Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Review: Last Day by Luanne Rice (audio)

Title: Last Day
Author: Luanne Rice
Narrator: Nicol Zanzarella
Published: February 2020, Brilliance Audio / Thomas & Mercer
Length: 13 hours 8 minutes / 412 pages
Source: Audio - Personal copy via Audible / Print via Publisher

From celebrated New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice comes a riveting story of a seaside community shaken by a violent crime and a tragic loss. 

Years ago, Beth Lathrop and her sister Kate suffered what they thought would be the worst tragedy of their lives the night both the famous painting Moonlight and their mother were taken. The detective assigned to the case, Conor Reid, swore to protect the sisters from then on.

Beth moved on, throwing herself fully into the art world, running the family gallery, and raising a beautiful daughter with her husband Pete. Kate, instead, retreated into herself and took to the skies as a pilot, always on the run. When Beth is found strangled in her home, and Moonlight goes missing again, Detective Reid can’t help but feel a sense of déjà vu.

Reid immediately suspects Beth’s husband, whose affair is a poorly kept secret. He has an airtight alibi—but he also has a motive, and the evidence seems to point to him. Kate and Reid, along with the sisters’ closest childhood friends, struggle to make sense of Beth’s death, but they only find more questions: Who else would have wanted Beth dead? What’s the significance of Moonlight?

Twenty years ago, Reid vowed to protect Beth and Kate—and he’s failed. Now solving the case is turning into an obsession . . .

My thoughts: It has been a long time since I've picked up a Luanne Rice book, but when I heard she had a new book coming out, I knew I had to read it...and I'm so glad I did. It made me remember why I enjoyed her books in the past.

One of the things I've always loved about Luanne Rice's books is that she sets her books in small towns and you can count on her characters keeping secrets. That is definitely the case her, with the added bonus of a murder mystery, which I absolutely loved. Right from the start, I was pulled into the story and that pull never let up. My interest was really kept engaged all the way through and I wavered as to who was responsible for Beth's death the entire time, never once guessing who was ultimately responsible until the very end.

I loved that as we get further into the book, we get the history on the sisters and their friends, the four making up the group that was known as the Compass Rose. This is where Luanne Rice excels, developing these relationships in such a way that you feel as if she is writing about you and your sisters or you and your girlfriends. It's real and relatable, raw and honest. 

I enjoyed this book and don't know if this is a new direction Luanne Rice will be taking with her books moving forward or if it was just a one off, but either way it did remind me of how much I like her writing. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for what she writes next and in the meantime, I will be seeing what books I haven't read of hers...I know I missed a few!

Audio thoughts: I ended up listening to this as I have the Kindle Unlimited Membership and this was a read/listen selection. It was so good on audio and I thought Nicol Zanzarella did a great job with all the voices, giving each character their own distinct personality. She really brought this book to life and her pacing and intonation was spot on. She infused just the right amount of desperation and tension into her voice as needed.


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