He watches. He waits. He kills …
Last to Die is the latest psychological thriller from Irish Writer Arlene Hunt. Published by Bookouture, it is due for publication on 24th June 2016. I received my copy from NetGalley and Bookouture in exchange for my honest review.
‘When Jessie Conway survives a horrific mass high school shooting, in the aftermath she finds herself thrust into the media spotlight, drawing all kinds of attention. But some of it is the wrong kind.
Caleb Switch, a sadistic serial killer has been watching her every move. A skilled hunter, he likes his victims to be a challenge to him. Jessie is strong, fearless, a survivor, and now…she is his ultimate prey.
As Caleb picks off his current victims one by one, chasing, killing and butchering them with his crossbow, he’s closing in on Jessie… But will Jessie defy the odds and escape with her life? Or will she be Caleb’s final sacrifice …’
Jessie and Mike Conway are happily married, living in the small town of Rockville. Jesse is employed as a teacher in the local high school, Rockville High and Mike is a mechanic, with his own business. One day, their lives change forever in the most frightening way imaginable.
Jessie is finishing up in school for the day when chaos breaks out. There are two shooters in the school. In the ensuing drama, Jesse suffers a traumatic injury while loosing a few of her colleagues to the spray of bullets that attack them. Jessie survives the incident as the local town hero but unfortunately it also brings her identity to the attention of Caleb Switch. Caleb is a twisted individual, with a very cruel and savage mind. He is a calculated psychopath with focus and no fear.
He stalks and selects his prey with a frightening methodology, categorizing them according to the type of human being they are – weak to strong.
‘He had found what he hoped was a perfect Category A target and was in the process of selection. The process could not be rushed. Slow and steady was the way. It was the matter of stalking the game, learning what makes it tick, it’s habitats, strengths and weaknesses. In this type of pursuit Caleb excelled.’
Following the shooting incident Jessie is hounded by the press, particularly by local journalist, Darla Levine. They all want her story but Jessie refuses to speak with the media so Darla decided to delve into Jessie’s past.
Darla is under huge pressure from her boss, ‘Popeye’, who runs the newspaper with military precision with such great lines as ‘Impossible is bullshit for people too stupid to build a bridge over possible. You go out there and you make it possible.’
Darla constantly maintains Jessie’s profile in the paper with stories of her heroism but also reveals a history that Jessie had kept a secret until now. What Darla doesn’t realise is she is also attracting the attention of a cruel and perverted individual, who now finds Jessie Conway a very interesting prey…..and the hunt begins!!
Jessie and Mike had a wonderful marriage. he knew she had a past and he chose to let her alone with her memories. ‘He had tried. As had she, he knew that, and maybe it had been easy to pretend there was nothing to question…He knew whatever she carried had hurt her deeply. He had learned to read the signals, to pre-empt the sudden depressions, to leave her be when she struggled with her private battles….In return, she had loved him with a ferocity that never wavered and her passion for him seemed to grow with every ounce of freedom he granted.’
Now Jessie is in trouble and Mike, with the assistance of his brother Ace, tries to put aside his hurt for a past he knew nothing of, and search for the woman he loves.
Mike and Ace trawl through every lead they find to uncover the true face of Caleb Switch.
‘My brother is like a rabid dog. You can’t reason with him, you can’t figure him out. You get chance to take him down, mister, you better not waste it, because he won’t’
It is a race against time and it is a book you will just have to pick up to find out what happens!!
Last to Die is a very fast paced psychological thriller.
We are exposed to the mind of a very sick individual but also we are given insight into the other characters in the novel. Darla, the ruthless journalist. Mike, the hurt and confused, but yet adoring husband. Jessie, a woman living with a secret past, struggling to maintain composure in her everyday life. We meet the relatives, the townsfolk, the friends. We meet the ‘prey’. All so vividly described by Arlene Hunt.
A compelling, unputdownable read …so what are you waiting for????
Purchase Link ~ Last To Die
About the Author:
Arlene Hunt is a unique voice in Irish crime fiction. Her dark and atmospheric stories perfectly capture the grimy underworld of Dublin and beyond.
With her first novel published in 2004, Last to Die, is her latest book and is a standalone thriller based in the US.
She is represented by Faith O’Grady of The Lisa Richard’s Agency
Arlene Hunt lives in Dublin with her husband, daughter, German Shepherd and a one-eyed cat. (Courtesy of arlenehunt.com)