October 09, 2017

The Other Girl - Erica Spindler

St. Martin’s Press, August 22, 2017.


Four Stars


When she was fifteen, Randi Rader was kidnapped by a stranger who picked her up hitchhiking – she escaped before too much damage was done, but she was forced to leave another girl behind with the kidnapper. When she went to the police for help, however, no one believed her story. Randi had a troubled family life and several run-ins with the law, and she still carries the guilt that because of her past, she will never know what happened to the other girl that night.


Now an adult, Officer Miranda Rader works for the police department in a neighbouring town in Louisiana. Despite her negative experience with the police in the past, Miranda has vowed to use her sense of honesty and integrity to protect innocent victims like she once was. Her current chief of police was the only officer that believed her that night, and she trusts him completely. So when he calls her to a crime scene in the middle of the night, Miranda follows unquestioningly.


The crime scene turns out to be the ritualistic murder of a well-liked local college professor with strong family ties to the community. Because of the way he was found, Miranda immediately realizes that the killer was intimate with the victim. She searches the house for clues, but doesn’t find anything leading to the killer – instead, she finds a newspaper clipping about her own childhood kidnapping. When Miranda’s fingerprints are later found at the scene, she realizes that someone is trying to frame her for the murder – but she has no idea how she’s connected to the victim.


Miranda soon becomes the prime suspect of another murder – the death of the police chief who failed to believe her kidnapping story on that night. Her current chief and friend is forced to suspend her from duty, although his motives are becoming unclear – is he protecting Miranda, or himself? Meanwhile, Miranda begins a romantic relationship with her partner Jake, who seems to support her innocence, although there is no one she can completely trust. Even her best friend becomes a suspect, and Miranda must question the motivations of everyone around her.


This is a thriller, filled with twisty suspense and edgy excitement. While the characters could have more depth, they are surprising in many ways and often slip out of their stereotypical roles. It wasn’t difficult to guess what was coming at the end, but it was still a completely entertaining read. Miranda is able to trust her own instincts in order to survive the final showdown with the killer, and with her own past. While this is a typical thriller in many ways, the interesting characters and their individual choices made this a satisfying summer read.


I received this book from St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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