It's 1983 and the setting is an old cliffside mansion in Maine. Home health aide Kit McDeere needs a new assignment. Her last job ended badly, and she can't be choosy. She heads out to Hope's End to care for Lenora Hope, who is paralyzed, confined to a wheelchair and can no longer speak after several strokes. Everyone in the area knows her new client. Everyone has heard the schoolyard chant about their own Lizzie Bordon-like resident and the deaths that took place in 1929:
At seventeen, Lenora Hope hung her sister with a rope.
Stabbed her father with a knife. Took her mother's happy life.
Lenora had always denied killing her family and there was never any concrete evidence to arrest her. Lenora had never spoken about the day her family was murdered but she now wants to tell Kit her story with the aid of an old typewriter. The typewriter was given to Lenora by Mary, her last caregiver who mysteriously disappeared.
I have been a long-time fan of author Riley Sager and The Only One Left now ranks as one of my favorites of his. The gothic setting of the crumbling Hope's End sets the perfect stage for this highly enjoyable, creepy thriller filled with many suspicious characters. Because the book takes place before cell phones, emails and texts, the sense of isolation and danger is much more pronounced. The plot twists, red herrings and surprises are great, but because the story often strains credulity, just have fun and enjoy the ride.
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Mystery Thriller / Gothic Horror.
Publication Date: June 20, 2023.
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