The premise of this book is – what happens when a reviewer gives a one-star review and suspects that the author might be stalking her?
I can’t speak for all book reviewers, but I feel like I must give an honest review of each book. I also don’t want to discourage or malign an author. So far, I have never given a one-star review.
I have given a two-star review once but never a one-star review. To be honest, I didn’t feel good about the two-star review either. If I struggle to finish a book, it will go on my DNF shelf on Goodreads. It might be something I am just not in the mood to read right now or it might be something I never want to see again.
Thankfully we don’t all have the same tastes, and I may not like something that someone else loves, that is fine.
If I did give a bad review, I would hope that I could do it in a constructive way that was not personal.
If it sounds like I might be a little paranoid about giving a bad review, you might be right and it’s all because of reading this book.
Emma Carpenter is house sitting in a lake home on an isolated beach in Washington state with her dog, hiding out. She spends her days reading cheap e-books. Either .99 cent or free because that is all her budget will allow. We don’t know why she is hiding out. When she isn’t reading, she is communicating with her only neighbor who lives a quarter of a mile away.
They communicate with white boards and nautical telescopes. They play a lot of hangman. Deek the old neighbor guy always wins. Deek is curious about Emma and invites her to meet in person and have some tea. She declines.
We know that Emma is depressed, and she keeps a backpack handy, filled with rocks. She also dreams about walking out into the waves with that backpack on and drowning herself.
If things weren’t bad enough. Deek recommends a book to Emma called Murder Mountain. She reads it and it is the worst book she has ever read. Now Emma has never written a book review before but because she is not in a good place, she writes a scathing review.
Shortly after she receives a response from the author who orders her to take the review down. She refuses. He responds with a few scathing remarks as well. She deletes their conversation and figures that’s the end of that.
If that was the only thing she had to worry about, she would be okay but lately she has been finding it hard to sleep. She has woken up a couple times in the past few nights and she swears she saw someone standing in her bedroom, watching her.
She sometimes hears the second bathroom toilet flush when she knows she is the only one there. And the owner’s teenage son’s room is just creepy.
When the motion detector lights start going off at night and Deek’s ring camera catches a man with a devil mask Emma starts feeling less safe. Deek contacts Jules, the home’s owner and Jules lets Emma know that she ordered a stun gun to be delivered.
Eventually we find out what is going on but that last quarter of the book had so many twists that I kept thinking I had it figured out but then something totally unexpected happened again and again.
I read this book in one day so you can guess that I was up late. I literally had heart palpitations so bad, I had to put it down and finish it in the morning. It was like that feeling you get when you are on a roller coaster going down that first big hill. You can’t wait to go down it, but you wonder if you will survive. Since I wear an Apple watch, trust me, I checked my heart rate, and I had reason to be concerned.
This is one of two books I’ve read so far this year, that I have said were my favorite books and to be honest it is still a toss-up, but I think this one may be inching into first place. I literally could not put this book down until I had finished it and then I felt bad it was over. This is one that I will read again. I gave this book five stars.
If you are looking for escape and you love a little mystery, suspense and tension, you really should read this book. I had never heard of this author, but I am so glad that I have now. Look forward to his backlist. He will probably become an automatic buy for me now.
Title: The Last Word
Author: Taylor Adams
Published: April 25, 2023
Category: Mystery Thriller
Rating: Goodreads rated 3.97 stars
Setting: Washington Coast
About the Author:
I don’t have a lot of information about Taylor Adams. Here is the bio on the back of this book:
Taylor Adams is the author of several acclaimed thrillers including Hairpin Bridge and No Exit. No Exit has been published in thirty-two languages and was recently released as a Hulu Original film. Adams lives in Washington State.
I watched a couple of YouTube video interviews. He is married with a child, and he writes full-time. Also, he used his own dog, Laika’s name as Emma Carpenter’s dog. He originally planned to use it as a place holder until he could decide on a name but then changed his mind and decided to keep his dog in the book.
I have read so many good books this month and I have so many more to read. My next review will be Rose Cottage – by Mary Stewart.
I attended another AVID (Authors Visiting in Des Moines) book event this week. The author was Emily St John Mandel. Her most recent book is Sea of Tranquility. It is not a genre I generally read (metaphysical speculative fiction) but I did purchase it and will review later. Barack Obama included the novel on his list of favorite books of 2022. Those events are always fun. They usually draw a few hundred people. They are held at the downtown library and this week the weather was warm. The authors usually talk about their writing routines and sometimes about what inspires them. I always leave anxious to get back to my own projects.
I hope you find time this week to read and write and I look forward to sharing more information soon.