BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, October 23, 2017

Bea Reviews Her Last Day by T.R. Ragan

Bea's Book Nook, Review, T.R. Ragan, Her Last Day
Series: Jessie Cole #1
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: October 24th, 2017 
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

In this page-turner of a thriller by bestselling author T.R. Ragan, unlikely partners PI Jessie Cole and crime reporter Ben Morrison search for clues to a mystery buried in their own pasts—only to discover that sometimes the truth is better off buried.

Ten years ago, PI Jessie Cole and reporter Ben Morrison each suffered a tragedy that changed their lives—and now these two strangers are about to share a nightmare.

For Jessie, who makes her living finding missing persons, no case has consumed her more than the disappearance of her younger sister, Sophie. But left alone to raise Sophie’s daughter, she realizes that solving the case has become an unhealthy obsession.

For Ben, a horrific car accident resulted in scars both physical and emotional—and amnesia that has made his life a mystery. But curiously, out of his shattered memories, there’s one person he recognizes without a doubt: Jessie’s sister. He just doesn’t know why. Yet.

But Sophie isn’t the only phantom drawing Jessie and Ben together. An elusive serial murderer known as the Heartless Killer has reemerged from the shadows. His next move will cut even deeper into Jessie’s worst fears. And for Ben, what happens this time is going to be unforgettable.
 

My Thoughts:

What Worked:

1. An engrossing story. Plot, characters, pacing, action, tension, the story flowed well and kept me engaged and swiping my e-reader. The beginning didn't grab me right off but I was slowly sucked into the story. Due to real life, it took me 2 days to read but with sufficient time, I could have read it in one sitting. The story was complex, and after a slowish start, riveting. I cared about all of the characters and I was invested in them, even the minor ones. It was that engagement and involvement that kept me reading as much as the actual stories. I had to know what happened, who lived, who died, who went to jail, etc. 

2. Amnesia is tricky to pull off well, almost impossible to make believable, but Ragan pulled it off. I actually bought into it, even with a few unlikely coincidences. It felt as if Ragan did some research on amnesia and put it to good use.

3. The mysteries were tightly written and not too easy to figure out. I want to be kept guessing and be surprised, while having that surprise, that twist, be believable. Ragan accomplished that with all of the mysteries. Oh, a few of my guesses were correct, but Ragan kept me on my toes and thinking.


What Didn't Work:

1. Too much going on. Jessie's sister has been missing for about 10 years. Jessie's under police investigation for shooting a man. There's a schizophrenic girl missing. There's a reporter with partial amnesia who may or may not be linked to Jessie's missing sister. There's a serial killer. There's a romance. There's a renewed investigation into the disappearance of Sophie, Jessie's sister. Whew, lots going on.

2. I have a fairly strong stomach for reading gruesome details (not true when I'm watching TV or movies!) but there were many scenes where I had to skim and skip ahead. The details could have been toned down and the story still would have been effective. Honestly, at times the book felt a bit exploitative, violence and gore for their own sake and not the sake of the story.

3. There are still some unanswered questions around both Sophie and Ben. I'm assuming those will be addressed in future stories in the series.

Final Verdict:

3.5 stars. Not perfect, but a strong story and a strong start to the series. The characters were interesting and relatable, amnesia and all. Jessie and Ben made a good team, though they still need to learn to trust each other and work together.

4 comments:

  1. I like the sound of this one but wow is that a lot going on! This sounds like a book that might be better for me in print so I can skip the gruesome parts. Great review!

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    1. Thanks Katharine. Print might be easier for skipping over the gruesome parts. I don't think I could do this book in audio.

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  2. Ooo this sounded so good, I can handle your don'ts #2, but #1 good lord Bea, I was getting anxious just reading your list!

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    1. Most of those story lines tie in together but even so, it was a lot. And I'm sure #2 won't be a problem for some people but I wanted to give a warning for readers who prefer less descriptive violence.

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