care less about any of the characters. Somehow, the book feels all over the place and I cannot find the reason
I won a copy of Girl Number One from a Goodreads Giveaway.

I did not like it and this is why:

1. The writing is immature or, to put it bluntly, mediocre. I had to speed read the last 50 pages because I just can't. Not anymore. Please, let it end.

2. The main character, Ellie, is an immature caricature who can't be taken seriously.

Yes, yes, I know, she's only twenty four but when the main character invests more time thinking about how sexy Connor, Tris and Denzil is than about, say, the dead body
Louise Wilson
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Eleanor Blackwood saw her mother being murdered in the woods near their farm when she was just 6. The killer was never found. It's now 18 years later and Eleanor stumbles over a body in the exact same spot her mother was murdered. When the police arrive the body is nowhere to be seen. Has her mothers killer resurfaced after all these years?

I was not quite sure where this story was talking me and when I thought I knew, how wrong was I. My suspicions were always wrong. There's quite a few
Jody McGrath
When Eleanor Blackwood was 6 years old, her mother was brutally strangled in the woods next to their hamlet. Ellie ran like her mother told her to, but she returned and found her mothers body. 18 years later it is the anniversary of her mother's murder. In defiance, she goes for a run in the woods to the spot where it happened so long ago. There, she finds the body of a young woman, also strangled, with the number 3 written in black ink on her forehead. She runs as fast as she can and contacts ...more
A gripping crime thriller that kept me occupied during a very long car journey from West Cornwall to Yorkshire!

I borrowed this in audiobook format through Amazon Kindle Unlimited.
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Eleanor Blackwood witnessed her mother’s murder many years ago in the woods near their home. Now many years later Eleanor finds another body of a young woman in the exact same spot but when the police arrive there is no body. Has her mother’s murderer resurfaced or is Eleanor’s mind playing tricks on her? She is given time off from her teaching position so now with time on her hands she attempts to investigate on her own. Is she losing her mind or is there a killer playing tricks on her. Great ...more
Eleanor Blackwood was six years old when she witnessed her mother’s murder. Now 24, she has returned to her home town where she has gotten a teaching job. But even after so much time has passed, she is haunted by the memory. At the time of the crime, police questioned her, but she couldn’t provide a description of the killer. Suppressed memories have led her to seek help from a therapist.

Eighteen years to the day that her mother was murdered, Eleanor awakens early and goes for a run in the woods
Nov 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviews, fiction
This book started with such promise but ended up being a pretty standard and not-so-mysterious mystery. Other reviewers said they couldn't put it down, and that is accurate, but only because I guessed the identity of the killer within about 50 pages and I had to see if I was right (I was). I honestly ended up skipping quite a few pages, as well. There were a lot of plot holes and many of the things the characters did made absolutely zero sense except as a means of forwarding the plot. The ...more
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received Girl Number One by Jane Holland in a giveaway. Review is unbiased.

This is the first book I have read by Jane Holland. I am pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. The plot was interesting with the main character, Ellie, finding a dead body where her Mom was murdered years ago. When the police get there, the body is now gone. Where did it go? Is someone trying to make her crazy? Did she imagine it? Based on her troubled past and also that is the anniversary of her Mom's death,
Martha Dunlop
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Girl Number One. It had me hooked from page one, and I raced through the story to find out what happened next.

Stumbling across a body on the anniversary of her mother’s death was bad enough, but when the body disappeared before the police could find it, Eleanor’s sanity was called into question. Those close to her watch with sympathy, and the pupils she teaches at the local school hound her until she is given compulsory time out. This leaves her with nothing to do but investigate the
Tori Clare
Dec 27, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm giving this book 2.5 stars - it was somewhere between 'it was OK' and 'I liked it'. Thing is, it WAS just OK, nothing special or earth-shattering. Nothing jaw-dropping or original or sensational. It was somewhat generic.

There are a lot of novels at the moment with 'girl' in the title. Girl Number One, Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, The Girl with no Past, Lost Girls etc. Girl Number One is the only one I've read of these, but I imagine they all aspire to grabbing the readers of Gone Girl and
Sep 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Full review on

For once, I really do not have a whole to say. I usually cut myself off in reviews because I do not want to ramble on and on and bore you guys. I’m feeling apathetic about this book though so this will shorter than usual.

