Review: The Other Girl by Erica Spindler

Title: The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 247 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Justice for Sara and The First Wife Erica Spindler comes The Other Girl, 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.

A horrific crime. One witness—a fifteen year old girl from the wrong side of the tracks, one known for lying and her own brushes with the law.
Is it any surprise no one believed her?

Officer Miranda Rader of the Harmony, Louisiana PD is known for her honesty, integrity, and steady hand in a crisis—but that wasn’t always so. Miranda comes from the town of Jasper, 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 earn the respect of her coworkers and the community.

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 brutality 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 that terrible night fifteen years ago. The night she’d buried, along with her past and the girl she’d been back then. Until now that grave had stayed sealed…except for those times, in the deepest part of the night, when the nightmares came: of a crime no one believed happened and the screams of the girl they believed didn’t exist.

Then another man turns up dead, this one a retired cop. Not just any cop—the one who took her statement that night. Two murders, two very different men, two killings that on the surface had nothing in common—except Miranda.

Review:

The Other Girl by Erica Spindler is a twist-filled police procedural set in a small southern town in Louisiana.

Detective Miranda Rader is a cop with a past that she refuses to let define her.  In the aftermath of a terrifying ordeal when she was a teenager, she completely turned her life around and she is now a well-respected police officer.  Called to the scene of the brutal and gruesome murder of Professor Richard Stark, who by all accounts is well-liked and popular, Miranda makes a discovery that brings the events of that long ago night to the forefront of her mind.  Immediately informing her boss, friend and mentor Police Chief Buddy Cadwell of her suspicions, she is dismayed by how easily he dismisses her concerns.  Will she have better luck convincing her partner Jake Billings that she is on the right track?

Miranda is an excellent detective but her objectivity during the investigation of Richard Stark’s murder is compromised right away. She becomes impulsive and makes some incredibly questionable decisions that not only jeopardize the case, but her career.  Chief Cadwell also harbors a few doubts about her but thankfully she can count on Jake to watch her back. Miranda cannot help but wonder if Cadwell is reluctant to pursue all avenues of inquiry due to the fact the victim’s father is very influential in their small town. However, she is convinced she is on the right track but will Miranda find anyone to corroborate her suspicions?

Weaving back in forth in time between what happened to Miranda in the past and Richard Stark’s murder in the present, The Other Girl is a compelling mystery.  Miranda is a complex character  who is sometimes her own worst enemy as she brashly refuses to allow Chief Cadwell deter her from attempting to prove her theory about Stark is correct. Although it is very easy to surmise who killed the Professor and why, the perpetrator’s actual identity is not readily apparent. Erica Spindler keeps readers off balance with diabolical plot twists and an action-packed, jaw-dropping conclusion. A clever police procedural that fans of the genre will definitely want to add to their to be read list.

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Filed under Contemporary, Erica Spindler, Mystery, Rated B, Review, St Martin's Press, Suspense, The Other Girl

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