Review: Jessica Warman – the last good day of the year

the last good day of the year
Jessica Warman

Turtle is taken on New Years Eve, and her sister Sam watches a man take her and is able to describe him accurately for the police to pick him up, and charge him with murder. Years later, she moves back and other things begin to fall into place.

20613800If this novel had been billed as an expose of what it looks like when a family is ripped apart by a disappearance, then maybe I could have gotten into it. Even then, it was too caught up in what Sam felt for anything else to really come through. I never want to be in that position.

The twists and turns that could have added up so that the reader could get their own idea of the story? Yeah, I didn’t see why they were relevant until the end, and then I wasn’t interested. I was just grateful it was over. The front cover is lovely and creepy and subtle, but the storytelling and plot simply didn’t live up to it.

There was nothing redeeming about the end of this novel. I struggled to keep reading, and the thriller it should have been was broken for me by the constant jumping around in time. I simply wasn’t invested enough in Sam’s story. It’s a novel, it’s perfectly ok to give me a concrete ending to make sure everything is good. Or bad. Whatever.

Whether you’re looking for a low-key thriller, such as The Leaving or babydoll, or prefer something a bit more gritty like Irene or PainKiller, this novel doesn’t need to come near the top of your list. 2 stars from me.


Bloomsbury | July 2016 | $12.99 | Paperback

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