by Brenda Novak
‘The Last Stand’ trilogy Book #3
Someone tried to killer her twelve years ago
Teenagers Sheridan Kohl and Jason Wyatt were parked at the lake in Whiterock, Tennessee, when a stranger wearing a ski mask shot them both. Sheridan lived but Jason died – and the stranger was never caught. Even though Sheridan’s family moved away right afterward, she’s never been able to put the crime behind her.
And now that someone doesn’t want her to come home
Because of a new development in the case, Sheridan returns to Whiterock. But when she’s attacked a second time, it’s only because Jason’s stepbrother, Cain Granger, that she survives – and Cain’s the last person she wants to face. If not for their history, if not for her, Jason wouldn’t have been in that parked car.
Cain knows that whoever killed his brother probably isn’t a stranger at all. But figuring out that person’s identity is easier said than done – especially since the killer seems to be taunting them both: watch me.
Review: Unputdownable! Watch me won’t let you go!
Sheridan is back in Whiterock, after receiving a phone call telling her about a break in a twelve-year-old case. Twelve years ago, while parked at a lake, a stranger yanked open the truck door, shooting both Jason and Sheridan. Sheridan survived, Jason didn’t. Sheridan has felt the guilt all this time, guilt that’s been eating at her, for if it hadn’t been for her, Jason would still be alive. While at her uncle’s home, getting it ready to put on the market for sale, someone sneaks in, attacks her, and believes her to be dead as he’s digging a hole to put her in.
Cain’s dogs wake him with their barking. He assumes it’s because of a raccoon or perhaps even a bear. But the dogs’ behavior suggests it could be something else, and he follows them, only to find Sheridan. Finding a thready pulse, he gets her to a hospital, and for some inexplicable reason, won’t leave her out of her sight.
And now people in Whiterock are turning up dead; starting first with Cain’s ex-wife, Amy. Amy may no longer be married to Cain, but she’s still obsessed. As much as she wants to punish him, she knows that it wasn’t Cain who killed Jason, or who came after Sheridan a second time. But someone has, and they believe that the current killer is the same person from twelve years ago. Finding out who it is, is even more difficult, as Amy’s twin brother is now the Sherrif, and he believes Cain is behind it all. Everyone in town is talking and speculating. Sheridan knows it wasn’t him. But evidence is being framed against him, and as the terror escalates, Cain wonders how they will catch the killer in time before he strikes at Sheridan again.
** SPOILER ALERT** DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.
Incredible! Tense scenes, whether fighting a killer or arguments between characters, this novel packs a punch. Sheridan still believes that Jason’s dead because of her. She’d had a crush on Cain for the longest time, and after making love that one time at a party that hadn’t resulted in anything, she’d purposely flirted with Jason until he asked her out, all with the intention of making Cain jealous. She has no idea that the attack didn’t have anything to do her whatsoever.
That one night had affected Cain, even when he tried to forget it. But something about Sheridan touched him, and he couldn’t get her off his mind. She’d given up her virginity to him that night. Knowing that she was out with Jason crimped his party mood and he went home, only to receive the phone call that Jason had been shot and killed and Sheridan had been shot as well. But when her very religious parents moved away shortly afterward, Cain didn’t think he’d see her again, and went on his merry rebellious way. Since then, he’d been blamed for Jason’s death by just about everyone, but with no evidence, nothing was done.
But twelve years later, when the gun that was used was found by two boys who broke in to Cain’s old cabin, suspicions began to arise again. Ned, now the sherrif, contacted Sheridan, who decided she’d go back to Whiterock to help solve the case. When the killer heard she was coming back, intent on solving the case, he was afraid she may have remembered something important from that night, and attacked her in her uncle’s kitchen, believing he’d finally killed her, and took her out to Cain’s land to bury her. Only, things didn’t go to the killer’s planning. And now, attempted attacks, more killing, more secrets about the past revealed, as the reader, you truly begin to wonder who the killer actually is. Several times I thought I had it figured out, but I was wrong.
Interesting characters, tense scenes, love making at its best, a perfect mystery that results in an awesome climax and ending, I couldn’t have asked for better. Then, with the story finished, I started reading an excerpt at the back of the book. Seems ‘The Last Stand’ stories aren’t over, and I can’t wait until August 2009 for The Perfect Couple, the next novel in ‘The Last Stand’ series. Keep ‘em coming, Ms. Novak! I’m loving them!