The Last One
reviewed by Carolyn Scott
Wow! This one is guaranteed to knock your socks off! It’s essential to go into this locked room thriller knowing as little as possible, so to avoid giving out spoilers I won’t be able to say much about the plot. I can however, whet your appetite by telling you a little about the premise and the main character.
Caroline Ripley, Caz to her friends, is a middle-aged woman who’s agreed to go on a transatlantic cruise from Southampton to New York with her boyfriend Pete Davenport. She has some trepidation about the cruise as it’s her first time overseas and she normally likes to stay close to home and her family. However, she loves Pete and even though it’s still early days in their relationship she thinks he might just be the one for her, finally someone she feels she can fully trust who makes her happy.
The ship they’re boarding is a state of the art cruise liner, the RMS Atlantica, with every luxury you can imagine. Caz and Pete wine and dine and enjoy their first night together in their luxurious suite. However, when Caz wakes the next morning Pete has gone. Expecting to catch up with him at breakfast she heads out to the dining room. But something isn’t right, it’s eerily quiet and all the cabin doors are open and the rooms are empty. Frantically searching the ship, she finds the same on each deck. The ship is still sailing with no land in sight, so where is everyone? How could they all have disappeared during the night and left her alone? The truth will turn out to be even more horrifying than anything she could possibly imagine.
If the covid pandemic made you think twice about going on an ocean cruise, then this may turn you off the idea forever. What follows is nightmarish, as Caz is thrown from one ordeal into the next and stretched to the limit in her desperation to survive. I wonder if Will Dean is able to think up dark and fiendish plots because he lives in a wooden house the middle of a Swedish Forest and those long dark winters give him plenty of time for melancholic thoughts and conjuring up devilish images.
The dark, creepy plot is certainly cleverly imagined and will keep you on the edge of your seat as the tension mounts. Yes, it feels beyond belief, but in a very entertaining way and not totally implausible given the dark underbelly of today’s world. The novel will quickly hook you in and keep invested in finding out how it ends. It’s both terrifying and gripping with jaw-dropping twists you won’t see coming. And that final ending you will either love or hate – what audacity Will Dean!
With thanks to Atria Books via Netgalley for a copy to read.
More Psychological Thrillers