The Last Woman in the Forest

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 May 2019

Member Reviews

What if you were in love with a serial killer? Or maybe you’re wrong, and every strange feeling you’ve had over the last few months is just that, strange.

Marian has SUCH an interesting job. I honestly never knew this was a job option and had my life gone a completely different direction, I could see myself in Marian’s shoes. She works for a conservationist group that does different studies throughout the world. Most of her day is spent outside in the wilderness with a dog by her side. She collects samples, sends them in to be tested, and then scientists can understand how humans or other animals are affecting the populations of certain species in an area. It’s so fascinating!

In the course of her work Marian met a man named Tate. They had a bit of a whirl-wind romance while on a job in Canada, but eventually they took jobs where they had to be away from each other and in this time Tate died. Now, Marian is looking back on their time together and realizing that maybe Tate wasn’t who he seemed. She makes a fateful call to Nick, a man whose life project was profiling killers and giving a voice to victims. Nick helps Marian investigate Tate and her suspicions.

While this book is not a super fast-paced thriller, it has that element that makes you feel the dark, creepiness just beyond the surface. You keep reading because Marian’s job is SO interesting and you absolutely need to know what exactly is going on and if Tate really is the killer that Marian suspects.

Thank you so much to Berkley and NetGalley for sending me this ARC.
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This was a DNF. It started interesting with the opening scene of the first victim which was in the past. Then we are taken to the present and the story keeps going back and forth between the present (Marian trying to find out if her boyfriend was a serial killer and scenes of the murder of the victims). 

I found the going back unnecessary because they were already dead, what was the point of playing out how they died? 

Also, Marian’s boyfriend lied to her about where he was from and where he went to school and that rises a red flag in her her; but to link him to a serial killer? That was a long stretch. 

Unnecessary pages about the guy investigating Marian’s boyfriend and his illness (cancer). Nothing to do with the story. 

The book had a lot of blah blah blah that bored me enough to DNF it because it was just dragging. 

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.
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I'm left not knowing how I feel about this book.

On the one hand, it was definitely suspenseful. When I was about 25% from the end, I had to sit down and just keep reading so I could find out the ending.

On the other hand, the long-sometimes paragraph long-run on sentences drove me crazy. The whole book was full of them, to the point that I almost stopped reading about 10% in. I also had a similar problem to the one I had with The Abominable, where so much of the book was focused on the main character's job-in this case, being a dog handler for wilderness studies-that I just wanted more of the mystery.

The author has a personal stake in this book which is really powerful, and she clearly did her research on the main character's job. I just really wanted to like this book so much more than I did. The writing style makes me think I won't be seeking out any more of Les Becquets' books.
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Marian loves her job. She works as an orienteer and dog handler on a wildlife conservation project in Canada. She even falls in love with a man she she works with. Tate quickly becomes everything to her. After a few weeks, they are placed on separate assignments and Tate is killed. Only then does she discover that he lied to her about his background, his family and childhood, nearly everything about himself. Even his story about finding a woman's dead body in the wilderness seems off. That particular lie makes Marian think that perhaps Tate may have been involved in the murders of at least four women in the area. Did she really know the man she loved? She reaches out to a forensic profiler who worked on the original investigations. The truth will either clear Tate's name or prove that he was a dangerous killer. 

This story mixes the beauty of the Canadian wilderness with the horrific violence of a serial killer. I can only imagine what it would feel like to wonder if a loved one had killed multiple people. It would be devastating to discover after a death that maybe you never really knew the person at all. Marian is a strong and intelligent main character. She doesn't just slough off her suspicions and fears after Tate's death but calls Nick Shepard to ask for help unraveling the truth underneath all the lies. 

This story builds slowly but definitely kept my attention from beginning to end. The plot is dark and twisty. Each time I thought I knew where the story was going, it zigged off in a new direction. The ending was definitely twisted, but perfect. Loved it! 

I will definitely be reading more from this author!

