Girls Like Us

Girls Like Us

by Cristina Alger

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An Instant New York Times Bestseller

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Banker's Wife, worlds collide when an FBI agent investigates a string of grisly murders on Long Island that raises the impossible question: What happens when the primary suspect is your father?

FBI Agent Nell Flynn hasn't been home in ten years. Nell and her father, Homicide Detective Martin Flynn, have never had much of a relationship. And Suffolk County will always be awash in memories of her mother, Marisol, who was brutally murdered when Nell was just seven.

When Martin Flynn dies in a motorcycle accident, Nell returns to the house she grew up in so that she can spread her father's ashes and close his estate. At the behest of her father's partner, Detective Lee Davis, Nell becomes involved in an investigation into the murders of two young women in Suffolk County. The further Nell digs, the more likely it seems to her that her father should be the prime suspect--and that his friends on the police force are covering his tracks. Plagued by doubts about her mother's murder--and her own role in exonerating her father in that case--Nell can't help but ask questions about who killed Ria Ruiz and Adriana Marques and why. But she may not like the answers she finds--not just about those she loves, but about herself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525535812
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/02/2019
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 2,302
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Cristina Alger is the author of The Darlings and This Was Not the Plan. A graduate of Harvard College and NYU Law School, she worked as a financial analyst and a corporate attorney before becoming a writer. She lives in New York with her husband and children.

Read an Excerpt



On the last Tuesday in September, we scatter my father's ashes off the coast of Long Island.


Four of us board Glenn Dorsey's fishing boat with a cooler of Guinness and an urn. We head east, toward Orient Point, where Dad and Dorsey spent their Saturdays fishing for albacore and sea bass. When we reach a quiet spot in Orient Shoal, we drop anchor. Dorsey says a few words about Dad's loyalty: to his country, his community, his friends, his family. He asks me if I want to say anything. I shake my head no. I can tell the guys think I'm about to cry. The truth is, I don't have anything to say. I hadn't seen my father in years. I'm not sad. I'm just numb.


After Dorsey finishes his speech, we bow our heads for a minute of respectful silence. Ron Anastas, a homicide detective with the Suffolk County Police Department, fights back tears. Vince DaSilva, Dad's first partner, crosses himself, muttering something about the Holy Spirit under his breath. All three men go to Mass every Sunday at St. Agnes in Yaphank. At least, they used to. We did, too. Except for a small handful of weddings, I haven't stepped inside a church since I left the island ten years ago. I'm grateful to be outside today. The air inside St. Agnes was always stagnant and suffocating, even after the summer heat subsided. I can still hear the whir of the ancient fan in the back. I can feel the edge of the scrunched-up dollar bill pressed against my sweaty palm, bound for the collection plate. The thought of it makes me squirm.


It's a calm day. They say a storm is coming, but for now, the sky is cloudless. Dorsey holds the silence longer than necessary. He clasps his hands in front of him and his lips move as if in prayer. The guys start to get antsy. Vince clears his throat. Ron shifts from one foot to the other. It's time to get on with it. Dorsey glances up, hands me the urn. I open it. The men look on as my father's ashes blow away on the wind.


The burial is, I believe, what my father would have wanted. Short and sweet. No standing on ceremony. He is out on the water, the only place he ever seemed at peace. Dad always fidgeted like a schoolboy during Mass. We sat in the back so we could duck out before Communion. Dad claimed to hate the taste of the stale wafers and bad wine. Even then, I knew he was lying. He just didn't want to confess.


After it's over, Dorsey hands us each a Guinness and we toast. To the too-short life of Martin Daniel Flynn. Dad had just turned fifty-two when his motorcycle skidded off the Montauk Highway. It was two in the morning. I imagine he'd been drinking heavily, though no one dared say as much. No sense in pointing fingers now. According to Dorsey, Dad's tires were worn, the road was wet, the fog clouded his visibility. End of story.


