Friday, June 16, 2017

Review: The Last Place You Look (Roxane Weary #1) by Kristen Lepionka

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1035 KB
  • Print Length: 334 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250120519
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (June 13 2017)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01N0GR5RK

Book Description

 Sarah Cook, a beautiful blonde teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her parents were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend Brad Stockton - black and from the wrong side of the tracks - was convicted of the murders and sits on death row, though he always maintained his innocence. With his execution only weeks away, his devoted sister, insisting she has spotted Sarah at a local gas station, hires PI Roxane Weary to look again at the case.

Reeling from the recent death of her cop father, Roxane finds herself drawn to the story of Sarah's vanishing act, especially when she thinks she's linked Sarah's disappearance to one of her father's unsolved murder cases involving another teen girl. Despite her self-destructive tendencies, Roxane starts to hope that maybe she can save Brad's life and her own.

With echoes of Sue Grafton, Dennis Lehane and the hit podcast Serial, The Last Place You Look is the gripping debut of both a bold new voice and character.

"Lepionka reboots the thriller genre with her troubled hero, Roxane Weary, a private eye with little concern for her own safety (or the gender of her shifting sexual partners.) The Last Place You Look riffs off Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane but finds a way to make detective fiction relevant again, in 2017. I have never read a more confident debut."―James Renner, author of True Crime Addict and The Man From Primrose Lane

"In The Last Place You Look, a talented new voice in crime fiction gives us the seedier side of a Midwestern community―and a character worth following anywhere she trespasses. A wonderful debut."―Lori Rader-Day, Mary Higgins Clark Award- and Anthony Award-winning author of The Black Hour and Little Pretty Things

"Roxane is a wonderfully complex character...This is a remarkably accomplished debut mystery, with sensitive character development and a heart-stopping denouement. Let's hope there are more Roxane Weary novels on the way."―Booklist (starred review)

"Introducing a fascinating protagonist who combats her emotional demons with the aid of sugar, booze, and sex, this suspenseful, original, and confident debut will please fans of the hardboiled PI genre."―Library Journal (starred review)

"Lepionka's debut confidently portrays complex characters with multiple, sometimes contradictory, motivations and offers an unusually naturalistic perspective on sexual identity."―Kirkus Reviews

"Action-packed...Lepionka has created an appealing, relatable lead."―Publishers Weekly
"Utterly superb―can't remember when I last read such an expertly written and perfectly constructed book that gave me so much pure reading pleasure."― Sophie Hannah, author of Closed Casket and The Monogram Murders

"The Last Place You Look is a sharp, timely, and assured debut. Lepionka’s got a real knack for character. Her protagonist, private eye Roxane Weary, manages to honor her literary predecessors while still crackling with originality and life."―Chris Holm, Anthony Award-Winning author of The Killing Kind and Red Right Hand

"Just when you think the PI novel is dead, Kristen Lepionka brings it roaring back to life. Roxane Weary is a richly drawn protagonist who proves that 'hardboiled' and 'feminine' aren't mutually exclusive. This book is so good it makes me jealous."―Rob Hart, author of New Yorked and City of Rose, and associate publisher at Mysterious Press

"The Last Place You Look is a beautifully written mystery, one I devoured in a single sitting, late into the night. I’ll now follow detective Roxane Weary anywhere: into her hopes and fears, into her past, and―especially―into danger. An extraordinary debut novel."―Christopher Coake, author of You Came Back

“The P.I. at the heart of The Last Place You Look may be troubled and still green, but Kristen Lepionka’s debut mystery is as confident and deft as they come. A moving, arresting novel.”―Michael Kardos, author of Before He Finds Her

"In her daring debut, Kristen Lepionka blends traditional mystery with heart-stopping thriller elements to create something plenty original. The down-on-her-luck PI Roxane Weary battles her emotional demons to track down a human one, stumbling into plenty of trouble along the way. But she overcomes doubt in all its ugly forms, succeeding where others have failed. Lepionka exceeds expectations, as well, in this ambitious novel. With its memorable characters and surprising twists, The Last Place You Look will stay with readers long after they turn the last page."―Erica Wright, author of The Granite Moth and The Red Chameleon

"Seriously, this is a must read. I loved it."―Martina Cole, author of Close and Betrayal

"Action-packed...Lepionka has created an appealing, relatable lead."―Publishers Weekly

About the Author

 Kristen Lepionka grew up mostly in her local public library, where she could be found with a big stack of adult mysteries before she was out of middle school. In the name of writing research, she has gone on multiple police ride-alongs, taken a lock-picking class, trespassed through an abandoned granary, and hiked inside an Icelandic volcano. Her writing has been selected for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Grift, and Black Elephant. She is also the editor of Betty Fedora, a semi-annual journal that publishes feminist crime fiction and lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her partner and two cats. The Last Place You Look is her debut novel.

My Review

 Debut novel The Last Place You Look is the first book in the Roxane Weary series by Kristen Lepionka. Lepionka's first book definitely establishes her as a new mystery writer to watch.

The Last Place You Look follows private detective Roxane Weary as she tries to find evidence to free a man on death row. Hired by his sister, Roxane soon discovers that the girl Brad Stockton was said to have killed was not the only girl to go missing from Columbus, Ohio suburb Belmont. Belmont's police are not happy to have Roxane rooting around in their town.

The Last Place You Look is filled with twist and turns. It is impossible to put down. You need to know what is going to happen next. This gritty tale is filled with fascinating characters...none more fascinating than Roxane herself.

Excellent book. Highly recommend The Last Place You Look. I cannot wait for more from author Kristen Lepionka.

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