**I voluntarily read an advance readers copy of this book from Berkley via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
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This story took awhile to get in to and was not as suspenseful as I thought it would be.  Most of the action was towards the end of the book. The handling of the dogs was a very interesting subject. This book was not what I thought it would be but readers will enjoy how the author paints a beautiful picture of the wilderness.
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It seems like an amazing coincidence that I now have read not one but TWO thrillers involving conservation dog-handlers working in the Pacific Northwest.  Last year, I read A Sharp Solitude, by Christine Carbo, in which one of the main characters worked with a conservation canine affiliated with a University of Washington program.  And now, in this book, nearly all the main characters are involved in the same kind of program.  Because of the books I read before, I have to confess that I kind of skimmed through any discussions of scat and the canine conservation 
research program in this book.  

The main character in this book is Marian Engstrom, a young woman who currently works as a dog handler.  As the book begins, Maria's boyfriend Tate has died, although we are not told the details about how that happened for a long time.  The book jumps back and forth between the present and the past.  In the present, Marian grows to fear that Tate was involved in a series of murders embarks on an investigation with the help of a forensic psychologist.  During the flashbacks to the past, we get to see how Marian' becomes involved with the canine conservation program and how her relationship with Tate develops.  The book also occasionally gives of chapters from the point of view of the forensic psychologist, who has retired to this part of the country as he fights a growing brain tumor.  I don't want to give any more details because I don't want to spoil anything.

This was an interesting thriller--a little something different, if that makes sense.  It did not move very quickly, and frankly dragged at times.  I found the parts told from the psychologist's point of view were distracting, and I did not like the victim portraits at all.  Sometimes you want to scream "NO!" at Marian because you can't BELIEVE what she is doing.  But all in all I give it a thumbs up and I will be buying it for my library.
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Oh my goodness gracious no. I picked this up 1. I love dogs and 2. I thought this might be a fun little thriller to read during winter for a big dog fan. I did NOT realize this was open with a disturbing killer scene right off the bat and I am far too sensitive of a reader for this sort of book. 

I appreciate the publisher approving me but I couldn't not get past the first chapter. Am I overly sensitive? Yes, perhaps so. But this was not a good book for me to pick up in the middle of the night when I can't sleep. I was instantly disturbed and then guilty for requesting a book I wouldn't finish. 

Not recommended for those who are sensitive to violence. And to be fair - this book is not something even remotely close to my typical preference of YA paranormal/supernatural fantasy. But the dog trainer part caught my eye, and I thought it might be a fun deviation. Too scary for me. 

If you're a fan of murder mysteries, I imagine this would be up your alley.
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This is an interesting psychological thriller.

Marian Engström is a gentle sort of person who loves animals. She drifted from job to job until she found a job working with rescue dogs in an endangered wildlife research program. The dogs are specially trained and assigned to trained handlers. Marian was lucky to get accepted to the program and slowly gets to advance with the training skills. She meets Tate who becomes her training and mentor. Marian is surprised by Tate’s interest but craves his gentle, caring attention. Romantic entanglement is not permitted in the project teams but they secretly become involved. One of the other workers warns Marian that a relationship with another handler would probably not survive their separation to different jobs around the world.

After being assigned separate projects, Marian is devastated to learn of Tate’s death by a bear attack. She becomes more confused and distraught when a visit with Tate’s sister reveals that Tate lied to her about his life history.

Tate once told her that he found a female victim of a serial murderer who was never caught. Tate described the body with particular detail which Marian realizes shouldn’t be possible if the woman wasn’t found for months. Marian calls the investigating forensic profiler, Nick, trying to assure herself that she hadn’t fallen in love with a monster.

Nick is retired and dealing with his own health issues. But he agrees to talk to Marian and review the information she has. Bit by bit a picture of Tate develops that leaves Nick scared for Marian’s safety just as he himself is preparing for specialist treatment for life threatening cancer.

This story builds through an interesting series of present events, then switch back profiles and memories. Marian dialogs her history, her first encounter and subsequent romantic development with Tate. Interspersed with Marian’s accounts are Nick’s developed profiles of each of the murder victims, describing the facts that led him to believe how they were approached and the events of each of their murders. The book starts with a prologue description of the first victim. This pulled me in. Chapter 1 jumps to present day situation with Marian concerned about the doubts she was having about Tate. Chapter 2 moves back seven months. This pattern continues throughout the book.

