I didn’t realize that while it’s not a part of a series per say, The Professor is the second book featuring Marlitt Kaplan. If you’d like to read the books in order than pick up Lauren Nossett’s The Resemblance first than more on to The Professor. However, I have yet to read The Resemblance, and this can 100% be read by itself.
UGA student, Ethan Haddock, has been found dead from an apparent suicide. As rumors of an affair with German professor Verena Sobek rise up, Sobek is thrown into a Title IX investigation and officially under investigation by the police. Marlitt Kaplan’s mother happens to be a colleague of Sobek and as a result pleads with Marlitt to help clear Sobek’s name. With time on her hands, Marlitt dives into the lives of not just Haddock and Sobek, but into the lives of the people surrounding Haddock.
As a major fan of Tana French, when they compared Nossett’s writing to French’s I was sold. Nossett has done an excellent job of weaving multiple viewpoints into a slow burn police procedural-esque story. While the main plot is discovering what lead Ethan Haddock to suicide, it doesn’t rely on the traditional shock factors to keep readers engaged. Instead Nossett slowly builds up the suspense with each chapter and by alternating 3 POVs: Marlitt’s, an unknown Him, and an unknown Her. She also highlights the struggles, competitive nature of the academic arena, both for students and professions alike, and the impacts this environment has on mental health.
Marlitt’s character is fantastic, complex, and shows significant development throughout the story. I think I would have enjoyed the story a bit more if I had read The Resemblance first though. We get plenty of background on Sobek and Haddock, but we only get snippets of what has driven Marlitt to this place in life. I believe most of that is covered in the first book, so my recommendation is to read it first to gain the full effect of her character growth. Otherwise, she was a great lead for this mystery novel.
I primarily listened to the audiobook, which is excellently narrator. I enjoyed the added accents of the characters, as they were well done and not over the top. I did feel that the book could have been cut down a few chapters, which is why I took a star away, otherwise this is a great option for slow burn mystery fans.
The Professor is out now. Huge thank you to Flatiron Books and Macmillan Audio for my advanced copies in exchange for my honest opinion. If you liked this review, please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my Instagram @speakingof.books.