“The Other Typist” was described as a Hitchcock thriller, and I couldn’t agree more! The novel was brimming with suspense that culminated in a fantastic ending. The novel was extremely well written and detailed. Although the main character, Rose, is frumpy and plain, her courage to work as a typist in a police department where she undertakes the unladylike job of transcribing the detailed confessions of criminals is admirable. Rose’s truthfulness is tested when the new, “other typist” Odella, drops her brooch and Rose contemplates whether she should keep it, or return it. There was something about Rose that captured the devilish thoughts so common to everyone as she decides to keep the brooch. Although the brooch may seem insignificant, the impact of Rose’s decision will have a ripple effect on her life.
I find that I enjoy books where the main character narrates the events as if they already happened. It allows the character to have so much more perspective about the decisions they made, and this approach worked really well here. Odella is presented as a somewhat strange character although it is not entirely clear why. But the mystery surrounding Odella makes the novel suspenseful. The speakeasys, bootlegging, and social parties used as the backdrop to much of the novel were fantastic! I would say that “The Other Typist” really had it all- a mysterious plot, great settings, excellent writing, and oddly magnetic characters.
This was a great read! It was a little bit “Parlor Games” and a little bit “Gone Girl” mixed with some “The Chaperone.” I highly recommend it.