This is the first Spindler novel I’ve read in a while, and I kicked myself for it repeatedly as I read The Other Girl. I’ve enjoyed reading other books by this author, so I have no idea why I let myself miss out on so many while I was busy reading other things. I’m going to chalk it up to temporary bookish insanity (defined as neglecting to read books by authors you love to read), brought on (as always) by the distraction of other books. Luckily, all it took was a pre-approved Netgalley widget from St. Martin’s Press to cure me of this terrible condition, and I’m eternally grateful!
All joking aside, I’m glad I didn’t miss out on reading this one. I’m really loving crime thrillers lately, and this one is especially good. Miranda “Randi” Rader has a rich back story that is crucial to the entirety of the story. She is a “bad” girl gone good… as a teenager, she was a juvenile delinquent from the wrong side of the tracks, a known liar up to no good. Her life changed after the night she was held against her will—along with another girl—and managed to escape to find help that never came because no one would believe her. This was the turning point in Miranda’s life, culminating in her becoming a detective in the Harmony, Louisiana Police Department. During the investigation of two murders, Miranda realizes that—despite having changed her life and becoming a respected officer and person in the community—the specter of “Randi” Rader still loomed large enough to cast doubt on her integrity as an officer when evidence found at the crime scenes appears to tie her to the victims of both murders.
I love it when a character has to prove they’re not the person they used to be, so I enjoyed seeing Miranda fight her way through the ghosts of her past. The sub-plot of the story, having to do with Miranda’s relationship with her family, was as good as the main plot. There were times I wished that aspect of her life was explored in more detail, even though it wasn’t the main story, because it was so fascinating to read. Equally compelling were the scenes with Jake, her partner, both on and off the job.
All the characters in this novel—both major and minor—are well written and easily pictured in the mind’s eye as you read. I found myself wanting to know more about all of them, no matter how minor a character they were, because they were all so interesting. In many books, minor characters are easily forgettable once their small role in the story is complete, but that’s certainly not the case here, in my opinion.
I was able to figure out the murderer’s identity, but it wasn’t easily done. Spindler made use of subtle misdirection that cast doubt on my suspect-of-choice many times, and it wasn’t until I’d almost reached the big reveal that I felt certain I’d figured it out. For this reason, I didn’t let it affect my rating… The Other Girl definitely earned every one of the four stars I’ve given it!
If you’re a Spindler fan currently suffering from temporary bookish insanity, or a fan of crime thrillers who hasn’t yet had the pleasure of reading one of her books, I highly recommend that you read The Other Girl. I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!
About the Book
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.
About the Author
Erica loves meeting and interacting with her fans, both in person and online. She has a wicked sense of humor, an optimistic spirit and loves coffee, chocolate and red wine, not necessarily in that order.
In 2002 her novel Bone Cold won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for excellence. A Romance Writers of America Honor Roll member, she received a Kiss of Death Award for her novels Forbidden Fruit and Dead Run and was a four-time RITA® Award finalist. In 1999 Publishers Weekly awarded the audio version of her novel Shocking Pink a Listen Up Award, naming it one of the best audio mystery books of 1998.
Erica lives just outside New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband and two sons.