With these guys, what Dorsey says goes. Of the four, Dorsey went up the ranks the fastest. He got his gold shield first, then quickly pulled Dad and Ron Anastas out of plain, clothes and put them into homicide. When he became chief of detectives, Dorsey made sure that Vince DaSilva got elevated to inspector of the Third. The Third Precinct of Suffolk County covers some of the island's rougher parts: Bay Shore, Brentwood, Brightwaters, Islip. It's where the four men spent their early years together as patrolmen. It's also where my father met my mother, Marisol Reyes Flynn. Dad always called the Third a war zone. For him especially, it was.


Dorsey and Dad went way back. Our families have been in Suffolk County for three generations. Before that, we hailed from Schull, a small village on Ireland's rugged southwest coast. They used to joke that we were all probably related somewhere down the line. The men certainly looked it. Both were tall and dark-haired, with green eyes and sharp, inquisitive faces. My father wore his hair in a military crop his whole life. Dorsey, over the years, has had a mustache, sideburns, a shag. But when Dorsey's hair is short, as it is now, you might mistake him for my father from a distance.


We put out some lines and the guys tell stories about their early days in the Third Precinct. As plainclothes officers, they would show up to work wearing Vans and Led Zeppelin T-shirts. Glory days stuff. They didn't shave. If they had too much to drink the night before, they didn't shower. Just rolled out of bed and cruised around in unmarked beater cars, looking for trouble. They never had to look far. In the Third, gangs were-and are still-prevalent. Violent crime is high; drugs are everywhere. For all the wealth in Suffolk County, nearly half of the Third Precinct lives at or just above the poverty line. Dad used to say that there was no better training ground for a cop than the Third Precinct, which was why, when you looked at top brass of the Suffolk County PD, so many of them came up from out of there.


Dorsey remarks that Dad was the toughest cop in the Third, and the best teacher a young patrolman could ask for. The guys nod in ascent. Maybe that's true. Dad had an unshakable, almost evangelical sense of right and wrong. But there were contradictions. He loathed drugs but felt comfortable pickling his liver in scotch. He routinely busted gamblers but hosted a monthly poker game that drew district attorneys and a few well-known judges from around the island. The criminals he most despised were abusers of women and children, but I once saw him strike my mother so hard across the face that a red outline of his hand was imprinted on her skin. Dad had his own code. I learned early not to second-guess it. At least, not out loud.


Dad's was a rough sort of justice. He taught lessons you wouldn't soon forget. Dorsey's favorite story about Dad was the time he made Anastas lie down on a gurney under a sheet at the medical examiner's office. There was a rookie fresh out of the academy named Rossi. His dad was a judge and Rossi thought that made him a big shot. He liked to wear designer clothes to work-Armani and Hugo Boss-and that rubbed Dad the wrong way. Dad took Rossi down to the ME's and had him pull back the sheet. Anastas sat up screaming and Rossi pissed himself, all over his six-hundred-dollar pants. After that, he shopped at JCPenney like everybody else.


Dorsey's told that story a hundred times, but he tells it again, and we all laugh like we've never heard it before. It feels good to remember my father as funny because he was, he really could be. He'd be quiet all night and then pipe up with one perfect, cutting remark. Dorsey and I exchange smiles. I nod, grateful. This is the way I want to remember Dad today. Not for his temper. Not for his sadness. And not for the alcohol, which had finally taken him out on a quiet stretch of wet highway in the early hours of the morning.


Eventually, the sun dips low on the horizon. The sky turns an electric plum-toned blue. Dorsey decides it is time to head home. We're carrying well more than our quota of sea bass, but with three cops on board-especially these three cops, who, like my father, were all born and raised and will probably die inside county lines-no one's going to say squat about fishing limits. These men, Dorsey especially, are the closest thing Hampton Bays has to hometown heroes.


