News that the body of a recently murdered prostitute—shot through the heart at close range, stabbed repeatedly and dumped on Georgia's Shelter Island—has been identified as Shannon Randall stuns the FBI, particularly Special Agent Dorsey Collins. Twenty-four years ago, nineteen year old Eric Louis Beale was convicted and later executed for Shannon's murder—and the agent in charge of the investigation was Dorsey's father. Now Dorsey is determined to find out where her father's investigation went wrong, what part he played in the death of an innocent young man, and where Shannon has been all this time.
The heat is on FBI Special Agent Andrew Shields to discover what happened to Shannon on that night decades ago, and to find out who killed her and why. Dorsey shadows Andrew's every investigative move, hoping to redeem her father's reputation and capture a cunning killer. Together, Dorsey and Andrew unravel a shocking mystery that will shatter one family, and rock an entire town.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love Mariah Stewart. With Last Look, she carries on the story of the Shields family. This one is Andrew Shields' story. He's the brother of the FBI agent gone bad from Dead End. This one is far less romance and far more thriller. Less romance even than Stewart usually puts into her books (and usually it's not a whole lot). When I read a Stewart book, I never seem to mind. But the tension is definitely there between Dorsey and Andrew. Stewart writes that in masterfully. They share their deepest secrets and fears with one another. They share one kiss. Somehow, you just know that their relationship will progress further.
Characterization - fantastic, as always. We learn about Andrew and Dorsey, about her father, and about the families involved. Just enough. Never too much, never too little. But so much that we care about Andrew and Dorsey - a lot and immediately. We want him to overcome the emotional pain caused by his brother's betrayal. We want her to overcome the pain of her father's emotional betrayal. Simply put, Stewart writes them so well, we care from the get-go what happens to them, and we want them to succeed. Together.
As for the thriller portion of the book, it is a tight, emotional family drama; carried out in the small-town South, delving into family secrets long kept silent, ripping open the wounds of two families in Andrew and Dorsey's desperate search for the truth.
And once again, Stewart had me guessing on the whodunnit until the very end. Shocking and horrifying, as always. If you haven't read her before, even though they are all related, each one really is a stand alone, so go for it, although I highly recommend them all! Next up is Last Words in July, then Last Breath in August. One each month this summer. Can't wait.