There was still a slowness to the story, perhaps due to this pattern of changing entries, but this was balanced with the intriguing plot that was developed by the author. There wasn’t really strong suspense until late in the story. I think this is a solid physiological thriller.

Source: NetGalley. My rating 3.75.
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What would you do if you found out you were in love with a serial killer???

This was a wild story packed with gorgeous imagery and beautiful words. Diane Les Becquets has an amazing way with words, she really brought the wildlife setting and the tension in the story to life. I truly felt as though I was in the middle of nowhere with Marian. The feel of the trees, the smell of the dirt, and the sounds of the animals all leapt off the pages. The tension was palpable especially in the last 10% of this book, yikes!

This was a slow burning thriller. Marian is working as a conservationist when she meets Tate. Marian is working for an oil company studying the impact oil has on wildlife. Tate is her superior, but that does not stop her from falling for him. After the study is over Tate and Marian are sent to work in separate locations, and that is when Tate meets his unfortunate demise. Marian is devastated at first, but then she starts to realize some things just don’t add up. As she begins piecing the puzzle together she begins to wonder if Tate was a killer? She then contacted a retired FBI profiler and so the investigation begins...

This book was cleverly structured, I liked how time jumped around as Marian looked back on her relationship with Tate. I am fascinated by FBI profiling so I really enjoyed that bit. All the dogs were wonderful and I loved their bonds with their humans. The flashback scenes with the serial killer and his victims were disturbing and brutal. The tension throughout the story really kept me on the edge, and the ending had my heart racing. My only little niggle with the book is the characters weren’t as well drawn as I would’ve liked.

A vividly constructed tale, A slow burner fraught with tension. Recommend

🎵🎵🎵 Song Running Through My Head

I can't seem to face up to the facts
I'm tense and nervous and I can't relax
I can't sleep 'cause my bed's on fire
Don't touch me I'm a real live wire
Psycho Killer
Qu'est-ce que c'est
Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far better
Run run run run run run run away oh oh
Psycho Killer
Qu'est-ce que c'est
Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far better
Run, run, run, run, run, run, run, away oh oh oh
Yeah yeah yeah yeah!
You start a conversation you can't even finish it
You're talking a lot, but you're not saying anything
When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed
Say something once, why say it again?
Psycho Killer
Qu'est-ce que c'est
Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far better
Run run run run run run run away oh oh oh
Psycho Killer
Qu'est-ce que c'est
Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far… https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bM9SHDNAbPw

*** Big thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***
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Disclaimer: this review was written by a dog lover.

This mystery got off to a bit of a slow start for me. It seemed a bit choppy, but once the plot was set up, the action took off and I didn’t want to put the book down.

Marian Whelan Engström is an outdoorsy woman who wants nothing more than to work with dogs and enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors. She’s found work with a team of wildlife professionals who train and work with rescue dogs that scent out the scat of animal populations they’re collecting data on. They work in remote areas under extreme conditions to collect information that’ll help assess the environmental impact of business projects or the health of a wildlife population. They collect data on all shapes and sizes of critters, from grizzly bears on down to salamanders. Assignments take researchers all over the world, so relationships can be tough. That doesn’t stop Marian from falling for Tate, a veteran dog handler and one of the team’s project managers. After Tate’s death, Marian starts to wonder about things that Tate had told her, things that are contradicted by new information or that simply don’t add up.

Enter Nick Shepard, a retired profiler who is originally from Detroit and now lives in Idaho with his wife of 47 years. He spends his time studying the poetry of Eliot, Cummings, and Stevens. But his twilight years aren’t all golden. He’s battling cancer and haunted by the 300 murder victims he’s investigated over the course of his career. Nick still responds to serious inquiries from people looking into open cases. When Marian reaches out to Nick with questions about the Stillwater murders he’d worked on, murders that have continued to trouble him, he’s all in and agrees to do a psychological autopsy on Tate for her.

