Nick Hansen knows that ghosts don’t exist, but when he’s in the grocery store and sees the spitting image of his former college flame, Marissa, who died in a fire 20 years ago, he’s forced to do a double-take. As he tries to approach the young look-alike she drops her milk and flees never to be seen again….or so he thinks. The next day an officer is at his doorstep to tell him that the girl he’d seen last night had ended up dead in her hotel room with Nick’s name and address on a piece of paper in her pocket. Quickly, Nick becomes a prime suspect in this poor girl’s murder and must travel back into his painful past which just seems to unearth more questions than answers. Why did this girl look like Marissa? Who killed her? Will Nick be able to clear his name?
I’ll put it simply….I loved this book! Nick’s travels back into the past and how it is effecting the present brings up so many new questions, but the author, Bell, manages to tie up every single one. I love when an author doesn’t leave loose ends because it shows how much care and consideration was put into the book. Each character we meet is unique with their own motives which is a relief since so many books just create superfluous characters to drive the plot forward. I never felt like any of these character’s simply existed for the sole purpose of a plot line.
Nick isn’t in the best of places with his ex-wife, Gina, when all this goes down and he’s at a point where he’s barely able to see his ex-stepson since he has no parental rights despite growing close to the boy during the course of the five years Gina and Nick were married. Over the course of the book we get to see this relationship evolve in a platonic fashion and it’s really great to see the author paying attention to all the protagonist’s relationships in the book and not just the romantic ones.
Despite having my inklings about how the book would turn out there was still twists and turns that surprised me. I love when a mystery book doesn’t pull some random person out of thin air and pin the murder on them. It just seems like such an easy cop out, but then again I don’t like knowing from page one who committed the heinous crime because why bother reading then? Somebody I Used to Know had a balance of both believable and surprisingly which is extremely hard to do.
My only misgiving with the book was that at first I found it really hard to believe that Nick stayed in love with his college sweetheart twenty years after her death, but then as I got further into the book and had time to ruminate after finishing it I could see why he would still be so deeply hung up on her. She died suddenly two days after abruptly breaking up with him after thinking that they would spend the rest of their lives together. A lot of college sweethearts think they’ll spend the rest of their lives together, but it was the odd behavior Marissa showed, the abruptness of their break up and then Marissa’s death that makes Nick’s endless love for her believable even after twenty years. Her death left so much unfinished business for Nick to contend with that he was never able to love anyone else like he loved Marissa.
I highly suggest putting Somebody I Used to Know high on your reading list, but make sure you have some time set aside because you won’t want to put it down! I give this book two thumbs up and one “hell yes”!
Read on fellow bookworms!