The guys are good and sauced. They talk loudly and repeat themselves; they hug me hard in the parking lot, not once but twice, three times. Anastas invites me home for dinner. I beg off, saying I'm tired, I need some time alone to decompress. He seems relieved. Ron has a wife, Shelley, and three kids. He doesn't need a dour-faced twenty-eight-year-old hanging around his house. DaSilva is in the middle of a divorce. My guess is he'll head to a bar once we're done here.


After another round of jokes, Anastas and DaSilva stumble off in separate directions. They both drive away in minivans, cars built for booster seats and lacrosse sticks and car pools. Dorsey points to the silver Harley-Davidson Sportster that I rode over here. It was Dad's favorite. He bought it cheap years ago; restored it himself over time. Dad had four motorcycles, or he did, before the accident. Now, I guess, there are three. His babies, he called them. Each one meticulously restored and cared for, swallowing up his off-duty hours like hungry fledgling birds.


"Nice ride." Dorsey drops his arm around my shoulders and gives me a paternal squeeze. Dorsey married his high school sweetheart. He lost her in a car crash just a few years later. He never remarried or had kids. Dad made him my godfather, a job he took seriously. All four of my grandparents have passed. Both my parents were, like me, only children. It occurs to me now that Dorsey is the closest thing I've got left to family. I feel a pang of sadness. I wish we'd kept in better touch.


"Yeah," I say, tilting my head against his arm. "It's a good-looking bike. I miss riding."


"You don't have one in DC?"


"I'm not there enough to take care of it."


"You move around with every new case, huh."


"I'm a great packer. Been living out of a suitcase since the academy."


"Your dad was like that. I think that's why he liked camping so much."


"He taught me well." I take a step toward the bike.


"You sure you're okay to operate heavy machinery? I can give you a lift home if not."


I wave him off. "Don't worry about me."


"It's dark out. The road might be wet."


"I'm okay. Really." I know what he's thinking. He's drunk, and I've had enough to put me over the limit. I have a wooden leg, though, and unlike my father, I know when it's time to stop. I never drink the way Dad used to, well past the point of sloppiness. At least, not in public. Like a lot of agents, I save my drinking for the privacy of home.


"You know I always wanted to ride this bike." I smile, trying to lighten the mood. "Dad used to make me work on it on the weekends, but I was too afraid to ask to try it out." We both laugh.


"Marty loved those bikes of his."


"He sure did. If there was a fire, I'm pretty sure he would've saved them first and come back for me afterward."


"Don't say that." Dorsey shakes his head, a reprimand. "Your dad loved you more than you know."


"Do you know what happened to his bike? The one he was riding, I mean." It's something I've wanted to ask but haven't quite found the right moment. It seems like a relatively shallow thing to consider, having just lost my father and all. But it's one of the many small loose ends I know I need to tie up before I leave Suffolk County for good.


Dorsey frowns, thinking. "It went to impound. I guess it's still there. I can check."


"Not the crime lab?"


"Nah. Pretty clear it was an accident. I signed the release form for it. I didn't think about getting it to you. It's basically junk metal now." He winces, realizing how that sounds. "Sorry. I just meant-"


"I know what you meant. It's okay. Should I pick it up from impound, then?"


"I can have them take it to the scrap yard for you if you want. Save you the time."


"No, it's fine. I'd like to do it myself."


"It's pretty badly mangled. I don't know if you want to see something like that."


"I'm a big girl, Glenn. I've seen what happens in a fatal crash."


"I know you have. It's just different when it's family." Dorsey looks away. His eyes are glassy with tears.


I nod, considering. "You're right. I'll call impound tomorrow. Cole Haines still running it?"


"Yep. He'll take care of it. I'll check in on you in the morning." He watches me straddle the bike. "Listen, did you get in touch with Howie Kidd?"


"Dad's lawyer? Yeah. He's dropping by tomorrow to go through some estate stuff. Glad you reminded me. I'd forgotten about it."


"You want me there? I can sit with you. Help you go through paperwork."


"No, no. Thanks. I'm sure it's all straightforward."


