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January 17, 2020

The Look-Alike by Erica Spindler ~ a Review

by MK French

Ten years ago, Sienna Scott stumbled across a body on her way back to her dorm in college. She had always lived in the shadow of her mother's paranoid delusions and feared that she would turn out the same way when she was unable to shake the feeling that she was the one meant to be killed. After ten years in London with her grandmother and getting trained as a chef, she's back in her hometown of Tranquility Bluffs, Wisconsin. She is back in the house where she grew up, and the investigation is open again. Someone is prank calling her house, people are talking about the murder, and Sienna is worried that perhaps she isn't as different from her mother after all.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

January 2020; St. Martin's Press; 978-1250083678
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); psychological thriller
The intrigue of the plot drew me in to read this, and it is definitely fascinating. You have to pay attention to chapter headings, as we have the present-day thread as well as what had happened ten years ago with the murder investigation. It's very much a small town, with everyone knowing everyone else's business, and her mother's illness. Everyone sees her as "crazy," even Sienna, and the small horrors of untreated mental illness are treated very seriously throughout the course of the novel. Because of Sienna's fears, that means we're just as offset by it. Are Sienna's thoughts about the murder accurate? Are the people she suspects of being the killer actually the one that had done it?

We're drawn through the story along with Sienna, and my heart breaks for her when her trust in people is dashed and people aren't what they seem to be. It's the little clues along the way that add up, and that's what finally leads to the conclusion of the novel. I thought I knew who it was, changed my mind along the way as Sienna did, and found out that I was right from the outset. The mystery aspect was just as well done as the relationships and the history of the town. The conclusion ties up a lot of the loose ends in a realistic way. Some things can't be changed and there are a lot of traumas that can't simply be handwaved away. But the survivors are willing to work hard for it, and that is the best kind of ending.

Buy The Look-Alike at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband and three young children.

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  1. Great review! Sounds like an interesting read.

  2. It's definitely got the thriller aspects down, and I was on the edge of my seat reading it.