cover image The Resemblance

The Resemblance

Lauren Nossett. Flatiron, $28.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-84324-1

Det. Marlitt Kaplan—the 29-year-old narrator of Nossett’s impassioned if overwrought debut—is tired of being sidelined by her paternalistic boss, so she’s elated to be first on the scene of a fatal hit-and-run at the University of Georgia in her hometown of Athens. According to witnesses, Kappa Phi Omicron member Jay Kemp was crossing the street when a car driven by his smiling doppelgänger accelerated in order to strike him. Marlitt despises fraternities for something that happened while she was in college, and suspects KPO is somehow responsible for Jay’s death—particularly after one of the brothers wipes Jay’s laptop before police can examine it. She begins obsessively investigating Jay’s fellow KPO members, despite doubts from coworkers, admonitions from her supervisor, and escalating threats against Marlitt and her police partner. Nossett delivers a scathing indictment of Greek life cloaked in a twisty mystery rife with red herrings. The plot is overly busy and a convoluted denouement strains credulity, but Marlitt’s fanatical first-person voice adds urgency and focus. Nossett is off to a solid start. Agent: Hillary Jacobson, ICM Partners. (Nov.)