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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Review: LAST TO DIE, Arlene Hunt

Last To Die, by Arlene Hunt. Review by Barbara Copperthwaite

“Stomach flipping, heart pounding, & scream out loud brilliant”


He watches. He waits. He kills...

When Jessie Conway survives a horrific mass high school shooting, in the aftermath she finds herself thrust into the media spotlight, drawing all kinds of attention. But some of it is the wrong kind.

A sadistic serial killer, has been watching her every move. A skilled hunter, he likes his victims to be a challenge. Jessie is strong, fearless, a survivor, and now… she is his ultimate prey.

As the killer picks off his current victims one by one, chasing, killing and butchering them with his crossbow, he’s closing in on Jessie... But will Jessie defy the odds and escape with her life? Or will she be the killer's final sacrifice …

A clever, dangerously twisted thriller that will have fans of Tess Gerritsen and Karin Slaughter gripped until the very last page.


I’d lost my reading mojo when I started this book, so my expectations of enjoying it were low. I had started and abandoned a few books, unable to get into them and not sure what I was in the mood for. Then I chose Last To Die – boy, did it bring my mojo back! I devoured it, unable to put it down.

It is described erroneously as a psychological thriller, which may lead to some readers being disappointed as they aren’t getting what they think. It’s such a shame, because what they get is a thriller that is more like a rollercoaster ride than a story.

Stomach flipping, heart pounding, and scream out loud brilliant, this is a story bookended with high octane action. It starts out with a school shooting, where Jessie becomes a hero. But a series of terrible events are triggered by that single catastrophic one – and there is no chance of Jessie being left alone to recover either physically or emotionally. Instead, her life starts to implode.

The middle section of the novel is slower than the start, as more is revealed about not only Caleb’s hidden past but also Jessie’s – she is a woman with a huge secret. Jessie is one strong, feisty character who is as tough as they come. As we get to know her and the other characters more, the slower pace means the story doesn't suffer or feel flat.

There are few twists to the story, it’s fairly obvious how things will pan out, but it is the inevitability that lends the tension. And when I reached the showdown…wow! I was right there, alongside the characters, battling it out and almost shouting instructions out loud!

Yes, there are some clichés in this novel, and yes, it isn’t always the most believable book, but put your disbelief to one side for a while and just enjoy. But hang on to your hat, because Last To Die is a thrilling tale that will have your heart pounding and you screaming for more.

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