The storyline goes back and forth between Marian and Nick, with a whole bunch of hiking and dog action in between. It’s set mainly in the Northern Rocky Mountains with some action in Washington and Idaho. If people weren’t being murdered, reading this book would feel almost like a mini-vacation.

Les Becquets tackles a complicated plot, one that seems fresh and new to me. Her writing shines when she’s describing the landscape and how the teams work with dogs to collect data. There’s plenty of gear and gadgets, but it’s not all fun and games. Dogs can get injured in fur traps or by other wildlife.

The tension mounts as Marian uncovers more information about the man she loved as well as on other team members. As she races to find answers, Nick feels the pressure to help Marian while also racing against the cancerous tumors causing havoc in his brain. His tumors are in the left hemisphere of his brain and intuition occurs in the right hemisphere. Already a believer in intuition, Nick wonders if the trouble in his left hemisphere is causing other sections and functions of his brain to become more active.

Some might think of the intuition as something magical. Nick understood otherwise. It all came down to subtle and brief signals in the brain. Einstein called the intuitive mind a sacred gift and ‘the rational mind a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.’

For readers who usually shy away from novels with serial killers, the psychological intensity and gruesome nature of that sub-genre are tempered by the focus on the great outdoors, the work with dogs, and the fact that Marian and her female colleagues are strong, realistic characters. Don’t get me wrong, there are some graphic scenes, but nothing gratuitous. The focus of this story is Marian and her struggle to find the truth.

In addition to the plot feeling new and fresh, so is the relationship between Marian, a twenty-something woman, and Nick, a man probably in his seventies and an expert in his field. There is no saccharine sweet father-daughter trope or wise old guy guiding the naive young woman vibe. Nick is a professional offering his expertise. Marian is a person with a burning desire to follow an uncomfortable line of questioning. And while women aren’t the only victims in this story, as a shocking statistic makes clear, “Ninety-five percent of stranger-to-stranger homicides were committed by men against women.” Instead of women beating themselves up for being victims or men telling women they need to live small lives to stay safe, Nick has this to say to Marian:

We can be quite effective at punishing ourselves for our perceived sins when what we really need to do is get in touch with our own anger. Your personal world is stacked against you. Your gender becomes a target you wear on your back. Are you at fault for any of this? Of course not. Maybe it’s past time to be totally pissed off.

This suspenseful thriller pulls in aspects of amateur investigation, profiler work, working dogs in action, and plenty of outdoor adventure. The twists and turns and red herrings kept me reading late into the night.

Reviewed for Criminal Element http://www.criminalelement.com/book-review-the-last-woman-in-the-forest-by-diane-les-becquets/
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The Last Woman in the Forest was a quick read and I loved the depictions of Marian, one of the main characters in the book. There were mysterious elements to the story while Marian begins to question her relationship with Tate, after he dies in a tragic bear attack. However, I felt like nearly 50% of the book had to be completed before things started getting really action-packed and interesting.
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**A HUGE thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for letting me review The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets!**

The writing of The Last Woman in the Forest is so detailed, but I did have trouble getting into the characters and plot. I loved reading about the dogs and the work behind conservation, and the scenery was fantastically portrayed. I wish there had been more suspense, but the ending did pack a punch. This is a slight twist on a classic thriller plot, and I did end up enjoying the book. 

Thanks again to NetGalley and Berkley Pub!
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I liked the premise of the book, but the naïveté and sheer denial of the main character was a little too much at times. Some of the characters behaved as if they'd never seen an episode of Dateline. I found the descriptions of the work the main characters did to be the most interesting part of this book. Overall it was a quick read about a relationship with a serial killer.
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This book definitely took a while for me to get into, and I had to make several attempts at it, but I'm glad I stuck with it. Most of the action is in the last quarter of the book, but man does it keep you on your toes! While still reeling from the death of her mentor, Marian is shocked when facts come out that make the man she loved, appear to be nothing like who she thought he was. This was an intriguing read, just takes some time to get invested.
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The opening chapter to Diane Les Becquet’s The Last Woman in the Forest is positively chilling! From the moment I read it, I seriously couldn’t put the book down. I wouldn’t say this is an action-fueled thriller, but it is absolutely a plot-driven thriller. As I read clue after clue, I needed to understand how the pieces would come together. Outstanding and powerful—this thriller by Diane Les Becquets is a must-read!

