Not Great...But I Couldn't Put it Down
Updated: Jan 26, 2021
Bear with me folks...I've been reading forever, reviewing for a few years...but never have I written a review with the intention of actually being read or published. I started reviewing to keep better track of what I read and how I reacted in the moment. I also really love reading and getting free books is pretty much the best thing ever. While not the best book I've read this year...and not even the best book I've read this week...The Look-Alike is a solid 3.75 stars (rounded up to 4 on Goodreads) because I could not put it down. My original review in NetGalley follows:
I am horrified that I let this book linger in my "to read" for so long. It was released nearly a year ago, and I totally forgot I had a digital ARC.
While looking for recommended thrillers from 2020, I saw this title online and it reminded me I had received an ARC, so I went and found it. I'm glad I did.
I had not read anything else by Erica Spindler, but her style of writing was reminiscent of Riley Sager and I really enjoy his writing.
Thrillers are my guilty pleasure currently. Since I've discovered True Crime podcasts, thrillers have replaced my true crime guilty pleasure reading. I don't go in for romance- so this is my stay-up-all-night treat.
This is not a well-written book. The characters are all tropes, I can imagine all of them being cast from characters from a Hallmark Christmas movie. BUT...I could NOT put it down AND I did not figure out who did it. Like EVER. It was a true surprise to me until the end. And I'm ashamed to admit I caught the "clue" she dropped in there but I missed it because the writing was so predictable that I was absolutely certain that she was giving us a predictable villain.
The Look-Alike isn't even that creative of a story. Sienna Scott returns to her hometown of Tranquility Bluffs (for real?), WI after 10 years of living with her Grandmother in London and training to be a chef. Her mother suffers from a paranoid delusional disorder, and we learn that is part of the reason she was "shipped off" to London. The other reason is that she was the first person to stumble across a murder victim on campus and the ensuing investigation made her mother even more paranoid. Sienna looks exactly like her (beautiful, auburn haired) mother. So, it stands to reason, she must be just like her, and she begins to wonder if she is also losing her mind.
Enter her half-brother, mysteriously with financial troubles and a strangely broken marriage who has stepped in to care for his stepmother after the death of their father. And the sexy, mysterious neighbor who has secrets to tell Sienna, but she can't seem to stay awake post-coital bliss long enough to hear them, and when she wakes she is too blinded by love that she doesn't need to know. Oh, and a hot cop who she was close to and maybe he was also part of the reason she got shipped off.
It's not deep, it's not well-written. But it was a tasty morsel.