The Look Alike – Erica Spindler

Sienna Scott is a college freshman when she returns to her college dorm one night, and nearly stumbles over the body of a young co-ed in the snow, fresh blood staining the ground where she lay.  Memories of which haunt Sienna to this day, and a crime that has never been solved…

Ten years later, after being sent to live in London with her grandmother in the aftermath of the murder,  Sienna returns home to small-town Tranquility Bluffs, Wisconsin, to her remaining family – her mother and her half brother Bradley. Sienna’s mother struggles with paranoia, due to persecutory delusional disorder, and Sienna’s time away has not changed any of that.  Upon visiting her brother, she also learns some disturbing news – the police department, after 10 years, is re-opening the investigation into the campus death. 

As Sienna settles back into her childhood home, her mother confides in her that a supposed trip and fall down the stairs, was really the result of her being pushed.  Her mother is also very fearful that the wrong person was killed on campus all those years ago and tells Sienna that she’ll do anything to protect her. As Sienna works to ease her mother’s delusions, she can’t help but flashback to the killing, and the unforgettable fact that she and the victim were wearing the same white jacket. Could the victim have been mistaken for her? And why? 

Sienna, anxious to learn of the now re-opened investigation, pays a visit to Chief Thompson, an old friend of her fathers, to learn the details. The chief informs her that retirement is close, and he is unable to let the case go without trying to find closure for her family. Sienna also relates a strange phone call she’s received since returning home. He introduces her to the Detective in charge of the case, who as it turns out, was the campus police officer who responded to her screams for help 10 years ago. 

As Sienna re-connects with her family and begins a new relationship with a handsome next-door neighbor, strange phone calls continue, relationships become strained, and Sienna doesn’t know who to trust, or believe. As her mother’s delusions spiral completely out of control, Sienna can’t help but wonder if there’s a bit of truth to her mother’s ravings; perhaps she was the intended victim of that fateful night…

Told in sequences from Sienna’s past and present, this novel sets the stage with page flipping action that kept me reading well into the night as Sienna tries to learn what really happened all of those years ago…and inadvertently puts herself in the crosshairs of a killer…

I have always enjoyed Erica Spindler’s work and this book was no exception! With enough twists and turns to keep you guessing, and then second guessing yourself, it was literally impossible to put down!! A stellar read from one of the greats!! 

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.