Book Review: Girls Like Us by Christina Alger

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Publish Date: July 2, 2019

Some of us are out of place even when we are home.” ― Krysten Ritter

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FBI Agent Nell Flynn hasn’t been home in ten years. Nell and her father, Homicide Detective Martin Flynn, have never had much of a relationship. And Suffolk County will always be awash in memories of her mother, Marisol, who was brutally murdered when Nell was just seven.

When Martin Flynn dies in a motorcycle accident, Nell returns to the house she grew up in so that she can spread her father’s ashes and close his estate. At the behest of her father’s partner, Detective Lee Davis, Nell becomes involved in an investigation into the murders of two young women in Suffolk County. The further Nell digs, the more likely it seems to her that her father should be the prime suspect—and that his friends on the police force are covering his tracks. Plagued by doubts about her mother’s murder—and her own role in exonerating her father in that case—Nell can’t help but ask questions about who killed Ria Ruiz and Adriana Marques and why. But she may not like the answers she finds—not just about those she loves, but about herself.

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This book is a beautifully written mystery that has captivating writing and engaging, complex characters.

Nell Flynn returns home to Suffolk County to scatter her estranged father’s ashes after his untimely death. Coming home brings back many memories for Nell laced with pain, sorrow, and tragedy. Her father died in a motorcycle crash, but was it an accident or murder?

The circumstances get more and more mysterious as Nell looks into the situation. As time goes on, she uncovers clues that lead her to believe that her father had more going on than just his regular day job as a homicide detective. Two young women are brutally murdered, their bodies are disposed in the exact same grisly manner, and it might be related to Nell’s dad in some way. The murder angle reminds me of Patricia Cornwell’s books and it’s deliciously creepy.

One would think that a town in the Hamptons is buttoned-up and conservative, but Suffolk County is definitely a spicier place than it first appears to be. There are lots of closets with skeletons (and maybe a sex worker or two) and a good ‘ol boys network to keep those skeletons locked up tight. The plot also highlights the disparity between the local folks and the vacationers that have glitzy seasonal homes in the area.

Nell is a very likeable, smart character with integrity. She is trustworthy, ethical, and well-connected because of her job as an FBI investigator, and has a keen intuition that makes her good at her job and a good judge of character. This background helps her to get to the bottom of the mysteries in her hometown.

This book is a riveting well-paced mystery, and kicks it up a notch with plenty of secrets, a dark vibe, and thrilling twists. It has a lot of character development, with flashbacks to the past so that the reader understands Nell Flynn’s turmoil about coming home. There are many questionable and suspicious characters; the plot kept me on my toes and gave away no clues.

This is my first read of Christina Alger’s and it won’t be my last. It’s a standout book for me and I highly recommend it.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 4 Stars

Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss exchange for an honest review.

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