What it’s about:
Fifteen years after Donovan’s daughter is abducted, Monica Russell knocks on his door. She claims she knew his daughter while in captivity. She claims she knows where his daughter’s remains are buried. She claims she knows the man who abducted, assaulted, and murdered his princess. She claims she can show him all of these things, but what price is Donovan willing to pay the young lady who claims to be the last friend to know his daughter?
The Last Friend by Harvey Church is a Kindle Scout Award winner and it is the first book in a duet series. While the ending does leave some questions ambiguously answered, there is no cliffhanger, so the book can be read as a standalone novel.
A nine-year-old daughter snatched from under her father’s nose. A mother devastated by the loss of her child. A father hanging onto hope and in need of closure. An untrusting and perhaps untrustworthy federal agent. A young woman claiming to have all the answers. Each of these characters played a critical role in making The Last Friend a tense thriller.
As this well-paced story progresses, the tension builds and the questions about the characters motives mount. I relished Donovan Glass’ indecision as to the veracity of Monica Russell’s claims. Is Monica a victim, a con artist, a Fed, a criminal or a vigilante? Her actions seem choreographed, and yet her emotions seem raw. Federal Agent Mike Klein also had my head spinning. Does he truly suspect Donovan or is he using Donovan’s desperate hunt as bait for the pedophile/trafficker? Is Klein looking for the missing girl or is he covering something up? Even Donovan’s sanity seems questionable at times. He gambles not only his money but also his safety for the possibility of small leads. His desperate mourning leads to some bad decisions.
The heart-racing zenith of the story does require suspension of disbelief. I struggled a bit with what I consider to be Monica’s inconsistent behavior. However, that behavior could have been the author’s depiction of Monica’s struggle with who she had been and who she has become.
From start to finish, I found The Last Friend to be gripping. Harvey Church has written a story based on a parent’s worst nightmare, and mystery lovers will this gut-wrenching thriller.
About the author: Connect with Harv by searching Harvey Church Mysteries on Facebook and at #hashtag_harv on Instagram. You can also find him wandering the streets of Chicago, Toronto, Montreal or the Lido deck of a Princess Cruise ship. If you see Harv, ask to see a magic trick!