Judith D Collins
The Other Girl
By: Erica Spindler
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 8/22/2017
My Rating: 5 Stars + Top Books of 2017 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. 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. 15 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.
Loved! 5 Stars +. Set in a small southern Louisiana town of Harmony—Erica Spindler continues to raise the bar with her latest: THE OTHER GIRL, following (2015) The First Wife.
A chilling and "unputdownable” taut crime suspense thriller (her best yet)! A clever blending of past and present with masterful twists.
Officer Miranda Radar has not had an easy journey in life. In 2002, at fifteen years old, she was called, “Randi” (from the wrong side of the tracks). She was caught in a crime and no one believed her. After all, she had her own problems with her dysfunctional family: mom, brothers, dead beat dad, and the law.
She no longer is this scared fifteen-year-old girl. The one caught with possession of pot, shoplifting, drinking, and truancy. However, can she run away from her past? Has it caught up with her or did she just move on?
Who was her tormentor from that summer fourteen years ago? The beautiful monster in the Alabama ball cap. The guy who picked her up on the side of the road. Supposedly sent by her brother. She had escaped and left for help. She had to rescue "the other girl."
What happened to the girl (Cathy) who was left behind after the rape and torture? The one she promised to save. She went for help and no one believed her?
What if she had been a girl who did not lie. One who was cautious instead of reckless. The kind of person people believed. Back then no one would believe her. The girl could have been saved.
Clint Wheeler, the cop. His voice still haunts her. He thought she was a liar.
Who was the monster who populated her nightmares? He was the reason she became a cop. They would have to believe her now.
Presently, years later she and her partner, Jake (friend, partner, and possibly more) of two and half years are called to investigate a brutal crime. A college professor. A murder. A murder of hatred and rage?
Richard Stark. Handsome, single, charming, and smart. He was also writing a novel. A dominatrix and the lives of her clients. A sexual predator? Abuses women. He liked his women immobilized and unwilling.
President Ian Stark (father) is quite anxious to protect the school’s reputation. What is he hiding? A powerful and rich man. How many people does he control and have in his back pocket?
Miranda promised herself back then she would escape to California and never look back. Escape her family and every memory of the God-forsaken place. The girl who had done time. She had not belonged and not sure she still does. She had to let the past go. She was almost thirty years old.
However, she may have to visit her painful past in order to find clues to save herself in the present.
A clipping was found. About Miranda from that summer years ago was found the old. A coincidence? How could her fingerprints be found at the scene? Why would her past abductor keep this clipping, or was it planted?
She did not know Stark and had never met him. Yet they had found her prints at the scene and the news clipping about her?
A sexual predator who had hurt an untold number of women and gotten away with his crimes for years . . . until now.
Someone had to be setting her up.
No one believed her back then. Will they believe her now? Her own mom never defended her, nor her brother.
What happened to the Jane Doe years ago? The missing "other girl?"
Miranda had to protect herself from whoever was setting her up. She was a good cop. Now a box. A key.
However, who could she trust?
Was the person who killed evil Richard, the who planted her fingerprints at the scene?
Is someone out for revenge and is she the target?
With pressure from her Chief — her job is to find the killer, not to vilify the victim. Is she in jeopardy of losing her badge? Everyone thinks she is losing it. She thinks Richard Stark is the perp, not the victim.
Now Wheeler is found dead. Miranda (Randi) had spent six months in juvie because of this Officer, and now dead. Fingers are pointing at her. Does she have a score to settle, or is it someone trying to take her down?
Will she have an ally or champion this time, or will it be just like fourteen years ago?
Jam-packed full of dark secrets and a twisty story that never stops . . . and a sprinkle of romantic suspense. Hooked from the first page to the explosive conclusion – Spindler keeps readers glued to the pages, and a kick ass leading lady, Miranda. (hope we see more of her in the future).
With clues from the past to present, a complex whodunit mystery thriller which will keep you guessing.
Fans of Lisa Gardner, Sandra Brown, Chevy Stevens, and Karin Slaughter will devour fast-paced THE OTHER GIRL.
In addition to the reading copy, also purchased the audiobook and Wow, Tavia Gilbert delivers a perfect voice for Spindler’s characters in this small dark town of secrets and corruption.
Move this one to the top of your list!
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an early reading copy.
Praise for Erica Spindler
**One of Amazon’s Top 10 authors in 2016**
THE OTHER GIRL
“[A] superlative romantic thriller....Multidimensional characters with a plethora of hidden agendas help drive the riveting plot to its explosive conclusion.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“An amazing thriller that has everything readers have come to expect from one of Spindler’s novels. With twists and turns around every corner, you will be hanging on to the edge of your seat to find out what happens next. The characters are so complex that readers will be surprised at what they are hiding beneath their exteriors. A fantastic thriller from one of the best in the genre!” ―RT Reviews
[A] heated romantic thriller strong personalities make for some wonderfully tense revelations. —Publishers Weekly on The First Wife
Spindler's chilling novels explore our deepest fear that danger is closer than we think. She is a master of addictive suspense. —Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Detective D.D. Warren Series on Justice for Sara
[A] spine-tingling romantic thriller With red herrings aplenty, Spindler keeps the reader guessing until the last page. Publishers Weekly on Justice for Sara
Spindler hooks readers into her latest. —RT Book Reviews on The First Wife
As Kat s investigation deepens, risks multiply; knotted threads, inevitably about money, gradually untangle; and Spindler suspensefully strips away layers of deceit and guilt, revealing years of secrets and silences. Diverting and entertaining — Booklist on Justice for Sara
About the Author
A New York Times and International bestselling author, Erica Spindler's skill for crafting engrossing plots and compelling characters has earned both critical praise and legions of fans. Published in 25 countries, her stories have been lauded as “thrill-packed page turners, white- knuckle rides and edge-of-your-seat whodunits.”
SUSPENSE – ERICA’S TRUE CALLING Raised in Rockford, Illinois, Erica had planned on being an artist, earning a BFA from Delta State University and an MFA from the University of New Orleans in the visual arts. In June of 1982, in bed with a cold, she picked up a romance novel for relief from daytime television. She was immediately hooked, and soon decided to try to write one herself. She leaped from romance to suspense in 1996 with her novel Forbidden Fruit, and found her true calling.
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 three-time RITA® Award finalist. 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 and is busy at work on her next thriller. Read More