Wow. This was really good. We have Tess pulled into an investigation that has her in the crosshairs of someone that wants to show Tess how good he would be for her. That without him, she wouldn’t be who she is now. This whole book is a wonderful look at so many things I don’t even know where to start. With a case that lands Tess into mandatory anger management. With her realizing how great her relationship with her boyfriend is mostly because he’s not there to tell her what to do, but support her. Her making friends with a down and out former cop who has a lot of ideas about how “women” are supposed to act. The ending was thrilling and I can’t wait to see what Tess gets up to next.
“The Last Place” starts with Tess and Whitney (often her partner in crime) following a man that they know tried to solicit a family member of Whitney’s online. At one point there is actually an argument from someone that the guy wasn’t a pedophile because he was trying to date teen girls, and I maybe dry heaved a bit. Tess and Whitney want to get the guy’s name and blackmail him, but the evening takes a turn when Tess realizes he was planning on drugging and raping her and Tess and Whitney get a little payback. Cue Tess being arrested for assault and the judge wanting to make an example of her by giving her probation but ordering her into anger management because the guy who was trying to solicit young girls online is the real victim here. No words you guys.
From there Tess starts therapy and is haunted still by the loss of her ex from book #1. She knows why he died and who was behind it, but Tess has kept that secret for a long time. Things get a bit worse for Tess when Whitney pulls her into a case investigation five deaths that Whitney and other foundations want to take a closer look at to see if the police investigating the deaths did all they could. The cases take Tess down a winding path and have her realizing that the deaths may possibly be connected to a potential serial killer.
Tess is great in this one. Feeling settled in her home with Crow and the dogs she is still working as an investigator. Though the anger management therapy is annoying, she has to do it for only 6 months. The therapist does pry some things loose from Tess, but honestly I didn’t like the guy. Way too many men in this story seemed to think the case that involved Tess wasn’t a miscarriage of justice. I am not saying a woman should Nair the hair off a potential rapist and draw on his terrible ass with a sharpie, but I am not saying you shouldn’t do it either. I mean don’t do it if you can get caught.
Tess has great instincts and her realizing the cases that she initially thought weren’t an issue and circling back to realizing that they are connected was great.
Lippman introduces a character called Harry in this one who investigates one of the deaths that Tess was called into review. Harry has a total backwards view of women and a few times he exploded at Tess while they were working together and I didn’t like the guy. I could see though why Tess ends up feeling sorry for him though and realizing that he does have good instincts. Both Tess and Harry are trying to prove something in this one and I liked how Lippman eventually leads us back to the first case that Tess was involved in.
The book also provides us with the killer’s POV and then we switch back to Tess. I honestly don’t think adding the killer’s POV helped things and actually distracted from Tess figuring out what is going on. Also, even though I gave this five stars, it seems like in every mystery novel starring a strong female lead, we have a serial killer getting obsessed with the main character.
The writing was good and Lippman gives a great description of areas around Maryland and Virginia. One of the reasons why I like these books is I get a kick out of reading about places I have been to in real life.
The ending was a shocker and it does live Tess changed. I can’t wait until the next book!