Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Other Girl ~ Erica Spindler (earc) review [@StMartinsPress @EricaSpindler]

The Other Girl
St Martin's Press
August 22, 2017
352 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

From the NYT bestselling author comes a chilling new thriller about a ritualistic murder of a college professor that sends a small town cop back into the trauma she thought she’d put behind her.

Officer Miranda Rader of the Hammond PD in Louisiana is known for her honesty, integrity, and steady hand in a crisis—but that wasn’t always so. Miranda comes from Jasper, just south of Hammond, a place about the size of a good spit on a hot day, and her side of the tracks was the wrong one. She’s worked hard to leave the girl she used to be behind and earn respect in her position as an officer.

However, when Miranda and her partner are called to investigate the murder of one of the town’s most beloved college professors, they’re unprepared for the gruesomeness of the scene. This murder is unlike any they’ve ever investigated, and just when Miranda thinks she’s seen the worst of it, she finds a piece of evidence that chills her to the core: a faded newspaper clipping about a terrible night from her long-buried past. Then another man turns up dead, this one a retired cop, and not just any cop—Clint Wheeler, the cop who took her statement that night. Two murders, two very different men, two killings that on the surface had nothing in common—except Miranda. 14 years ago.

And when her fingerprints turn up at the scene of the first murder, Miranda once again finds herself under the microscope, her honesty and integrity doubted, her motivations questioned. Alone again, the trust of her colleagues shattered, Miranda must try to trust the instincts she’s pushed down for so long, and decide what’s right—before it’s too late.

The Other Girl really surprised me. I usually love mysteries where either I do not know who the culprit is or, if I do, it's because we also get things from their point of view. With The Other Girl, it seemed like I was going to know from nearly the beginning who the killer was.

I liked Miranda, though and wanted to see how her past played into her present and the investigation so I did keep reading. Which was the absolute right thing to do because how it seemed like I had it figured out? Erica Spindler made me question that assumption more than once (more than probably a dozen times, actually).

Even as you're trying to figure out who committed the murders - and why - you are have to wonder if Miranda is going to make it through the investigation. Will she be suspected? Why? To what extent? Will she be able to pice things together in time? Is she safe? How is that night, fourteen years ago, a part of this?

I thought I knew what was coming with The Other Girl, that  I didn't. This novel makes you suspect  characters you thought you liked, like characters you thought you suspected and still surprises you when the truth is, finally, uncovered.

I enjoyed that we knew what Miranda said about her teenaged self before actually saw the events and how they unfolded. Having it from her perspective (before experiencing it) helps the reader to more connect with present day Miranda, who she is, where her head is and who she's trying to prove herself to be (and why).

The author does a great job having Miranda deal with aspects of her past - both from that night and beyond - that she thought she had left behind and moved on from. Things work together nicely to not only aid her character, but to aid the investigation as well.  Her character, her past and her present are tied together in wonderful (but painful and frightening) ways. The Other Girl is a mystery wrapped up in our main character and her past, in ways neither she, nor the reader, first realize; it is a surprising and satisfying mystery read.

digital review copy received, from publisher, via NetGalley

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