The Other Girl by Erica Spindler
Randy Rader is a 15-year-old girl with a history of lies and trouble; seemingly on a path to nowhere. She is nearly raped and subsequently kidnapped along with another girl. When she escapes, no one believes her story, including the cop who found her. Instead he arrests her and she winds up facing jail herself.
The Other Girl by Erica Spindler picks up again 14 years later as “Randy” is now Miranda Rader. She has straightened out her life and is now a cop herself. Someone who has moved on from her past and become a respected detective. When she is called to the grisly crime scene of a murdered professor, Richard Stark, things start to go downhill. Stark is nearly universally described as a “good guy”, but Miranda begins to suspect that there may have been a much darker side to the good professor. When a retired cop also turns up dead, the one who happened to arrest Miranda 14 years ago, Miranda finds herself in the crosshairs. She discovers that her past isn’t as far behind her as she thought it was. Miranda must find Stark’s killer while also proving that he was a predator himself. And a lot of people in the community don’t want that to happen.
Strong and well-developed characters are the best part of this novel. Plenty of red herrings and false starts keep the mystery of who the killer is in doubt for quite a while. The plot occasionally hinges on people behaving stupidly, but nevertheless, it is a compelling mystery with plenty of tension, including some romantic tension. Miranda is an interesting character and the small town of Harmony, Louisiana comes alive in this distinctive setting. Spindler has a good feel for capturing small town life. An entertaining thriller.
The audiobook is narrated by Tavia Gilbert who does a wonderful job. Her character voices are distinctive and she expertly conveys mood, emotion and tension where called for in the story. Her pacing sweeps you along and complements the writing and the story.
I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this audiobook from the publisher.