By: Lauren Nossett
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: 11/14/2023
My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)
For fans of Tana French, The Professor investigates the darkest corners of academic life: ambition, lies, and obsession.
On a spring afternoon in Athens, Georgia, Ethan Haddock is discovered in his apartment, dead, apparently by his own hand. His fatality immediately garners media attention: not because his death reflects the troubling increase of depression and mental health issues among college students, but because the media has caught the whiff of a scandal. His professor, Dr. Verena Sobek, has been taken in for questioning, and there are rumors his death is the result of a bad romance. A Title IX investigation is opened, the professor is suspended, and social media crusaders and trolls alike are out for blood.
Marlitt Kaplan never investigated love affairs. A former detective turned research assistant, she misses the excitement of her old job, but most of all the friendship of her partner, Teddy. When her mother, a professor at the university and colleague of the accused professor, asks for her help, she finds herself in the impossible position of proving something didn't happen. Without the credentials to interview suspects or access phone records, she will have to get closer to a victim's life than ever before. And she quickly finds herself in his apartment, having dinner with his roommates, even sleeping in his bed. But is she too close to see the truth?
In her relentless pursuit to uncover the mystery behind Ethan’s death, Marlitt will be forced to confront the power structures ingrained in the classroom against the backdrop of a historic campus and an institution that sometimes fails its most vulnerable members.
Lauren Nossett returns following her smashing academic campus debut, THE RESEMBLANCE (5 stars), where we met Detective Marlitt Kaplan, appearing in her latest, THE PROFESSOR, an equally satisfying, excellent, riveting sequel of ambition, lies, and obsession!
The protagonist, Marlitt Kaplan, is no longer a police officer following the events of the first book. She is now a college research assistant for her father, a professor. Her mom is also a professor at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA.
Ethan Haddock, a college student at UGA, is discovered in his apartment dead, apparently by suicide, or was it?
There is a lot of media surrounding the campus and its ongoing issues with depression and mental health among college students. The faculty is caught in the middle of getting involved (too much or too little).
His German professor, Dr. Verena Sobek, has been taken in for questioning, and there are rumors he was fascinated with her and a possible romance. Her reputation will be ruined unless someone proves her innocence. Was there a love affair gone wrong?
A Title IX investigation is opened, and the professor is suspended, and the media is crucifying her, and it is all over social media.
To protect her friend's innocence, Marlitt's mother (colleague/professor) has asked Marlitt to help investigate. She can do little without a badge, but the positives are she does not have to go through all the bureaucracy and play by their rules.
Marlitt does some major undercover sleuthing, finds Ethan's apartment studio and pretends to be a tenant interested in looking around. She winds up leasing the studio and moves in. She is intelligent, tenacious, and clever.
It is creepy knowing Ethan died in this same room; however, she gets to meet the other roommates undercover. However, she may get more than she bargained for when she is in danger of getting too close.
Marlitt misses her old job and her partner, Teddy. She cannot get to phone records or other pertinent info but does not think he took his own life. Who murdered him to make it look like a suicide, possibly?
She has dinner with the former roommates, Spencer and Sadie— to learn more, and things do not add up. Will the college itself be to blame for not helping the students vulnerable to mental health problems?
THE PROFESSOR is intense, twisty, and gripping. Told from POV: there is the female Goth roommate, Sadie, the male narcissistic, Spencer, and the professor, Verena Sobek. (Her/him)
Did Ethan take his own life, or was it murder? Who else wanted him dead, or was it to set up the professor?
That ENDING!! ??? The jaw-dropping twist you do not see coming!
"Revenge will never solve anything. Karma will.”
A master storyteller, Lauren Nossett deftly explores the toxic aspects of academia. From the pressure of professors while maintaining boundaries between themselves and their students. Who will listen to the students show empathy with their mental health struggles with little support from the university?
I enjoyed the author's writing, a former professor turned novelist with a Ph.D. in German literature. She has created a standout protagonist in Marlitt, knowing she will not return to Athens PD. She has to serve and protect, and she does not believe in the system after last fall and what has recently happened with this case.
THE PROFESSOR covers topics of manipulation, lies, revenge, jealousy, control, drugs, ambition, jealousy, mental health, and obsession! I enjoyed this one even more than the first. I hope we will see more of Marlitt as a PI!
AUDIOBOOK: I listened to the audiobook narrated by the talented Saskia Maarleveld (same as the first book) with a perfect accent for Verena and the other character's voices for an outstanding suspenseful listening experience!
Many thanks to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for providing an advanced audio listening copy.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 5 Stars
Pub Date: Nov 14, 2023
“The Professor is a thoroughly gripping mystery about power, ambition, and the lengths we will go to in order to succeed. Pacey and full of tension, this one will stick with you long after THE END.” –New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author, Karin Slaughter
"Come for the entertaining, well-crafted mystery, stay for the thoughtful critique of academia. —Kirkus Reviews
"Compelling and well-crafted ... with a whopping final twist!" —Booklist
Praise for Lauren Nossett
"Impressive. . . . An emotionally resonant page-turner from a writer worth watching."
“I can’t get enough of dark academic fiction, and Lauren Nosett’s takes the aesthetic into the frat houses in this college campus thriller.”
“This chilling story has it all.”
“A fast, fun read, that is nearly impossible to put down. . . . Every detail, every element of the story gets a payoff. . . . An intricately told tale.”
“Twisty, dark, and brilliant, The Resemblance is a chilling crime thriller that will keep you turning the pages faster than you can binge a true crime podcast.”
―Sally Hepworth, bestselling author of The Good Sister
“A timely, expertly plotted mystery about power and privilege, The Resemblance will grab you from the first page and keep you guessing until the final twist. A captivating debut.”
―Alafair Burke, bestselling author of Find Me
“A campus crime plunges a driven young detective into the shadowy depths of Greek life, where power and privilege hide sinister secrets. In The Resemblance, Nossett pushes the stakes ever higher, and the horrors of this hidden world feel all too real. A timely and compelling thriller, and a jagged new twist on dark academia.”
―Laura McHugh, award-winning author of What’s Done in Darkness
“The Resemblance is a taut campus mystery that grows bigger and dives deeper into the community as the crime unfolds. Twisty turns with an emotional punch deliver a captivating read.” ―Wendy Walker, bestselling author of Don’t Look for Me
“At once a careful, nuanced dismantling of toxic masculinity and an exploration of academia’s dark underbelly, The Resemblance is a powerhouse of a book that is as timely as it is terrifying. Perpetually twisty and full of chilling secrets, this masterful debut heralds Lauren Nossett as a fearless new voice in crime thrillers.”
―Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, author of the The Girls Are All So Nice Here
“Haunting. . . . A sinister, addictive blend of self-aware police procedural and campus novel, this is the kind of book that slips its fingers around your throat and doesn’t let go.”
―Ashley Winstead, author of The Last Housewife
About the Author
LAUREN NOSSETT is a former professor turned novelist with a Ph.D. in German literature. Her scholarly work has appeared in journals, edited volumes, and a book with Northwestern University Press.
She currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. THE RESEMBLANCE was her fiction debut.
The Professor is her second novel, Nov 14, 2023. WEBSITE