Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Book Review: The Girl in Times Square by Paullina Simons

The Girl in Times Square 

by Paullina Simons

Paperback: 608 pages

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (December 19, 2017) 

International bestselling author Paullina Simons delivers a riveting novel about a young woman whose search for her missing friend turns into a life-shattering odyssey.

The truth will change her forever.

Living in bustling New York City, Lily Quinn has plenty of distractions and is struggling to finish college as well as pay her rent. But that all pales in comparison when Amy, her best friend and roommate, disappears without a trace.

Spencer O’Malley, a cynical NYPD detective assigned to Amy’s case, immediately captures Lily’s attention. Though he is wary and wrestling with his own demons, he, too, is irresistibly drawn to Lily.

But fate has more in store for Lily than she ever expected. As she looks deeper into the mystery surrounding Amy’s disappearance, Lily finds answers she never imagined she’d find—answers that challenge everything she knows about her own life.

Lily’s search puts her on a collision course with tragedy and love, and gives her a glimpse into the abyss that swallowed her friend . . . until she faces a final confrontation with her own life-changing destiny.

“Part mystery, part romance, part family drama . . . in other words, the perfect book.”—Daily Mail

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

He was seeing a social worker now, Mary. He quite liked her— they had been together a year— but couldn’t help feeling that he was really just another one of her more complicated cases. Once she fixed him she would go. Spencer couldn’t wait for that day. He just wasn’t sure: to be fixed or for her to go?

He’s not a politician if he doesn’t have an affair. That’s how you recognize them, their pants are around their ankles. What are you going to do— prosecute each and every one?

And watch out for the cohone buster. She’s got a pair of her own and they’re made of steel. Sergeant Vicario, remember him? The Jesse Ventura of the NYPD? The woman made him cry. Cry, I tell you.

Lily struggled up from the bed. Unbelievable. Her mother ruined death for her even in fantasies. Even in fantasies, Lily’s death couldn’t be about Lily, it was all about Lily’s mother. She couldn’t even die the way she wanted to.

Whoever said that money did not bring happiness obviously had none.

My Review:

Paullina Simons is a deft and skillful scribe who writes superlative tales – they are maddeningly paced, ingeniously crafted, vexingly enthralling, extremely frustrating, endlessly fascinating, irksomely confounding, and they tend to turn me inside out before they gut me, but like a lamb to the slaughter, I have to keep reading. What gall! Her books are unbelievably long, massive tomes of 600+ pages, yet I have to examine and digest each and every savory word as if I’m a deprived dieter attending a long-awaited feast while finding delectable morsels buried in each chapter. Her enthralling tales tend to be multi-layered, convoluted, and cleverly meandering to hide the buried treasures.

The Girl In Times Square really cannot be defined by a single genre. I would say it is primarily women’s fiction as in the midst of a family drama, there is a missing girl that leads to a suspenseful twist, that leads to a mystery, that leads to a passionate love affair, that leads to more family drama, and additional suspense and another mystery. I loved and despised the unusual and despicable characters; they were odious, critically flawed, exasperating, endearing, weak, enticing, clever, childish, duplicitous, melodramatic, narcissistic, and yet, each and every one of them was extremely compelling.

Ms. Simons slyly laces her stories with cunningly crafted story threads that prickle and cause a discomforting sense of apprehension, yet I cannot seem to put my Kindle down. There are other threads that find me holding my breath and several that find me wanting to give the infuriating characters a swift kick to a soft fleshy area. While she made me work for it, she skillfully spun all the frayed and deviously tangled strings into an unforgettable, wily, mercifully kind, and satisfying conclusion. Sigh. I can’t wait to see what she does with her next one. I was provided with a review copy of this cunningly contrived and massive tome by TLC Book Tours and HarperCollins.

Empress DJ

About Paullina Simons

Paullina Simons is an internationally bestselling author whose novels include Bellagrand and The Bronze Horseman was born in Leningrad in 1963. As a child she immigrated to Queens, New York, and attended colleges in Long Island. Then she moved to England and attended Essex University, before returning to America. She lives in New York with her husband and children.

Find out more about Paullina at her website, and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. I'm always intrigued when an author can make characters who aren't particularly likeable, likeable.

    Thanks for being on this tour!

  2. Sometimes I find it cool when a character I want to hate I end up enjoying their story. This one sounds like it has many like that. I love the cover for this one.