Like a Sister

Mulholland. Mar. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780316256704. $28. SUSPENSE
Two years ago, Lena Scott walked away from her half-sister, unable to deal with Desiree’s wild, drug-fueled lifestyle. Lena had already distanced herself from the high-profile, lavish world that her hip-hop mogul father reveled in, and chose to live with her aunt in the Bronx. When she learns that Desiree has been found dead in a Bronx playground, Lena is convinced her sister was coming to see her. The cops quickly conclude that Desiree died of an overdose, but Lena doesn’t believe that. She looks to connect with her sister’s friends, including Erin, whose photos and posts were plastered all over Desiree’s social feeds. Erin offers herself as guide to the Instagram-ready world Desiree lived in—foreign territory for Lena. As she unravels the events of her sister’s last night, Lena struggles with knowing whom to trust; a mistake could cost her everything.
VERDICT In addition to creating a satisfying, twisty mystery and eloquently depicting the complexity of family relationships, Garrett (“Detective by Day” series) explores racial identity, privilege, and discrimination as an organic part of the novel, with a deft, often funny touch. Here’s hoping to see more of Lena.
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