Wednesday, September 21, 2011

LAST WORDS by Mariah Stewart

Publisher: Ballantine
Date published: June 26, 2007
ISBN: 978-0345492234
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained via library

The most excitement the sleepy town of St. Dennis has seen for years is this year’s Harbor Festival. Chief Gabriel Beck makes his rounds, walking around the town, making sure things are running as smooth as can be. A relaxing meal with his sister, Vanessa and he’s on his way home. His peace is shattered by a call from the next town over. A missing woman has turned up. She’s not only dead, but she’s been murdered in a most horrific way. Her last words, and more gruesome, her last breath, is caught on tape.

When a second body turns up, this time in Beck’s private vehicle, he calls in the FBI. He wants the killer caught and caught now. John Mancinni sends in Mia Shields. The only female in the Shields family with the Bureau, the murder of her cousin by one of her brothers still haunts her. Living in cousin Connor’s house gives her some respite, but she cannot silence the voices of the victims. Little does she know when she arrives in St. Dennis, her voice is on the way to joining those very victims.

Mariah Stewart’s LAST WORDS is a mind bending shocker. It is one of those books that you keep telling yourself you need to put down until someone is nearby and at the same time, you can’t help but sit and keep turning the pages. This is by far her most compelling book yet. She has moved beyond a simple suspense to a white knuckled thriller. Her villain in this one is the most devious perhaps the sickest mind I’ve read to date. His incredibly twisted mind makes the heroine even more interesting as she pursues him.

St. Dennis is the kind of idyllic town I would love to go for a week or two vacation. Peaceful, quaint, on the water, with interesting shops. The people are the kind you’d like to have for your neighbors and Ms. Stewart brings them to life on the pages of LAST WORDS. I didn’t think she could top herself after LAST LOOK but she totally outdoes herself in this one. My jaw dropped at the method the killer uses to murder his victims. LAST WORDS is well plotted, well researching and wonderfully delivered.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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