"Okay. Well, you call if you need anything. That stuff can get overwhelming."


"Thanks, Glenn. For everything." He gives me a two-finger salute and starts to walk away. I rev the engine and he turns back, giving me one final, sad smile.


"Hey, hon?"




"I love you."


"I love you, too," I say, my voice husky. It's been a long time since I said those words to anyone.


I pull out of the lot before Dorsey does. It feels good to get moving after so many hours on the boat. The cold air puts life back into me. I putter down the Sunrise Highway, across the Ponquogue Bridge, to the house at the end of Dune Road.


It's my house now, though it's hard for me to see it that way. It won't be for long. I need to sell it. I can't afford to keep it. Even if I could, it doesn't make sense for me to hold on to it. I haven't taken a vacation in six years. I have no use for an old house on the South Fork of Long Island, in a county that holds as many bad memories as good ones.


My grandfather Darragh Flynn, who I called Pop, built this place back in the 1950s, when you could still buy a sliver of land with a bay view on a policeman's salary. Views like this cost a half-million dollars now, maybe more. The house has about as much charm and space as an RV. I know that anyone who buys it is likely only interested in the land beneath. It is a squat, weather-beaten box with faded gray shingles and cheap sliding doors. Still, it's not without a certain charm. It has a wraparound deck with views of Shinnecock Bay to the north and acres of rolling dune grass on either side. I hate thinking about someone bulldozing this patch of marshland just to throw up a McMansion with a pool and a tennis court. I know my father would hate that, too.

