The Professor by Lauren Nossett
11/14/23; 336 pages
Marlitt Kaplan #2
The Professor by Lauren Nossett is a highly recommended mystery.
In Athens, Georgia, college student Ethan Haddock is found dead and the media begins to follow the incident. His
professor, Dr. Verena Sobek, was taken in for questioning, after which she is suspended from teaching and a Title IX
investigation is opened. Disgraced former detective Marlitt Kaplan is
now working as a research assistant for her father, a professor. She
misses police work and her former partner, but knows she can never
return to the force. Her mother, who is also a professor at the
university, is a colleague of Verena Sobek and asks for Marlitt's help
in clearing Verena's name. Marlitt agrees, although questioning people
when you have no authority or inside access to information is
Told through several different points-of-view, the very slow start
made it difficult to engage with the narrative right from the start. It
is not until later in the novel that the action picks up and the plot
becomes more compelling. A critical incident in Marlitt's background is
hinted at but I didn't realize The Professor was second in a series. The first novel, The Resemblance, is about the incident in Marlitt's life that preceded this novel and apparently provides some vital background information.
It is very well-written and once the action takes off, the novel
improves. If you can power through the first part things get better, as
in more compelling. Expect twists and surprises along with a good dose
of criticism over academia's treatment of staff and students. Also
expect a few incidents that require a good dose of suspension of
disbelief as they strain credibility. 3.5 rounded up.