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Friday, June 16, 2017

*Grabby Hands* Release & Review - The Last Place You Look (Roxane Weary #1) by Kristen Lepionka

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: The Last Place You Look
(Roxane Weary #1)
Author: Kristen Lepionka
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Category/Genre: Adult Mystery/Thriller

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 SerialThe Last Place You Look is the gripping debut of both a bold new voice and character.

Buy Links: Amazon
4 “I need to read more mystery/thriller” Stars

ARC via NetGalley.

Thank you, Minotaur Books!!!

I keep forgetting how much I love mysteries until I read a great book and go “OMG, I love this genre”. That happened with this debut. Yep, this is a debut, and I can only imagine how amazing the other books in this series will be.

One thing that makes a good mystery book into something great for me is the main character. Sure I want to be so into the plot that I’ll keep turning pages, desperate to learn who the bad guy truly is, but the experience only takes that extra step when the main character is fleshed out enough that I also want to know more about her story. I found that in The Last Place You Look.

Roxane (with one “n”) was a complex character. Her good heart made her instantly likable, but her addictions made me pity her and also pissed me off at times. She was clearly an intelligent woman, but her drinking problems and her relationship with one of the characters made me scream “HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE THIS ISN’T GOOD FOR YOU?” a few times. It was infuriating, but fascinating, because I liked her enough to want to stay. It’s like when you see your friend making horrible choices. Half the time, you want to slap some sense into them, and the other half, you just want to hug them and make it all go away. I felt protective of Roxane while still screaming at her for acting silly.

She wasn’t the only complex character. Her entire family was like that. Her dead father felt very much alive at times because of his influence on her and others around her. I’m still figuring out the deal with her brothers and her mother, but since this is supposed to be a series, that feeling of “I want to know more about these characters” are a good thing. Tom… Oh, Tom… I ship you and Roxane, so I’m still hoping things will go your way, because I feel you feel it, too. I want Catherine gone. Seriously. Gone. And I even shipped Joshua and Roxane, and Marisa and Roxane, which leads me to the conclusion that Roxane is pretty much shippable with anything that moves. Except Catherine.

But, yeah, enough about the characters. This is a mystery book, after all.

I loved how the main case developed into small cases and then everything came back together in the end. I could follow the leads with Roxane, which is important, because nothing pisses me off more than when a mystery books introduces so many clues and twists the reader can barely follow them. This book was smart. I felt smart reading it.

I also have to say this (and I’m not lying here): I caught the final/most important clue early on. The moment one of the characters mentioned the “situation”, I went “LOOK INTO THIS!!! WE HAVE SOMETHING HERE!”. Roxane didn’t agree with me at the time and she started looking into other clues. Here’s when things get interesting. As soon as she dismissed it, so did I. This tells me the author succeeded in distracting me by building my trust in Roxane in a way that I started following her and her conclusions without questioning other things. I was still proud of myself when the “clue” came back in the end. It gave me the opportunity to scream “I GUESSED THIS! I SAW THIS!”. Most mystery readers love to delude themselves into believing this.

The Last Place You Look was a great debut. It had a group of characters, enough tension to keep me turning pages and a smart and complex leading lady who intrigued me so much I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble she gets herself into next.
*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

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