Book Review: Last Day by Luanne Rice

Book: Last Day by Luanne Rice | Genre: mystery, suspense, thriller | Page count: 397
Published: February 1st 2020 – Thomas & Mercer

So… I did it. I said that I was only going to read one out of the three books from my blind date with a book, but then I changed my mind. Something told me to crack this book open and it only took a few pages of reading for me to know that I had to keep going. That means I’ll probably be back with another blind date with a book update where I review the final book and then rank all three. Who said gemini’s never finish what they start? Not me 😂

TW // murder, rape, death of an unborn child, death of an animal, self-harm

Synopsis

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

Let me start by saying that Last Day was incredible and I already can’t wait to read more of Luanne Rice’s books. I tore through this book in two days. I wasn’t expecting to be hooked by a book about a murder investigation. Yet I was obsessed with watching CSI in high school and I love crime/drama shows. I can’t believe I never thought to get my fix in book form! If you can relate then I highly suggest checking this book out. It’s full of secrets, suspects, and betrayal.

What I loved most was how developed all of the characters were. Kate had a career, hobbies, friendships, a love interest etc. Despite Beth being dead, she had a big role in the story and her character was so compelling. The supporting characters were also fleshed out nicely and provided meaningful dialogue. I felt like the synopsis was slightly misleading in terms of Reid’s character. He doesn’t become obsessed with the case in a sinister way like I imagined he would. I was actually relieved about that and pleasantly surprised by how he handled Beth’s case. 

Rice did an excellent job of portraying loss. Kate and Beth process their mother’s death very differently and it was interesting to see how it had such a big impact on the course of their lives. Beth’s death affected several people that were close to her and the use of multiple POVs was great for demonstrating this.

There were tons of beautiful descriptions which made the reading experience a little lighter. I also loved how flashbacks were used to reveal information. They were brief and seamlessly mixed in with what was happening in the present. The plot was so intricate and I couldn’t get enough of the small details because they were so unique and it made the story come alive. 

Last Day wasn’t just about solving a murder investigation, it was a story about grief, healing, sisterhood, love and more! Each character had their own challenges. For Beth’s best friend Scotty it was about feeling insecure in her marriage after motherhood changed her body. Kate and her best friend Lulu deal with the freedom and loneliness that comes with being single career-driven women. In the flashbacks with Beth we learn about her fight for her happiness and the gamble that she took for love.

I really don’t have anything negative to say about Last Day! It was really close to five stars for me but I’m giving it 4.5 is because it wasn’t as fast paced or suspenseful as I would have liked. I needed more thrill! However, this book had its share of twists and the ending was shocking to say the least. There were multiple possible suspects for Beth’s murder and all of them seemed likely. There was seriously no way of knowing who killed her until it was revealed and I loved that. My mouth fell open as I finished the book and I kept thinking no. freaking. way?!?!

WOW that was a long review. If you made it this far, thank you and I hope you liked it!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Have you read this book? Were you shocked by who Beth’s killer was? Let me know your thoughts!

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Last Day by Luanne Rice”

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