Things started out pretty well here. The premise was strong for me and I usually enjoy books where the heroine is unsure of herself and wonders if she’s cracking up. Eleanor finds a dead woman in the same woods where her mother was killed years
Jan 27, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i'm an absolute sucker for a book in the thriller genre that has a tag line that follows "ominous statement. second ominous statement" rule - "her father was a doctor. but he couldn't save them all.", "their best friend goes missing. the darkness hides the answers." even more so when it's "perfectly ordinary statement. ominous question?" - "the sky is blue. or is it?", "your family is going on holiday. are you sure you turned the oven off?" you see these books advertised loads on the tube now, ...more
Katherine "Kj" Joslin
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, 2019rrjuly
3.5 I was prepared to not like this one... half way through I didn't like the main character, she seemed very immature and the conversations/interactions were unintentionally juvenile. The ending pulled it out though, I kept thinking I had it figured but there were some good twists.
2.5 Stars

Read all my reviews on

Eleanor witnessed her mother's murder as a little girl. Now, she finds a body in exactly the same spot. Only, the police can later not find it.

I find it slightly ironic that while I read this book I was very annoyed by the main character, while one of the main points of the stories is that the police and everyone think she is not completely in her right mind. Eleanor made such strange decisions and was complaining a lot,
Sep 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
I am getting more and more into thrillers of late, and downloaded this from Netgalley as the premise sounded interesting. Alas and lackaday. I found it cliched from the very beginning. It had the usual girl-with-traumatic-past-goes-running-excessively-in-order-to-try-to-put-said-traumatic-past-behind-her. It doesn't work, obviously. The 'thrilling' part of the book ensues once excessive running and whiny narrative voice has been established (which takes far longer than it should, let's be ...more
Karen Clarke
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This brilliant thriller had me hooked from start to finish. I found myself racing through it, desperate to know the outcome. The author's effortless writing style gave the story depth, from the atmospheric descriptions of the Cornish landscape to convincing, well-rounded characters I cared about - particularly the lead, Ellie, whose mother was tragically murdered when she was six. The story was quite spooky in parts and actually gave me goosebumps, which doesn't happen often, and there were ...more
Stephanie Cage
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this. The story twists and turns like the path through the woods where Eleanor saw her mother murdered. Now all grown up, she returns to the woods on the anniversary of her mother's death and stumbles across another body. But when the police come to investigate, they find nothing. Girl Number One explores the darker side of human life and the power of obsession, through a realistic portrayal of life in a Cornish village, complete with a scary vicar, gorgeous surfer dudes, and a kickass ...more
Aug 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned, adult
I didn't find anything 'wow' here to force myself to finish it. I was bored at the very beginning with the endless description of the path the MC was walking leading her to find the first body.

Can somebody tell me who killed her mother and now, YEARS! after wanted to kill her too? I mean, wouldn't have been easier to kill her while she was younger? But I'm digressing.

So, who was it? An uncle, a cousin, a neighbor?

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.
Nino Meladze
Dec 27, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked it despite a somewhat predictable twist of events. The book kept me hooked up. It was also quite an easy book to read. I also liked the basic descriptions of personalities without going too far into analysis.
Elizabeth Ducie
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
A well-written psychological thriller that kept me guessing up to the end. The opening chapters were so chilling I had to stop reading it while on my own in the house. A good addition to the genre.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-unlimited
Actual rating - 3.5
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

What a great read. So much intrigue and mental images are conjured up with this book. So many potential suspects it was a very addictive read.
Audrey L. Secler
Superior read

I found the story line in this book to be extremely well put together. As a who done it book, it keeps you in suspense.
Claire Wilson
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Girl Number One by Jane Holland could be described as a cant put down thriller. Ellie was only 6 years old when she witnessed her mother be brutally murdered. Twenty years later, has the killer returned for her and is it someone closer to her than she realizes? 4 stars
Sarah Joint
Eighteen years ago, Eleanor's mother was murdered. She was only six, and though she was with her, could not identify her killer. Her father has since sunk into depression and alcoholism. After a few bumps in the road, Eleanor has dealt with it better. She's recently started a job as a school gym teacher. She has friends and a little cottage she shares with another woman. She even runs through and around those same woods where her mother lost her life. On the anniversary of her death, she chooses ...more
Shay Williams

I really enjoyed reading GIRL NUMBER ONE. Eleanor is such a great character. She has had some truly awful things happen to her but she refuses to let them rule her life. And her friends are as wonderfully portrayed.

Another thing that I really enjoyed about the book was its setting. It is set in Eastlyn which is a small village in Exmoor. The lifestyle is so different from anything that I could experience here in the States except through books like GIRL NUMBER ONE. And it is nice to be
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Jane Holland is a poet and novelist with nearly thirty published novels, six collections of poetry, and dozens of short fiction titles under this and other names. The middle child of romance legend Charlotte Lamb, she grew up in Essex and later the Isle of Man before returning to the British mainland as an adult.

Nomadic by nature, Jane Holland currently resides in the South West of England with
“That’s the beauty of running. It purges the soul.” 3 likes
“Five years isn’t so much. It’s not even a box set of Buffy. That show ran for seven seasons.” 2 likes
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