26 February 2019

Today's Read: The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets

Review of The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les BecquetsWhat would you do if you were essentially widowed when you were still under the spell of a new love and your forever partner? For Marian, the tragedy deepens as she tries to prove her beloved Tate is innocent of a series of gruesome murders. Kind man who loved animals, nature, and Marian or monster who lured vulnerable women to their deaths? And if not Tate, then who? Here's how the book begins (skipping prologue):

It's a terrible thing to have loved someone and not know the extent to which you'd been deceived, and a more terrible thing still to love someone and not know if you'd been loved in return. There is something shameful in that prospect, the kind of shame that can reduce a person to someone she no longer recognizes.
The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets (Berkley, March 5, 2019., p. 11 [ARC])

Quick Facts
  • Setting: wilderness, mostly northern United States and southern Canada
  • Circumstances: Marian loves the outdoors and has been part of wildlife research teams in a variety of settings. When she gets a chance to retrain rescue dogs to help with studies on animal behavior and habitat, she knows she found her dream job. But it's more than just working with the dogs, it's getting to know her mentor, a charming young man named Tate. As Marian makes friends in the research group and demonstrates her abilities to survive in the wild and to work with the dogs, she finds herself falling for Tate, who seems loving and supportive. When Tate dies in a terrible accident while doing fieldwork on his own, Marian wants to learn more of the man she loved, discovering that he didn't always tell her the truth. Could he have been the perpetrator of a series of murders, all involving trusting young women? Or is someone else on the team trying to scare Marian for other reasons?
  • Genre: psychological thriller
  • Themes: outdoor life, friendship, trust, self-discovery . . . and a little murder
  • My thoughts about this book: I ate up the information about using dogs to help conduct research on endangered species and was impressed with the author's descriptions of life as a field biologist and of the wilderness settings. Les Becoquets built up a nice creep factor, and I wasn't always sure whom Marian should trust. The details about working with the dogs and coping with wilderness life were really well done. The plot contained a couple of unexpected twists, and I liked the relationship between Marian and an older criminal profiler she turns to for help. All in all a decent thriller.
  • A warning: A couple of scenes were very graphic, and if you have trigger issues with violence against women, you should be prepared.
  • Audiobook: The bulk of the unabridged auidobook (Penguin Audio; 11 hr, 29 min) is read by Emily Rankin, who performs the chapters told from Marian's point of view. Her pacing and intonations help create a foreboding atmosphere. Robert Fass's delivery of the criminal profiler, who is determined to find the person who murdered several women, captures both his professional and his private sides. Four other narrators have smaller parts. A recommended audiobook.
  • Extra: Whether you read this in print or in audio, don't miss the author's note at the end.
  • Acknowledgments: thanks to Berkley and Penguin Audio the review copies of Diane Les Becquets's The Last Woman in the Forest.


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 2/26/19, 7:14 AM  

This sounds like one I'd probably enjoy a lot. It's a title I hadn't heard of so thanks for sharing.

bermudaonion 2/26/19, 8:03 AM  

I like thrillers and can handle graphic scenes in print. I think I would enjoy the parts about using dogs with research too.

Sassy Brit @ Alternative-Read.com 2/26/19, 10:13 AM  

Hi Beth,

I do like psychological thrillers so this does interest me a lot! I'd definitely give this a go.

Here's my Tuesday post. xx

Laurel-Rain Snow 2/26/19, 10:25 AM  

I have had my eye on this one. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “NEVER TELL”

Harvee 2/26/19, 1:40 PM  

I'd like this book. Looks like I'll be looking for it!

Vicki 2/26/19, 1:45 PM  

I've been reading a lot of books in this genre this year, and this grabbed my attention.

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 2/26/19, 5:35 PM  

Sounds like a really good read. And by chance, I came across an ARC a few days ago when I was emptying a tote bag. Now I can't wait to read it!

Yvonne 2/26/19, 7:29 PM  

This sounds really good. I have to add this to my TBR.

sherry fundin 2/27/19, 10:51 AM  

I won a copy of this book and loved it.
sherry @ fundinmental

Trupti 2/27/19, 8:56 PM  

This does look very interesting. I'll keep it in my mind

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