The Last to Die really made me excited to read it based on the premise and the blurb on the front cover, which claimed that it is “a twisty puzzle of a mystery.” I really love mysteries and thrillers, and something that keeps me guessing the whole time I’m reading it, so I was so delighted to have the chance to read this book.
I did like this book – reading it gave me a night of guessing and trying to figure out the mystery within its pages. However, I didn’t love it – it felt way too short for one, and because of this, so much felt rushed. I feel like there could have been a lot more detail in the book that would have helped to make it seem like a more fleshed out story.
Also, the title seemed a bit misleading.
“One just doesn’t go around with an idiotic smile splashed across her face fro no reason. Especially after committing a crime.”
Harper and her group of friends are entitled and well off, with wealthy parents and too much time on their hands. Because of this, they come up with a game to make their lives more exciting, and to help them get some extra cash. The game? They break into each other’s houses when they are out of town, stealing items that they can sell to get extra money to buy alcohol, drugs, and whatever else their hearts desire.
They only have two rules. The first rule is to only break into one another’s houses: not the homes of their neighbors or those with whom they are not friends. The second rule? They are only allowed to take things that can be replaced easily. While money is not an object, they are sure to take things that are easily replaced – no important family heirlooms, for example.
And for a while, this whole arrangement works.
Then they start to get bored, and begin seeking out the homes of other kids in school, breaking in and stealing things that they can easily sell.
Eventually, Harper and her boyfriend decide that they want out of this. Their two friends also decide that they’re done, which is great: no more breaking into homes and stealing, and instead they can focus on more important things and find new ways to have fun. Plus, no more risk of getting caught, right?
When Sarah, one of the group, dies from an apparent overdose, things take a dive south – police get involved, things get messy, and it leaves Harper wondering the truth – did Sarah really die from an overdose? Or was she murdered?
When tragedy strikes again, it becomes apparent to Harper that someone is out to get them – but is it who she thinks it is? Or is it someone else entirely? And who will believe her?
The Last to Die didn’t have me guessing who the bad guy was – it was glaringly obvious that it wasn’t who the author wanted you to think it was, because she put so much effort into trying to pin it on that person. So of course it had to be someone else, right? That’s not to say I figured out who it was – I just knew that it wasn’t the obvious choice. It took me a while to put some things together, but when you do reach that part of the book, it’s a bit of a surprise.
I did mention earlier that I felt like this book was way too short. It was rushed – too rushed. Another fifty to a hundred pages would have made this so much better – too many ideas were introduced here and not explored as fully as they could have been. I also would have loved a few more deaths…it would have added to the suspense.
The idea behind the story was definitely interesting, though! I loved the whole “stealing from each other” bit – it was a brilliant plan that was hatched by some really bored and entitled rich kids to spice up their lives, and it was fun.
The characters were not quite as developed as I had hoped they would be, but because the book is so short and there are six major characters, I couldn’t really expect them to all be so detailed. So that’s okay, honestly, it’s not something I’m going to get upset about. The development of the main character, Harper, was definitely there, and I felt like she learned a lot and truly developed as a person from the beginning of the book to the end, which I was definitely happy about.
All in all, The Last to Die is a quick read with some suspenseful parts that may leave you guessing. It’s a great read for those who are just starting to branch out with thrillers or someone who wants a quick read to fit into their busy schedule.