I’ve been in a slight reading rut. I haven’t had a book for two weeks that grabbed me and didn’t let go. The kind you stay up late to finish, the kind you don’t skip through waiting for something to finally happen. Well thanks to Arlene Hunt I finally found one!
In Last to Die, we begin by meeting Jessie, a school teacher and her class. Within the first chapters we experience a school shooting that leaves several dead. Jessie is hailed a hero after she wrestles with the shooters to prevent further carnage. At this point, I’m thinking this book will be like We Need to Talk About Kevin tie-in: A Novel and focus on the aftermath of the shooting. I’m thinking the sociopath will be the shooters and we will go back and relive the events leading up to the shooting. I’m kind of wondering who Caleb is and why he’s necessary to the story. Is he the reason the boys shot up the school? Hmmm
It’s not long before I realize this book is about way more than a school shooting. It’s actually the story outside the shooting that will grab me and keep me up past dark to finish. In Caleb we get a glimpse into the life of a true sociopath. I loved the way Ms Hunt portrayed this character. In one scene, Caleb who categorizes his victims into categories based in their survival abilities, Category A – strong fight and Category B – easy prey, gives us a glimpse to his madness and reason to be scared about those we interact with on a daily basis.
“Caleb wondered idly what is it about Category B people… Why was their value on life so low that they were eager to relinquish it freely? He thought of them, and the many like them, drifting through life with a big bullseye painted on their backs. If they were lucky, the predator was not looking as they drifted by. If not…well, if not there were people like him.”
Makes the hair on my neck stand up. You just never know who you are meeting. Charmers and sociopaths like Caleb are out there. Yikes!
If you love Criminal Minds, you will love this book. It reads like an episode from the show. Fast paced and unexpected twists. The characters were all well developed, not just Jessie and Caleb. The book even throws in some of my most hard to read scenes, those that take place in small, confined, claustrophobic places. You will root for Jessie as you race to the conclusion of this one. A one day read at best. I suggest you clear your calendar and hope for a rainy day.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me a copy to review. It’s on Amazon right now for preorder at a super steal .99 for a thrill ride. Let me know how you like it!
Here’s the link to the book on preorder sale –