book review · Kensington Books · NetGalley

Book Review: The Last Time She Saw Him (Julia Gooden Mystery: Book 1) by Jane Haseldine

Before I start my review, I want to thank NetGalley and Kensington Books for allowing me to review The Last Time She Saw Him.

**All opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone.  I received The Last Time She Saw Him from NetGalley via Kensington Books as an ARC for my honest and unbiased review**

Now, onto my review:

Format read in: Kindle

Author: Jane Haseldine

Publisher: Kensington Books

Date of Publication: June 28 2016

Part of a series? Yes

What series: Julia Gooden Mystery, Book 1

Number of pages? 368

Where the book can be found:

Amazon (Kindle, Hardcover, Audible)

Barnes and Noble (Hardcover, Nook, Paperback, Audiobook)

IndieBound

Book Synopsis:

In Jane Haseldine’s gripping and brilliantly crafted debut, a reporter searching for her kidnapped son must untangle the connection to her brother’s long-ago disappearance.

Julia Gooden remembers nothing about the worst night of her life. Thirty years ago, her nine-year-old brother Ben—the person who promised he would always protect her—was abducted from the room they shared. Try as she might to recall any clue or detail, there is a black hole where Julia’s memories of that terrible event should be.

Now a crime reporter at a Detroit newspaper, Julia tries to give others the closure she’s never found. But guilt and grief over Ben’s disappearance have left her fearful that whoever took her brother is going to come back. Nowhere seems safe—not the city, not the suburbs, not even the secluded lake town where she plans to raise her children. And then, on the anniversary of Ben’s disappearance, Julia’s worst fears are realized when her two-year-old son, Will, is snatched from his bed.

Convinced that the crimes are related, Julia tries to piece together memories from her final day with Ben. Are the sudden reminders of her brother clues that will lead her to her son’s abductor, or merely coincidence? Julia knows she has hours at best to find Will alive, but the deeper she digs, the more personal and terrifying the battle becomes, and an undying promise may be her only hope of saving herself and her son.

My review:

If you are looking for a book that showcases the best and worst of people and has a dash of the supernatural in it, read this book. Seriously, read it.

Julia was not a character that was likeable and I love that the author wrote her that way. She suffers from survivor’s guilt after her beloved older brother, Ben, was kidnapped out of their room when she was 7. That one event shaped her entire life, forever. Julia tortures herself over his disappearance because she didn’t get up to lock the door that led to the outside because she didn’t want him to think she was a baby. This has affected all areas of her life….from her job to her marriage to the way she parents her children.

The story really got going when her 2-year-old is kidnapped out of his room. I think the author did a great job writing that part of the book too. She perfectly captured Julia’s terror and her fight to get her child away from the kidnappers.

From then on, the book became a mishmash of present and past when it was discovered that the same Indian head arrow was left under Will’s crib and a connection was made to her brother’s disappearance.

But all is not what it seems. From clues given by a pedophile pastor to a police detective halfway in love with her, you never know what direction the book is going in. And that was the best thing about it!!!

You don’t know who the kidnappers are until the very end of the book. The author did a fantastic job of keeping that hidden. She threw out so many red herrings and created a couple of false leads that when it was revealed, you were like “Whaaaat??”

How many stars will I give The Last Time She Saw Him? 5

Why? This was a very well written mystery that had a splash of supernatural in it. The author did a very good job at keeping me on my toes about who was Will’s kidnapper until the very end.

Will I reread it? Yes

Will I recommend it to family and friends? Yes

Age Range? Adult

Why? No sex but a lot of violence and some pretty graphic descriptions of sexually abused children.

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