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Susan Strecker Portrait

KIRKUS REVIEW of NOWHERE GIRL

Sixteen years after her twin sister, Savannah, was found dead in a derelict house on the edge of town, a bestselling thriller writer begins to uncover what really happened.
In Strecker’s (Night Blindness, 2014) latest, Cady Martino is at a crossroads: her marriage is on the rocks, endangered by lack of communication and problems with infertility, and the sudden rekindling of a high school crush has Cady questioning what she’s willing to risk to find happiness. She has a core group of friends, including her best friend since forever, Gabby, and her brother, David, but her husband’s fascination with her wealth and her own weight issues continue to prey on her self-esteem. Most of all, however, she has never come to terms with her grief for Savannah. When she gains access to interview a convicted serial killer as research for her current book and, at the same time, the local police decide to reopen her sister’s case, Cady begins to discover things about Savannah’s life and death that lead her closer to the truth…  The novel offers a very appealing protagonist in Cady. She’s plucky without being annoying, self-aware without being maudlin, and fiercely loyal without being blind. Her group of friends has an enviable bond, and the mystery focuses on personalities and relationships as much as it aims to reveal “whodunit.” In the end, this is a novel about great loss and refusal to surrender to the pain of this loss, showing instead how one can learn to live with it and, ultimately, find forgiveness and love as a survivor.
Compulsively readable.

-Kirkus Review
“I just finished Susan Strecker’s new book, Nowhere Girl.  I really liked her debut, Night Blindness, and having a great second book solidifies that you’ve got a real talent on your hands! Strecker has a way of making her characters seem like the people next door.  Their trials and tribulations feel real and relatable, and meeting them in a mystery keeps you rooting for them every page of the way.  I read Nowhere Girl in one big gulp. I hope she keeps them coming!”
-Jill Miner, Saturn Booksellers
“Cady and Savannah are twins and twins have a relationship that the rest of us will never really understand.  They are in high school and the day that Savannah is late and makes Cady miss the bus, Cady knows immediately that something horrific has happened but no one will believe her until Savannah’s body is found.  For years, Cady, an author, hears Savannah’s voice in her head and in her dreams, and it happens so often and intensely that Cady is consumed by it.  Her marriage is falling apart, she is falling apart, her writing is dark and she is a very unhappy person.  Cady wants to understand the mind of serial killers and interviews a killer in prison.  When the police reopen the cold case of the murder, Cady is right there, trying to help. As we learn more and more about Savannah and what was going on in her life at that time, the pieces start to come together.  Except….. just when you think you know who the killer is, it goes off in another direction and you are wrong.  [The] ending is a huge surprise.  Excellent resolution and as all the puzzling pieces fall into place, you can feel Cady’s relief and sense of freedom from something that has tortured her for sixteen years.  Cady can now get on with her life, her writing, and maybe even find some happiness.  Mystery lovers will love this one.”
-Susan Wasson, BookWorks

Night Blindness book cover

“Susan Strecker’s debut, Night Blindness, is engrossing, fast-paced, and filled with layers of emotion as Jensen Reilly finds unconditional love in the aftermath of more than a decade of complex grief and secrets. Strecker’s honesty about family relationships, and her expert hand at revealing what befalls the Reilly family, had me turning the pages late into the night. Night Blindness is a powerful story of loss and renewal.”
–Amy Sue Nathan, author of The Glass Wives
“An achingly atmospheric novel redolent of the time-blurred past even as it crackles with jealousy, regret, and unresolved passion in the present. It’s Strecker’s storytelling gift to make us love all her characters for their flaws as much as despite them, shading their mistakes with love and forgiveness and weaving a more than satisfying resolution. I can’t wait to see what Strecker writes next.”
–Sophie Littlefield, bestselling author of Garden of Stones
“Susan Strecker writes with unflinching honesty about the dynamics of a family in crisis, and the fallout of a single rash act. In her beautifully rendered debut novel, she proves that while there are no easy answers, there can be forgiveness and redemption. This is rewarding, up-all-night reading at its best.”
–Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times-bestselling author
“A beautiful debut filled with perfectly drawn characters, the visceral feel of a New England summer, and a long-buried family secret. I loved every page.”
–Kristin Harmel, internationally bestselling author of The Sweetness of Forgetting
“Family tragedy and guilt are too much for 16-year-old Jensen Reilly to handle by herself, but that is what she tries to do for 13 years. She abandons everything that defines her and starts a new life as an artist and model, eventually eloping with her art professor. Jensen is finally forced to face her past, her old friends, her family, and her first true love when her father is diagnosed with a brain tumor and she returns home to help care for him. Night Blindness is at times both achingly sad and uplifting, filled with a joy of life and love. It is a story of first love, family, grief, guilt, forgiveness and how the truth can truly set one free. I loved every page and couldn’t put it down.”
-Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction Booksellers