The Other Girl by Erica Spindler (St. Martin’s Press, August 22, 2017) is a great mystery story, expertly crafted.
Miranda “Randi” Rader and Jake Billings, police detectives in rural Louisiana, investigate the murder and mutilation of a college professor. Before Miranda became a cop, she’d been a victim herself of kidnapping and attempted sexual assault. Evidence found at the murder scene leads her to believe the professor, who is also the college president’s son, was the man who abducted her and another girl fourteen years ago.
Spindler builds suspense by piling up more and more evidence that points fingers at the wrong people, including Randi. Is someone trying to frame her for murder? Who? Why?
No one seems to believe Randi (Miranda), except her partner Jake and her best-friend Summer. She’s removed from the case and suspended from the department. She has to hire an attorney because she’s about to be arrested for murder.
Things go from bad to worse. Miranda learns Summer has an inoperable brain tumor and is going to die. Randi’s brother informs her their estranged mother is in the hospital recovering from a heart attack.
And when she and Jake fall in love, it only complicates things even more.
There’s an old saying among suspense writers that when your protagonist is hip-deep in alligators, you should throw a back-biting poisonous snake into the mix to add excitement. Spindler does that in The Other Girl, only she throws in more than one. Miranda doesn’t know (nor does the reader) she’s about to be bit in the butt until the snake strikes.
Great mystery, superb suspense. The Other Girl is a page-turner you won’t be able to put down until the very end.