My currents reads always number more than one and as long as they aren’t the same genre that’s never really a problem. Except for this past week. Yesterday, I reviewed Loud Mouth, a romance, and today I’m reviewing The Last Place You Look, a mystery. Now, you’d think that these two books were about as far from each other as could be, and, yet no. Both have female characters with alcohol issues, who seem to be slightly on the fringe; both have characters named Shelby (is this now a popular name?); and both had me reading them and getting the female characters a little confused. Ha! However, The Last Place You Look is a fantastic mystery from 2017 by a debut writer Kristen Lepionka that kept me turning the pages, which ended any similarities between the two books. Check out my review below.
June 13, 2017
Blurb: The Last Place You Look is a head-on collision between an allegedly closed case and a tenacious, troubled private investigator who doesn’t know when to quit.
Nobody knows what happened to Sarah Cook. The beautiful blonde teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her parents were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend Brad Stockton—black and from the wrong side of the tracks—was convicted of the murders and is now on death row. Though he’s maintained his innocence all along, the clock is running out. His execution is only weeks away when his devoted sister insists she spied Sarah at an area gas station. Willing to try anything, she hires PI Roxane Weary to look at the case and see if she can locate Sarah.
Brad might be in a bad way, but private investigator Roxane Weary isn’t doing so hot herself. Still reeling from the recent death of her cop father in the line of duty, her main way of dealing with her grief has been working as little and drinking as much as possible. But Roxane finds herself drawn in to the story of Sarah’s vanishing act, especially when she links the disappearance to one of her father’s unsolved murder cases involving another teen girl.
The stakes get higher as Roxane discovers that the two girls may not be the only beautiful blonde teenagers who’ve turned up missing or dead. As her investigation gets darker and darker, Roxane will have to risk everything to find the truth. Lives depend on her cracking this case—hers included.
The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka is the definition of a page-turner. Roxane Weary, a thirty-something private detective and daughter of deceased homicide detective Frank Weary, is frequently a bit of a train wreck. She drinks too much and too often and is definitely her father’s daughter, even if that thought kills her. But she’s always been good at finding things, so Danielle, the younger sister of a man, Brad, on death row hires Roxane as her last hope.
After seemingly proving that Danielle never saw Brad’s former girlfriend who everyone presumes is dead, Roxane tries to find another reason and culprit for the murders that landed Brad in prison.
This is the second time in a row of reading mysteries that I had no clue who the murderer was or an idea of which way things were going to go. Lepionka provides a solid mystery and a complicated character in Roxane. Sexually fluid, self-aware, self-questioning, and a bit insecure Roxane is a very different female private detective. Sometimes lacking in good judgment, she lets her impetuousness get the better of her. All of that said, she’s a likable character who the reader wants to see succeed.
None of the characters in The Last Place You Look are flat; they are all nuanced and interesting, even the deceased father who seemed to be a mean drunk is portrayed as layered as the story progresses.
The finale is exciting, nail-biting, and satisfying. All in all, an excellent read.
If you like mysteries and haven’t yet read The Last Place You Look, you might want to pick this one up.
Source: I bought it! 😉
5 out of 5 butterflies