When Kate Woodward was 16, she and her younger sister, Beth, were tied to their mother in the basement of the family art gallery in Connecticut while thieves stole paintings. Their mother died, and Kate has tried to shelter Beth ever since. Kate fled her past by becoming a pilot, while Beth took over the gallery, married, and had a daughter. Now, 23 years later, Kate forces the police to break into Beth's house, where they find her sister's murdered body. Although Kate doesn't remember him, Detective Conor Reid was the one who rescued them the first time. He has remained obsessed with the two women, and blames himself that he couldn't save Beth. The tragedy brings back memories for both of them as they search through the secrets in Beth's life that she kept hidden from her sister. Despite the atmospheric setting, and beautiful art in the story, there's a bitterness and anger that pervades the book. VERDICT Strong love overcomes pain in this latest from Rice (Pretend She's Here), which combines suspense with stories of surviovors, sisterhood, best friends, and small communities shaken by violence or death.—Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN
History seems to repeat itself across generations when a murder and the disappearance of a painting lead a Connecticut woman to investigate her sister's private life.
Marred by tragedy at an early age, sisters Kate Woodward and Beth Lathrop coped with their mother's murder and their kidnapping during an art heist in the family gallery in two very different ways. Beth married Pete Lathrop, started a family, and continued the family tradition of mentoring starving artists as part of the now-named Lathrop Gallery in the town of Black Hall. Kate was unmoored by what happened, becoming a pilot traveling through life with no connection to anyone except for Beth and childhood friends Lulu and Scotty. When Beth is six months pregnant, she's killed in her own home, and Moonlight, the Benjamin Morrison painting stolen in the first heist, once again goes missing. Detective Conor Reid couldn't be more shocked by the turn of events. He's kept an eye on Beth and Kate for years since being part of the team that investigated the first crime, oversight that Rice presents as sweet rather than stalkerish. Conor is certain that Pete killed Beth. After all, the marriage was on the rocks, and Pete already had a new child with Nicola, his paramour. But Conor's theory of the crime is harder to prove than he anticipates. Kate's just as desperate to learn the truth about Beth, and she finds that the more she investigates Beth's last day, the more she wonders whether she ever knew her sister at all.
A long buildup culminates in a climax that's not as satisfying as the rest of the story.
In a family drama that is suspenseful as it is empathetic, Rice again displays her ability to portray female friendship and the pain of loss.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Rice keeps the reader guessing as she gradually doles out long-hidden family secrets. Fans of intense family dramas will be rewarded.” —Publishers Weekly
“Strong love overcomes pain in this latest from Rice (Pretend She’s Here), which combines suspense with stories of survivors, sisterhood, best friends, and small communities shaken by violence or death.” —Library Journal
“A riveting story of a seaside community shaken by a violent crime and a tragic loss.” —Brooklyn Digest
“From the exquisite opening, through twists and torment, this domestic thriller weaves an irresistible story of family and friends, trust and betrayal, love and murder.” —Suspense Magazine
“Luanne Rice’s opening pages of Last Day illustrate elegant writing at its finest. Twist after twist is guaranteed to keep readers guessing all the way to the surprises in the final pages…a sheer pleasure to read. Rice, the author of more than 30 books, is a master at writing descriptions and portraying story settings, a skill other writers admire and strive to acquire.” —New York Journal of Books
“The themes of love, loss, sisterly devotion, betrayals, and family ties are skillfully interwoven. [Rice] provides just enough intriguing detail to make the reader want to learn more…She once again doesn’t disappoint in this novel.” —LymeLine.com
“Last Day by Luanne Rice is a gripping psychological suspense story. It starts out with an intensity from page one that never lets up.” —Crimespree Magazine
“Lovely, lyrical—and lethal. Luanne Rice turns her talents in a new direction and succeeds completely.” —Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Luanne Rice is the master of small towns with big secrets. With a deft touch, she draws us into a picture-postcard New England village, behind the closed doors of a well-loved home with its beautiful gardens and perfect family, only to expose the truths within. Surprising, powerful, a total page-turner.” —Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author of Someone Knows
“In Last Day, Luanne Rice shows once again her unique gift for portraying the emotional landscape of a family. By adding a riveting thread of suspense, she proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that love and murder make brilliant bedfellows.” —Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of The Shape of Night
“Last Day, by Luanne Rice, shines with its brilliant plot about four women friends, their families and loves, and, shockingly, a murder. Rice’s writing is flawless and fast, her characters are like the women I have coffee with, and the desire, violence, and betrayals shock me and remind me of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.” —Nancy Thayer, New York Times bestselling author of Surfside Sisters
“A dark family history. A deeply flawed marriage. The complicated tangle of the ties that bind. Luanne Rice writes with authenticity and empathy, unflinchingly exploring her characters and diving into the shadowy spaces where they hide their secrets. Like all great stories, Last Day is a compulsive, twisting mystery dwelling inside a searing portrait of what drives us, as riveting as it is human and true.” —Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of The Stranger Inside
“A brutal murder, a failed marriage, secret lovers, and enough suspects to fill a room. The truth lies somewhere between betrayal and love. A compelling mystery you won’t put down or solve until the final pages.” —Robert Dugoni, New York Times and Amazon Charts bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite series
“I’ve long loved Luanne Rice for her trademark elegant style and her deep understanding of familial relationships, and she brings these superpowers with her as she delves into suspense. Last Day is a true page-turner, peopled by characters I care deeply about, with an ending I never saw coming.” —Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Never Have I Ever