The Look-Alike by Erica Spindler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading in the times of Corona should have been an easy task, isn’t it, well, one is being forced to sit at home isolated what else is there to do other than be free and read and read. How did I never think that finding time to read a book would be the most herculean task I would ever contemplate with the whole family cooped up inside the house and the work just keeps piling up? 🥺🥺🥺 So solution for the problem, read in the middle of the night even though the next morning would leave me bleary-eyed and no energy to do the chores, but when one loves reading, you know, what can I say? 🤷‍♀‍🤷‍♀‍🤷‍♀‍🤷‍♀‍

Erica Spindler is a favorite author of mine, someone who always writes with such uncomplicated flow that it is no wonder her books are best-selling winners. The Look-Alike is no exception and again a story that also includes a mental condition and the anguish and distress that the condition can create for the family members.

Sienna Scott is the mirror image of her mother who is known to the locals as the crazy Mrs. Scott, living with a person who suffers from paranoid delusions, Sienna herself is doubtful of her mental fragility. She believes that it is not just the looks but that she has also inherited her mom’s instability and disorder. When Sienna becomes a first to scene witness to a shockingly brutal murder of a girl in the college campus and the horror and shock of it leaves Sienna is constant state of panic and anxiety believing that the murderer got the wrong person that night, Sienna’s father packs her off to London and there she stays for 10 years.

It is taken her a decade but Sienna is ready to face her demons and take responsibility for her unstable mother, the care of whom was left to her half-brother. The sibling relationship is loving on the surface but the whole town is aware of the seething jealousy that Ben harbors against Sienna for being the pampered pet of the family. So of course, there are some hard truths to be faced by Sienna before she finds the courage to stand on her own two feet. Amidst the family dysfunction, there’s also the decade old murder investigation that is being reopened and an insta love connection with her neighbor Jonathan who has few secrets hidden in his closet.

The murderer when unmasked wouldn’t surprise many readers I am sure coz it is fairly obvious, the 2 things that Sienna realizes in the end can be picked early on itself for those who reads thrillers like dime a dozen, but over-all the story is fast paced and intriguing and keeps the reader hooked. I wish Sienna at nearly 30 was not so immature, her character sketch was irritating at some places but again for the ‘jhakaas’ entertainment, The Look-Alike is a perfect choice.

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Sienna Scott grew up in the dark shadow of her mother’s paranoid delusions. Now, she’s returned home to confront her past and the unsolved murder that altered the course of her life.

In her mother’s shuttered house, an old fear that has haunted Sienna for years rears its ugly head —that it was she who had been the killer’s target that night. And now, with it, a new fear—that the killer not only intended to remedy his past mistake—he’s already begun. But are these fears any different from the ones that torment her mother?

As the walls close in, the line between truth and lie, reality and delusion disintegrate. Has Sienna’s worst nightmare come true? Or will she unmask a killer and finally prove she may be her mother’s look-alike, but she’s not her clone? 

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