Review: The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka @KMLwrites @MinotaurBooks ‏

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Roxanne Weary #1

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Sarah Cook, a 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 sits on death row, though he always maintained his innocence. With his execution only weeks away, his devoted sister, insisting she has spotted Sarah at a local gas station, hires PI Roxane Weary to look again at the case. Reeling from the recent death of her cop father, Roxane finds herself drawn to the story of Sarah’s vanishing act, especially when she thinks she’s linked Sarah’s disappearance to one of her father’s unsolved murder cases involving another teen girl. Despite her self-destructive tendencies, Roxane starts to hope that maybe she can save Brad’s life and her own. With echoes of Sue Grafton, Dennis Lehane and the hit podcast Serial, The Last Place You Look is the gripping debut of both a bold new voice and character.

Guys, I think I’ve found my new favorite mystery series. Okay, I probably shouldn’t say this given that there’s only book #1 so far, but I wanted to share how much I loved this one. How do I know that this novel was special? Well, I read many series but the truth is that I almost never read a book after having finished the previous one. I need to diversify and I like to change styles. But the moment I finished The Last Place You Look, I knew I wanted to read the next one. Immediately. I needed it. Obviously, I couldn’t because this has just been released, but the important detail is that I was about to change my reading routines because of this book!

This was a lovely buddy read with Chelsea @ The Suspense Is Thrilling Me. You can read her review here. We both loved this one and I’m hoping to buddy read the sequel with her!

I’m not going to lie to you: this isn’t a unique or particularly groundbreaking novel. It’s a mystery book, featuring a PI (instead of a cop) and it follows many of the classic ingredients we all know and love. Still, there was something utterly compelling about the main character, Roxane, and her relationship with her family, friends, and lovers. I haven’t read many books featuring female PIs, except maybe for the Kinsey Millhone series, and while I found those novels entertaining, I was never “in love” with them. They didn’t feature enough personal storylines for my taste, and the cases weren’t that fascinating most of the time. If I need to keep reading a series featuring a particular character, at least, I want to be invested in their lives. However, in The Last Place You Look there was both an addictive case and plenty of interesting secondary storylines, so it was a win-win kind of book.

Roxane is kind of the classic tortured detective, only this time she’s her own boss. However, despite being self-employed, there are plenty of people here who don’t want her to keep investigating. Because Roxane is an amazing private investigator. She “finds things” and she’s great at it. In addition, she drinks a lot, she doesn’t have a family of her own and has a complicated relationship with both a man and a woman. I’m not going to lie, I’m team Tom all the way, maybe because I fell a little (okay, a lot) in love with him, but I admit the ex-girlfriend was quite fascinating, too. Another dynamic that I thought worked really well was Roxane’s relationship with her family. And there’s so much to explore here. I loved that she used her father’s notes to help her with the case.

But let’s talk about the mystery. Honestly, I couldn’t stop reading. The Last Place You Look was fast-paced, nail-biting and simply unputdownable. Sarah Cook disappeared the night her parents were murdered. Did Brad do it? Did she do it? Is she alive as Brad’s sister claims? Was she dead all this time? Is this case connected to a series of unsolved murders? (Let’s not kid ourselves, come on, of course it is all connected).

The ending was a great one, and there was even a smaller twist that I didn’t expect at all. So yes, I’m more than satisfied with this novel and of course, I want you all to read it and help me cope until the next book is out.

ARC, Minotaur Books, 2017

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Published by

Annie

In a past life, I was probably a tortured police detective with a dark and traumatic past. Right now, however, I'm just a twenty-something bookworm who loves listening to old songs and watching 90s movies. I enjoy mystery and crime, southern coming of age stories and historical fiction set in the last century.

31 thoughts on “Review: The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka @KMLwrites @MinotaurBooks ‏

      1. She could be kidnapped it killed, and that’s different. But to disappear, you couldn’t use credit cards. You’d need a constant stream of burner phones. You couldn’t have any accounts on the internet because they all require email addresses, which you can find with an IP address. You couldn’t have most any job because almost every employer requires direct deposit. In the digital age, your screwed.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Okay, I have to read this one especially after this review. I like the idea of a PI instead of the usual detective and bi-sexual?mh. I haven’t read anything unputdownable recently so I really want to read this. Awesome review!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. lol, we totally should. I think the first logical step right now would be to come up with a cool name for our agency before anything else. Its all about the name, you know 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This book could have been a “title love” pick for me, it is so intriguing! I love the idea of a female PI. We get plenty of detectives, but I haven’t read any stories featuring women in that position, it makes for a nice change! Great review!

    Like

  3. That cover is super creepy ((covers eyes))

    Is it just me, or are the PI’s in books typically a little rough around the edges? Just a pattern I’ve noticed… maybe it’s their line of work lol

    Lovely review 🙂

    Like

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