Review: Her Last Day – T.R. Ragan

Jessie Cole #1

SYNOPSIS: 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.  – via Goodreads

Ha! This! This was good. I have been reading Ragan’s Lizzie Gardner books, but they have certainly not hooked me and drawn me in like Her Last Day. Initially when I started I saw it was yet another private investigator with a past and a possible boyfriend in law enforcement, and I felt my enthusiasm dwindling, but I was drawn in by the writing that is better than the Gardner books and characters who are more real and far less grating. This world drew me in, and the story is really good.

From the off, minus my initial gripe, I was interested. This is dark and gritty and the characters are good. While a little predictable at times, it is a solid story that is methodically laid out. Jessie has more than one case she is working on, what with Zee Gatley and the Parker Koontz stalking case, not to mention re-investigating her sister’s disappearance. Even with all of that going on, none of the cases is really forgotten. Sure, the stalking case is the least handled of the lot, but it does feature, and I liked how it all balanced. The pacing was also quite good, nothing feeling too forgotten, or shoehorned in randomly at a later stage.

Ben Morrison is a complex character, and I am interested to see where his story goes, as well as find out more about who he was before his accident, as a lot of his flashbacks are a bit dodgy and rather violent, which begs pause. I never really thought he was super involved with any of the cases Jessie was investigating in this (with the exception of his possible involvement with her sister), so that makes me wonder all the more. This has a lot of potential, and I liked how it was not rushed into this, or that Ragan didn’t rush to resolve it all in this book.

The plot flows rather well, and the book doesn’t read like it is chock full of filler to make the book longer or lots of roundabout reasoning. It gets into everything, and does so well. Overall, I think that Her Last Day is a solid read with good characters, a captivating premise, and reads really easily. I am quite looking forward to seeing where Ragan goes with this series.

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