Erica Spindler’s ‘The Look-Alike’ Examines the Effects of Mental Illness [REVIEW]

Silhouette of a woman at sunset
When a parent is mentally ill, a child can’t help but wonder if they are next. (Photo courtesy Canva)

A horrible crime. A mother’s paranoia. A daughter’s worst nightmare. When the lines between reality and delusion are blurred, will one woman be able to unearth the truth to bury the past? Find out in Erica Spindler’s new novel, The Look-Alike.

Erica Spindler's THE LOOK-ALIKE
St. Martin’s Press

Late one evening after attending a study group at the college library, Sienna Scott literally stumbles on a girl face down in the snow. She picks herself up, only to find that her white gloves are dark with blood. When she realizes the woman is dead, her terrified screams suddenly rent the air. Unable to put these events behind her, Sienna follows her father’s lead and leaves the area.

Now Sienna realizes to really move on with her life, she must face her deepest fears head on. But first, she must return home to solve the unsolved murder. The deeper she digs into the past, Sienna can’t help but wonder if she was the killer’s intended target all along. If so, does that same villain intend to right past mistakes and take her out once and for all? Or can she unmask the killer before her time is up?

With The Look-Alike, Erica Spindler does more than just spin a suspenseful yarn about a woman who who must face off with ghosts from her past. She also takes us behind the curtain of mental illness, and reveals what life is like for a child who spends her life caring for a parent who suffers from this debilitating disease.

We discover that although it is possible to love them with all your heart and soul, one thing eventually becomes clear. You can only assist them in managing the illness. There is no cure. And no matter what you do, you’re always left with the nagging question, “What if I inherit the same mental illness?”

I applaud Spindler for her mastery in capturing the emotional and physical toll mental illness takes on a spouse, children, family and friends. And yet, she navigates this tricky topic with finesse and grace, and wraps it all within a carefully paced, taught thriller filled with all the suspense and psychological drama we’ve come to expect from this bestselling author.

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Erica Spindler
Erica Spindler
(Photo by Hoffman Miller Advertising)


Erica Spindler is the USA Today, New York Times, and bestselling author of The First Wife, Justice for Sara, and Watch Me Die. Her work has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for excellence, a Kiss of Death award, and a Listen-Up award from Publishers Weekly. She is also an RWA honor roll member and a three-time RITA award finalist.

Spindler met her husband in art school and they have been together ever since. They have two sons. Originally from Illinois, she currently makes her home in New Orleans where she is at work on her next book for St. Martin’s Press.

To learn more, visit, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

By Erica Spindler
320 pp. St. Martin’s Press. $27.99

Purchase The Look-Alike direct from Jathan and Heather’s Beach Reads Book Shop or at one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, IndieBound, or Powell’s.

About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

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