Book Review: The Other Girl by Erica Spindler

theothergirl Book Title and Author: The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
Publication date and Publisher: August 22, 2017 by St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
Pages: 352 pages
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Date Read: August 1, 2017


4 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the NYT bestselling author comes 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. 14 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.

My Review:

It had been a while since I’d read an Erica Spindler novel when I picked up The Other Girl, and I had forgotten that she writes such gripping and entertaining stories! Spindler writes in such a way that her pacing just flows so fluidly that you don’t even realize that half the book is over before you finally look down to see where you are in the book! This was one of those mystery/thriller books that once I picked up that I couldn’t put down until I had read it from cover to cover, which is my favorite kind!

The novel takes place in the small town of Hammond, Louisiana where the main character, Police Detective Miranda Rader is called one night to investigate one of the most gruesome murders she has ever encountered as a police officer. The murder of Richard Stark, the very well-respected English professor from the local college, is not only bloody and horrific but appears to be either a ritualistic or revenge killing. To make matters even more problematic for Miranda and her partner, Jake Billings their victim just happens to be the son of the rich and highly influential local college president, so they are under strict orders by their boss Chief Buddy Cadwell (and friend to Ian Stark) to find the killer as quietly, quickly, and without bringing an iota of scandal to the college.

However, what shocks and haunts Miranda most at the scene of Stark’s murder is not his gruesomely murdered body but what she finds in his belongings—a newspaper clipping about her when she was only fifteen and a tragic crime she reported. A crime no one believed happened because she was from the wrong side of the tracks and already had the reputation for drinking, smoking pot, and lying to get herself out of trouble. It’s been 14 years since she reported this atrocious crime that she claimed happened not only to her but another, so she can’t understand why Stark would have the clipping. Does she know him and not recognize him? Did he know her and have information about that night? Was Stark researching her allegations for the book he was writing? None of it makes any sense to Miranda, but not only does it dredge back all the old memories of that night 14 years ago that she’s never really forgotten but tries to forget, it makes her even more determined to find out who killed Stark and why.

Suddenly though, the investigation goes very badly for Miranda since her fingerprints are found at Stark’s murder scene and another victim is then found dead that she had ties to from that night when she was 15 years old. All eyes begin to look at Miranda as the murderer for both victims just as she begins to figure out exactly what is going on.  However, she attempts to prove her suspicions and clear her name even though she must break police procedure and violate the law while doing so. This is one woman who after a decade of staying out of trouble and being known as an upstanding detective suddenly can’t stay out of trouble! But I would have done the same thing in her shoes if I were being framed for two murders and no one believed my side of the story about a crime— again!

The novel seamlessly flows from the events in the present to the events when Miranda was fifteen, so the reader can understand what exactly happened to Miranda that fateful night but can also understand how that night really changed her into the person she is today who firmly believes in truth, justice, and protecting the innocent. There are some great—and not so great—characters in the book, and I think readers will really enjoy getting to know them, especially Miranda, Jake, and Summer. I would really love to see the book made into a series, and I think that would be feasible with the way it ended. There is some romance too, which is always nice thrown into a twisty suspense novel! Most readers will likely figure out the why and who behind the two murders quickly, which is the reason I gave the book 4 stars.  I definitely recommend The Other Girl if you love your suspense fast-paced, twisted, and full of drama. I can’t wait to read more of Spindler’s books!

**Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC copy. All opinions are my own **

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18 thoughts on “Book Review: The Other Girl by Erica Spindler

    1. Thanks, Naty! It was really good. Predictable in spots, but that could be me since I’ve read over 1000 books in this genre, so it’s hard to surprise me anymore with whodunit lol! I hope you enjoy it and look forward to reading your review ❤❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, that’s so sweet! Ohh since you read a lot of thrillers, can you recommend me one or two?? I’ve been on the mood for thriller/crime lately!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re welcome! Have you read Karin Slaughter’s new book The Good Daughter? It will be published on the 8th. I just read it the other day and it is hands down the best book I’ve read all year. But Karin Slaughter is probably my favorite author in the suspense/thriller genre too. I’d recommend any book by her if you haven’t read her starting with her Grant County series first. The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka was really good and the first in a new serious. The Tana French novels are amazing!! Oh, the detective Erika Foster series by Robert Bryndza is outstanding. There are 4 books and book 5 is about to be released. The Hollows series by Lisa Unger. And both Tall Oaks and All the Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker; he’s superb! That’s all I can think of right now, lol. Oh The Final Girls by Riley Sager if you haven’t read it and Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker ❤📚❤ I hope that helps!

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      3. You are very welcome! I’m glad I could help 😊 I really hope you enjoy those. Just if you read Karin Slaughter, which I highly recommend everyone do, unless you are reading one of her standalone books or The Good Daughter that comes out next week, I HIGHLY recommend, then start with her Grant County series first since once it ends on of the characters from that series shows up in her Will Trent series, my all time favorite series, and the timeline and events might confuse you. ❤📚


    1. Thanks Renee! I hope you enjoy it. It was a quick, fast paced read that I just couldn’t put down! The Good Daughter is amazing! I can’t say enough wonderful things about it but Karin Slaughter is probably my favorite author in the suspense genre anyway so it’s hard not to love her work. But she was at the top of her game here. I’m going to try very hard to write my review of it today to post tomorrow since I’ll be on vacation after that. It is graphic and violent though, just fyi, but she so very often is. But it wasn’t done haphazardly or just thrown in, it was integral to the storylines (there are two). I think you’ll enjoy it just wanted to mention the violence 😊

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    1. Thank you!! It’s really good! Predictable…you pretty much figure out the killer right away but still a great, quick read! I know a lot of people have enjoyed it! Enjoy if you read it ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great review Stephanie. I really enjoyed this one too. It was a bit predictable in that as you mention, it was so easy to guess the villain but it still ended up being quite an entertaining read.

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    1. Thank you Diana! I’m glad you enjoyed this one too! It was so good, and I would like to read more about Miranda! I liked her character. Too bad it was a standalone.


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