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Girls Like Us 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Bought after watching Dana on The Five talk about it . Finished it in a day!
Anonymous 7 months ago
teachlz 7 months ago
Lindas Book Obsession Review "Girls Like Us" by Cristina Alger, July 2, 2019 Cristina Alger, Author of "Girls Like Us" writes a suspenseful, captivating, page-turning, intense, and thrilling novel. The Genres for this Novel are Mystery and Suspense, Thriller, Psychological Fiction, and Fiction. The timeline for this story is the present and goes back to the past when it pertains to the characters or events in the story.  The author describes her dramatic cast of characters as complex, and complicated. There are twists and turns, action, betrayals, deep-dark secrets, dangers, and murder. Nell Flynn is an FBI agent who returns to Suffolk County in Long Island, New York for her father's funeral, after not being home for ten years. Nell's mother died when she was a young child. Something about her father's death is making Nell very anxious. The Police Detectives who worked with Martin Flynn sing the highest praises and express their deepest condolences. While Nell is home, a body is found that seems to have to do with one of Nell's father's former cases. The Suffolk County Police don't want outside intervention, but let Nell investigate because of her father. The more that Nell discovers, the more danger she is in. Both the questions and answers can be deadly for Nell. I would highly recommend this riveting, tense, edgy and complex psychological thriller.
MKF 7 months ago
Nell's come home to scatter her father's ashes along with his buddies from the police force. She's an FBI SA now but on leave because she killed a suspect and was injured in the process. A body - a young woman who was dissected and then wrapped in burlap- has been found in circumstances eerily similar to a murder a year ago. Nell's pressed into assist, informally, by her dad's old partner. Unfortunately, things begin to align in an uncomfortable way for Nell as she discovers there was more to her father than she knew. Alger has done an especially nice job with setting the scene in Suffolk County, especially between the haves and the have nots, but never goes too deep on that, preferring to keep the pace on the mystery. There's a character who might remind you of Jeffrey Epstein but he's not a real player here. There are several big twists-none of which I saw coming. Thanks to the publisher for the ARC. This was an excellent read with a great character in Nell and smooth writing- a real page turner. Highly recommend.
Lesley Kay 24 days ago
Wow! I loved this book. I got sucked in right away and couldn't put it down. I found the lead character, Nell, to be very likeable. When she returns home for her policeman father's funeral and tries to tie up his last unfinished investigation, she stumbles across some things that make her believe her dad may have been involved in the murders. I raced through, trying to untangle the mystery before the end! Super fun read. I didn't *dislike* her first title, but in my opinion this one was much better and more suspenseful. I also really like the cover.
marykuhl 4 months ago
I drug my foot on reading this and now I regret it! I loved this book. I liked that this stayed in one time line. There are so many books lately that bounce around from present day to 10 - 15 years ago. Nell, a BAU agent comes home to bury her father, who was a cop. She gets pulled into a murder investigation as an "unofficial" FBI consultant and uncovers more than she bargained for. She is trying to figure out who she can trust, who is involved and how deep the coverup goes. It was not an edge of your seat suspenseful thriller, but it was a page turning mystery.
FrancescaFB 4 months ago
JHSEsq 4 months ago
Christina Alger, author of The Banker's Wife, follows up that bestseller with an exhilarating thriller featuring a strong female protagonist in an untenable predicament. In Girls Like Us, Nell, an FBI agent on leave following a work-related injury, has reached a crossroads in her life. She has never been confident that the right man was brought to justice for her mother's murder, even though she provided an alibi for her father. He has supposedly died in a motorcycle accident, but the more questions Nell asks, the more she finds the circumstances suspicious. Alger's thriller never compromises its authenticity and credulity. At the outset, Nell is comforted by her father's fellow detective and best friend, Glenn Dorsey. But his last partner, Lee Davis, one of Nell's classmates, asks her to serve as a consultant as he investigates two grisly murders of young women that no one seems to care much about. Both women were poor, undocumented Latinas and became sex workers in order to survive. Nell is put off when Dorsey and other members of the force seem convinced that they know the killer's identity, even though crucial pieces of evidence simply don't fit. Nell -- determined and relentless in her commitment to the investigation -- discovers evidence that is at odds with the father she knew, an alcoholic with a temper who lived modestly on a detective's salary, by a strict code of honor. Nell's first-person narrative is extremely effective in not only revealing her inner struggle, but propelling the story forward at an unrelenting pace. His usually tidy house is a mess, his bills unpaid. Details about her father's estate and recent activities are shocking. Unable to reconcile her findings, Nell fears that not only could her father have been a serial killer . . . but he may have murdered her own