Book Review / Lauren Nossett / Reviews with Spoilers

Lauren Nossett | The Resemblance

The Book: 

The Resemblance by Lauren Nossett
Published November 8, 2022 by Flatiron Books
Date read: September 9, 2023

The Characters: 

Darby, Mary Beth, and Rhea

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Buy it on Bookshop.org | Amazon

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

On a chilly November morning at the University of Georgia, a fraternity brother steps off a busy crosswalk and is struck dead by an oncoming car. More than a dozen witnesses all agree on two things: The driver looked identical to the victim, and he was smiling.

Detective Marlitt Kaplan is first on the scene. An Athens native and the daughter of a UGA professor, she knows all its shameful histories, from the skull discovered under the foundations of Baldwin Hall to the hushed-up murder-suicide in Waddel. But in the course of investigating this hit-and-run, she will uncover more chilling secrets as she explores the sprawling, interconnected Greek system that entertains and delights the university’s most elite and connected students.

The lines between Marlitt’s policework and her own past increasingly blur as Marlitt seeks to bring to justice an institution that took something precious from her many years ago. When threats against her escalate, and some long-buried secrets threaten to come to the surface, she can’t help but question whether the corruption in Athens has run off campus and into the force and how far these brotherhoods will go to protect their own.

How did The Resemblance end?

Click here for book spoilers for The Resemblance
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The Resemblance, I suggest you turn back now.

The Reveal:

As hinted by the title, there was another boy that strongly resembled Jay. Colin had been sitting in for Jay in classes and pretending to be him in general. That’s why Colin’s parents thought Colin was in the fraternity. He was a little obsessed with being Jay and was stealing from him. Colin eventually became jealous of what Jay had and hit him with his own car on the day that he had stolen it.

Ryan, a young fraternity member, was the one who set fire to Marlitt’s house. Was this ever really explained what his motivation was? If so, I missed it. It felt like a very over-the-top reaction.

Colin was arrested for Jay’s murder. Trip told Marlitt about some cameras in the basement that presumably allowed the university to investigate the hazing.

Marlitt had such a vendetta against the fraternity because her best friend had died in a hazing incident when they were in college.

The Ending:

In the epilogue, Marlitt asks her mother why she knows German. Her mother admits that Marlitt was a twin, but her twin brother had a congenital heart defect. They took both twins to Germany to try to get him the medical help he needed, but he died as an infant. Marlitt’s mother presumed that Marlitt had picked up some German from being spoken to by the nurses while they lived there.

The Review: 

With the colorful leaves on the cover, this campus thriller seemed like the perfect way to kick off my fall reading. Our protagonist Marlitt is investigating a suspicious hit-and-run, which leads her to a fraternity where something seems off.

I liked the plot well enough, but it lacked the “oomf” factor that really draws me into a thriller. I didn’t feel much for Marlitt or the other characters, and found myself frequently picking up other books instead of finishing this one. The rogue investigation aspect was fun, and I liked that Marlitt’s backstory explained her vendetta against Greek life. It gets a little preachy about how bad Greek life is, which I’m sure will irk some readers.

In the end, the story wrapped up somewhat abruptly and a lot was left unexplained. There will be a second book in the series, but it looks like it will focus on a new case and not give us more answers about this one.

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