In Susan Strecker's Nowhere Girl, sixteen-year-old Savannah Martino is strangled to death in an abandoned house. The police rule Savannah’s murder a random attack of opportunity, which prompts the small New Jersey town to instigate a curfew and cancel football games. Isolated and afraid, Savannah’s sister, Cady, continues to communicate with Savannah through dreams. Cady knows Savannah in ways no one else knew: The beautiful, ethereal twin everyone thought was an angel was actually on the road to self-destruction.
Years later a chance encounter while researching her latest novel coincides with an unexpected call from the once-rookie cop on Savannah’s case, Patrick Tunney, now a detective, who tells Cady that Savannah’s case has been reopened. Through new evidence, it has been determined that Savannah’s death wasn’t a random attack and that whoever killed her sister loved her.
Despite years of interviewing convicted killers, profilers, and psychiatrists for her bestselling thrillers, Cady isn’t prepared for the revelation that someone close to her could have killed her sister. Cady is drawn into a labyrinth of deception and betrayal reaching all the way back to her childhood that will force her to find the strength she never knew she had in order to face the truth.
Strecker (Night Blindness) ventures into psychological thriller territory in her disappointing second novel. Cady Bernard, 33 and unhappily married, has managed to channel her crushing pain over the death of her identical twin, Savannah, at 16 into a string of bestselling mysteries. Meanwhile, she remains stuck in the past, as suggested by her choice to live less than seven miles from the site of the tragedy. She hopes that researching her new project at nearby South Jersey Penitentiary will somehow enable her to help solve the case which, coincidentally, is being officially reopened. At the prison, she crosses paths with her main high school crush, Brady Irons, who happens to be a corrections officer there. Back in the day, Brady seemed barely aware of Cady's existence, but she now senses an undeniable mutual attraction, despite the extra pounds about which she's incessantly self-conscious. Though the novel does have it moments, readers should be prepared for inconsistent characters, overreliance on psychic clues, and an ending telegraphed way too early. Author tour.