Genre: thriller Age Range: YA Star Rating: 4 stars Series: Standalone
Young, brunette women are being attacked in the city of London.
16-year-old, Irish-born Niamh has just arrived for the summer, and quickly discovers that the girls being attacked look frighteningly similar to her.
Determined to make it through her Drama Course, Niamh is placed at the Victorian Museum to put her drama skills to the test, and there she meets Tommy: he’s kind, fun, attentive, and really hot! . . . Nonetheless, there’s something eerie about the museum.
As the two strands of present-day serial attacker and sinister Victorian history start to collide, Niamh realises that things are not as they seem. Will she be next?
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here. Find on Amazon UK, the Book Depository, and Bookshop.org UK (affiliate links.)
LAST ONE TO DIE is a creepy read that should not be started before bed unless you want to stay up jumping at shows wondering if there’s someone watching you (oops!)
Dealing with stalkers, this book follows Niamh as a string of girls are attacked in London – all of whom look too much like her for comfort. The unsettling nature of the near misses and flickering lights bring the book to the thriller/horror edge. There are some very unsettling sequences (the tube station, the pictures, and the door sequences being the best.)
It was so cool that a bunch of scenes were set in the part of London I grew up in (The Globe, Borough Market etc) It’s a really lovely part of the city, with so much history, but it’s often not featured in books. I knew exactly which streets Niamh would be taking, what her surroundings were like, and it helped bring those sections alive even more. Plus, I’ve always hated the main escalators down into London Bridge Tube station (vertigo) so this book just gave me more reasons to avoid them!
The ending is a bit odd, taking the book from a horror/thriller into a paranormal vibe. I found it a little odd, as I’m not a big fan of mysteries (etc) being solved by the paranormal. It feels like a bit of a cop out to me, undermining the story so far by making the villain and reason ghostly. It did make the ending a bit disappointing, letting down a book that had been superb up until that point.
Read my reviews of other books by Cynthia Murphy:
2 thoughts on “Book Review: LAST ONE TO DIE by Cynthia Murphy”
I know what you mean about supernatural endings in an otherwise realistic book. Though recently I had the opposite, when I thought it was supernatural only to be disappointed at the end when it wasn’t!
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Genre-blending can work really well, but I prefer them blended throughout, not at the end