cover image The Professor

The Professor

Lauren Nossett. Flatiron, $28.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-84535-1

Former Athens, Ga., police detective Marlitt Kaplan is just beginning to recover from the case that cost her her job—and almost her life—when she gets sucked into another slippery investigation in Nossett’s impressive sequel to 2020’s The Resemblance. The new case hits close to home: Marlitt’s old colleagues have teamed up with officials at the University of Georgia, where her mother teaches in the German department, to look into the apparent suicide of undergrad Ethan Haddock and the potential involvement of his German professor, Verena Sobek, who has been accused on social media of pursuing an improper relationship with Ethan. As a civilian asking questions (at her mother’s behest, in hopes of uncovering evidence to clear Verena’s name), Marlitt has no official standing—a fact she turns to her advantage when she sees a sign in Ethan’s former apartment advertising a vacant room and opts to move in, disguised as an academic researcher. Nossett gradually rachets tension through the use of multiple narrators, primarily Marlitt and Verena, who’s a vulnerable German-Turkish immigrant slowly crumbling under the pressures of academia (unsparingly rendered by Nossett, a former professor of German literature). Though a couple of climactic bombshells strain credibility, this is an emotionally resonant page-turner from a writer worth watching. Agent: Hillary Jacobson, CAA. (Nov.)