mother. Alger cleverly makes several characters suspects not just in the murder investigation, but the underlying web of relationships and interests that motivated them. She expertly injects surprising plot twists and red herrings to keep readers interested. Nell is a sympathetic character -- a loner who has enjoyed career success solely on her own merits and has convinced herself that she can work through her emotions without assistance or support. She has been running from her emotions for a decade. Most importantly, she is a committed agent who is repulsed by the indifference shown by the local police to the murder victims and their families, relentless in her drive to find their killer. Girls Like Us is an intricately constructed, eerily timely story about a tenacious young woman who refuses to permit the murders of two young women, in which she glimpses aspects of herself, remain unsolved. It is a story about lost chances -- not just for the murder victims, but for Nell and her father, as well. Alger proves again that she is capable of creating an engrossing, fast-paced thriller with emotional depth. Girls Like Us is one of 2019's must-read thrillers. Thanks to NetGalley for an Advance Reader's Copy of the book.
SL22268 5 months ago
Good Read! Thank you to G.P. Putnam's Sons and the author for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Nell Flynn has an estranged relationship with her father, Marty. Nell is an FBI agent while her dad is a homicide detective, and while they are both in the world of protection, that's where the similarities end. Nell's mom was murdered when she was 7 years old, and her father still lives where this took place. When Nell is called home because Marty dies in a motorcycle accident, she gets caught up in an investigation, with her father's partner Lee. While uncovering clues and information in the case, she starts to suspect that her father has something to do with the murders, of not only these young girls, but also of her mother. She starts questioning her father's friends - who have loved her like their own - which could cost her the relationships....and her life. Quick read, suspenseful, I enjoyed this book.
heidifk 5 months ago
Nell Flynn returned home to bury her father, but she quickly becomes involved in a murder case that seems to be connected to one that is unsolved by her father and his colleague, Lee. This twisty thriller has unexpected turns that kept me guessing until the very last page! I’m hoping we will get to read more about Nell in future books!
Anonymous 6 months ago
I very much enjoyed Cristina Alger's last book. The Banker's Wife was suspenseful, fast read with both good characters and good settings. So, I was very excited to be given a copy of the author's newest novel in exchange for my honest review. Thanks NetGalley and e publisher. Girls Like Us does its author proud. It, too, is an exciting, fast paced story with a great setting. This time, the locations are all in Suffolk County, New York. Towns in that county like Southampton are populated by many fabulously wealthy and (self) important folk, especially during the summer. Nearby, in towns like Hampton Bays and Riverhead, the locales are not as gentrified and are where many of those who care for the summer dwellers reside. Ms. Alger clearly knows her geography and presents both places with accuracy. Nell, the protagonist of this novel, works for the FBI. She was injured on her last case and has come to New York following her father's death. She and he lived in Hampton Bays, on the grittier, more realistic end of Suffolk County. Nell's father was a Suffolk County cop. Was his death in a motorcycle crash an accident or murder? Did he kill his wife when Nell was just a young child? What was happening at the parties of the wealthy Mr. Meachem? Why were young Latinas being murdered? Who is covering up what and for whom? Who are the guilty parties? There are questions and questions that are answered over the course of this excellent summer read. Pick up Girls Like Us if you enjoy suspense stories. Like me, I hope that you will enjoy spending time with Nell and in her world.
KarenfromDothan 6 months ago
Nell Flynn is an FBI agent, injured in the line of duty, and on leave while recuperating. Then her father, whom she hasn’t seen in ten years, dies in a motorcycle accident and she must return to Suffolk County. He was a SCPD Detective and his former partner asks Nell to consult on a murder investigation. The dismembered body of a young Latina girl has been found buried in a park. The deeper they dig into the case, the more disturbing the clues become, but Nell is determined to see it through no matter the consequences. It’s hard to follow up with another hit after your last novel was a bestseller, but Alger has done a super job of penning another great thriller. With a suspect that hits too close to home for comfort, a sharp female lead heading up a terrific cast of characters, and a plot that crackles with suspense this novel hits all the marks.
YayaReadsalot 6 months ago
I received an advanced digital copy of this book from the author, Penguin Group Putnam and Thanks to all for the opportunity to read and review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. Ms. Alger's second novel was a thrilling experience. A completely fresh take on the 'hunting down the serial killer' trope along with a strained father/daughter relationship that is very realistic. This story takes the thriller and puts it on it's edge with unimaginable twists and turns. 5 out of 5 stars. Highly recommended.
diane92345 6 months ago
