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Girls Like Us


Girls Like Us

Ever since Nell Flynn's mother, Marisol, was murdered when Nell was only seven years old, her relationship with her father, Martin, has been complicated. After a falling out 10 years ago, right before she left for college out of state, it has been especially strained. They have spoken now and again, but had not been in touch at all in the months leading up to his unexpected death in a motorcycle accident.

The story opens with Nell returning to Suffolk County, New York, where she grew up and where her father worked as a homicide detective. After spreading his ashes with his closest friends, who are also police officers, and since Nell is an agent on leave from the FBI, her father’s partner, Detective Lee Davis, asks her to consult on one of their unsolved murder investigations. As she delves deeper into the case, however, she begins to suspect that her own father might be the serial killer they’ve been searching for all along. Gasp.

"...a remarkably suspenseful murder mystery full of twists, turns and surprises.... Alger kept me guessing all the way to the very last pages."

"Dad had an unshakable, almost evangelical sense of right and wrong. But there were contradictions."

But could those contradictions have been compelling enough to cause him to commit the brutal murders of Ria Sandoval and Adriana Marques, two young, local Latina women? If so, what was his motive? Who can Nell talk to about her suspicions? And, most importantly, who can she trust with her hunch?

"These are girls like us, Sarah. I want people to know their names. I want to know who killed them. They deserve that, at least."

In addition to her nagging suspicion that her father is a serial killer, Nell begins to wonder if he was also responsible for her mother’s death all those years ago. Who is this man who raised her? And how well does anyone ever really know their loved ones?

“There is something particularly upsetting about murder scenes. There is a darkness that clings to the air long after the killer has departed.”

Inspired by the real-life Gilgo Beach murders, GIRLS LIKE US is a remarkably suspenseful murder mystery full of twists, turns and surprises. Nell’s character is strong and determined, and I would love to find out more about her in a sequel. Hint, hint. Alger kept me guessing all the way to the very last pages. I would be quite surprised, and extremely impressed, if you figured out all the intricacies of this one.

Last but not least, be sure to check out Alger’s previous book, THE BANKER’S WIFE, which was a national bestseller last summer and is currently in development as a limited TV series starring Rosamund Pike. It is a sophisticated and fast-paced international financial thriller, and I read it in just one-and-a-half days because I simply could not put it down.

Reviewed by Rebecca Wasniak on July 26, 2019

Girls Like Us
by Cristina Alger