In Girls Like Us, Nell is on medical leave from the FBI when she is sucked into a local case. Her father was a local policeman who is recently deceased. She is staying at her recently inherited cottage on Long Island, while trying to get it ready for sale. One morning, a dead girl is found on the dunes, hacked up and wrapped in burlap. Nell is asked to assist unofficially by the local police. She finds similarities to another girl’s death the previous year. Are the two related? I don’t want to give much of a synopsis as it is more fun to know as little as possible before beginning to read Girls Like Us. Just know that it is an excellent police procedural with plenty of twists and turns. The conclusion was a complete surprise that I should have seen coming. 4 stars! Thanks to G.P. Putnam’s Sons and Edelweiss+ for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
3no7 6 months ago
“Girls Like Us” by Cristina Alger is told by Nell Flynn in a first person present tense narrative that creates a sense of urgency and importance. The book starts slowly as Nell, on leave from the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit, travels home to Suffolk County, New York after her father, a member of the Suffolk County Police Department, dies in a motorcycle accident. Readers see everything Nell sees, hear everything she says to people, and hear everything people say to her. She shares what she discovers and what she thinks about those discoveries. Readers get to know Nell well. “I like moving around. I like the solitude of working on the road, and the challenge of doing it in sparse working conditions.” If burying her father, recovering from her on-the-job injuries, and dealing with “the inheritance” were not enough, a cop friend reports, “Something happened early this morning, out in Shinnecock County Park. A woman walking her dog found a body. A girl, buried in the dunes.” This death seems too similar to a case her dad was investigating to be a coincidence. Who is murdering girls amid multimillion‑dollar oceanfront mansions? If this is the work of a meticulous, seasoned, serial killer, there are likely other victims. She asks to “consult” on the case since she is still on leave from the FBI. The investigation proceeds in an orderly fashion with interviews, DNA collection, timelines, clues, but there are many pieces to this puzzle, and none of them seem to fit. The more she investigates, the more complicated the case becomes; this troubles her. “I have a bad feeling…Everyone who touches this investigation ends up dead.” Nell is driven to solve these two murders “It’s about Adriana and Ria. These are girls like us. I want people to know their names. I want to know who killed them. They deserve that, at least.” Alger describes the geography of the region in such detail that the place itself is a character. “The dune grass grows high and unruly. In places, it comes up past my knees, nearly brushing my hips. Overhead, seagulls circle, dropping crabs onto the rocks to crack open the shells. One swoops off with a whole fish in its claws, victorious. I take a deep breath, filling my lungs with fresh salt air.” Readers can follow along on Google maps, finding Nell’s familiar places: Dune road, Shinnecock County Park, Pine Barrens, Ponquogue Bridge and the Starbucks in Hampton Bays. One can even zoom in and see boats on the Peconic River. “Girls Like Us” builds slowly, event by event, progressively becoming more complicated until the dramatic and tragic end. I was given a review copy of “Girls Like Us” from Cristina Alger, G. P. Putnam’s Sons Publishers, and Penguin Random House. The deliberately slow start established Nell’s character, and the action, suspense, and surprises kept me turning the pages.
bookluvr35SL 6 months ago
FBI Agent Nell Flynn returns to her hometown to settle her newly deceased father's estate and spread his ashes. While there, her father's partner on the police force asks for her help in a series of murders. What she uncovers changes everything she believes she knows about her father, her past, and what she expects for her future. Although this book was a little slow at times, the storyline was excellent. There were so many layers to the mystery, that it kept me guessing through the entire book. Overall I found this a very enjoyable book.
mytwocents 6 months ago
Read the book instead of the blurb. If you haven't read the blurb yet, then don't. I think it gives away far too much, and this mystery/thriller would have been more enjoyable if I didn't know quite so much going into it. Other than that, this was a great quick read. Girls Like Us is different because the main character, Nell Flynn, is a totally badass female FBI agent, and the men get relegated to the bit parts. I hope Cristina Alger is starting a new series! Thanks to Edelweiss and G.P. Putnam's Sons for my DRC of this novel.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Anonymous 6 months ago
SheTreadsSoftly 6 months ago
Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger is a highly recommended procedural and psychological thriller. FBI Agent Nell Flynn returns home to Long Island to bury her father, Homicide Detective Martin Flynn, and settle his estate. After a second body is discovered, Nell, who is still recovery from a gunshot wound, ends up helping her father's new partner, Lee Davis, with the investigation into the murder of two young women. As she looks into the investigation it appears that her father may have been involved in corruption and a prostitution ring and his long-time friends on the force may also be involved. As the investigation continues, Nell uncovers secrets and lies, exposure of which could threaten her life. The more she unearths, the more the tension and suspense build. As the narrative builds momentum, the plot intensifies to a break-neck velocity, with some surprising twists along the way. Nell is a great character, smart and tenacious, as she takes on the investigation and her own personal quest for the truth, despite the consequences of what she exposes. Nell is questioning both her past and the present as she looks for the answers to her questions. The quality of the writing is outstanding, both in the plot and character development. The plot is intricate, gritty, fast-paced and action-packed. The pacing of the narrative is pitch-perfect, which helps keep the tension and suspense steadily rising with each chapter. (It is also appealing to have a reliable female narrator.) There are a number of well-placed twists and discoveries as the investigation proceeds. Book clubs may enjoy the discussion based on social classes that will ensue from the privileged home owners versus the undocumented women and sex trafficking. This is a winning summer read with a surprising ending. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.
linstrong12 7 months ago
FBI Agent Nell Flynn has come home after an absence of 10 years. Her father has died in a motorcycle accident and she's there to spread his ashes and take care of his estate. He was a Homicide Detective and when his partner, Lee Davis, comes to pay his respects, he also wants something else from her. Nell's father was working a case of a murdered young woman when he died. There's been another woman brutally murdered and Lee wants her to consult on the case. Even though she is on medical leave, she accepts without telling her supervisor. After all .. better to ask forgiveness than ask permission in her case. Nell's investigation leads her to believe her father may have been involved with local law enforcement covering up for him. Who does she turn to? Who can she trust? And how can she find the truth about her father? A slow start leads to a real page turner of a mystery. Well written with stand out characters, I found this one hard to put down.There are twists and turns and a very surprising ending. Many thanks to the author / GP Putnam & Sons / Netgalley / Edelweiss for the advance digital copy of this crime fiction. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
RowingRabbit 7 months ago
It should have been so simple. FBI agent Nell Flynn hasn’t seen her father in 10 years when she gets news he died in a motorcycle accident. All she has to do is return to Long Island, scatter his ashes & put the house up for sale. Poor Nell…she has no idea her visit will make her rethink everything she thought she knew about about her family & friends. Nell is on medical leave due to events around her last case. Being back in her childhood home lifts the lid on a lot of memories & that’s amplified when her father’s colleagues begin to drop by. Martin Flynn was a cop & these men were his brothers in blue. Nell’s mother died young & she’s known most of them since she was a kid. Among them is Lee Davis, an old school friend & her dad’s last partner. And he has a favour to ask. The body of a young woman has just been found. The MO is not only disturbing but eerily reminiscent of a case her father was working on when he died. Lee is well aware Nell works with the Behavioural Analysis Unit & wants her to visit the crime scene to see if she has any insight to share. That should have been the end of it. But Nell’s innate curiosity & need for answers kicks in & soon she’s spending more time investigating than dealing with her father’s estate. Picking away at the dead woman’s life leads her to information that turns her world upside down. As she hunts for a suspect, witness statements & other evidence keep pointing to the same person….her father. There are many threads in this book & it’s better you go in without any more hints from me. An intricate plot & well developed characters combine for a thought provoking read with plenty of surprises. I read this author’s previous work ( ) & found this slower with decidedly darker tones that I enjoyed. The story is just as much about Nell’s past as it is about the present. There are long passages interspersed throughout that reveal various vignettes from her childhood. They help us understand her relationship with her parents & why Nell left when she was 18. But I did find this frustrating at times as it slowed the pace & any building tension was snuffed each time the current story line was interrupted. They inform the present to some extent but fewer of them would pack the same punch & even out the book’s flow. It would also provide more space for the ending. The pace picks up at warp speed with many elements wrapped up at once but instead of “being there” while it all went down, we’re only told about them after the fact. But what these passages did very well is illuminate how our memories are influenced by time & circumstances. Things you remember from childhood can take on a different spin when revisited as an adult. Experience gives us the tools to see more angles & like Nell, you might be left wondering what was real. I really liked Nell. She’s smart, confident & fearless. She may have had a rocky past with her father but he’s still her Dad. She’s a daughter who doesn’t want to acknowledge where the clues lead but she’s also an FBI agent who can’t ignore evidence. It’s one thing to not really like your father, quite another to accept the possibility he’s a killer. Either way, Nell decides she has to know & her desire for the truth ends up changing the lives of everyone involved. If this is the start of a series, I’d gladly tag along on her next adventure.