About the Book

Told primarily from Marian’s point of view, we see Marian’s search for answers unfold across the pages of this book. While training to be a handler for rescue dogs, Marian meets and falls in love with her mentor Tate. He makes Marian feel special and connected for the first time in her life. Marian has always felt somewhat adrift from other people. A loner. With her work with the dogs and with Tate, Marian has finally found her place in life.

But as the novel opens, Tate has died tragically. Amidst her grief, Marian starts to question small things from her time with Tate that don’t quite add up. A story he once told that she later found out can’t be true, or a moment where he was particularly distant, almost vacant when he responded to her. And then there is the story of the body her once discovered. One of the Stillwater Girls, so named for a string of four women found murdered and disposed of in the forest.

As Marian begins to suspect that Tate may be responsible for the murders of at least four women, she reaches out to a forensic profiler who worked on the case in the hopes of proving his innocence. Because how could she have fallen in love with a monster? 

Reflection

Marian’s character is a mix of strong and vulnerable. The more we learn about her past with Tate, the more confusing it all becomes for both the reader and for Marian. The truth is, her memories with Tate are complicated. He shows her so much love and caring, at a time when she’s particularly in need. But then there are the tall tales he tells, which may just be the words of a man inflating the truth to impress a girl, or may speak to something more sinister…

I wondered myself what to make of Tate. Marian’s story is filled with all the wonderful moments and inconsistencies. And with the passage of time since his death and through her investigation, the rosy glasses of love come off and it is easier to separate truth from lie. But what is the lie? Could Tate have been responsible, or was it another tall tale?

The profiler Nick is such a wonderful character. I loved his story with his wife Cate, and how their relationship has been so supportive all of these years as Nick took on the worst aspects of humanity in an effort to find closure for the victims of crimes. The Stillwater Girls always stuck with Nick, the way horrific murders without conclusion often do. The first story we hear at the opening is about a woman named Natasha. And her story haunts me, more than any of the others. She’s so alone and vulnerable and kind. I don’t think I’ll soon forget Natasha’s story, brought to life by Nick.

The mystery itself completely captivated me. How do we track down the whereabouts of someone who is gone now, and who lived a non-traditional life with his research? The clues are muddled. For everything that makes Tate look innocent, another clue lends credibility to his guilt. But isn’t that the frustrating thing about this type of search? The truth is in the absence of plausible evidence that it can’t be Tate. So Marian’s search for closure feels unending. There’s always another clue to follow.

More than anything, this is a novel about our instincts. How do we learn to trust that small moment that tells us something may not be right? The author’s note at the end is vulnerable, haunting, and powerful. She talks a lot about why she wrote this book and what she wanted to convey. I won’t repeat her story, but I do encourage readers to read through to her note at the end. I will leave you with this, directly from the author:

 “This novel is my attempt to address the fear and vulnerability too many women live with every day, and to encourage women to pay attention when something doesn’t feel right, to heed that small voice inside themselves.”

Thank you to Berkley for my copy, opinions are my own.
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3.5, rounded up. This was a moody mystery- Marian suspectst that her recently deceased boyfriend may not have been fully upfront about who he was and his past. She contacts a retired profiler to help piece together the little she realizes she knows about him with some questions she has, and begins to wonder if his connection to the unsolved murders of several women is deeper than he admitted. 
This isn't the fastest paced story, but instead is definitely a more character driven mystery as Nick and Marian look into Tate's life and mind. It definitely had me questioning everyone around Marian as suspects, and the isolated environments she lives in create a lonely, dangerous feeling atmosphere. The moment when the truth crystallizes for Marian was fantastically done, and from there to the end of the book was a great ride. 
The author's note at the end that brought home her personal experiences related to this book was very powerful- make sure not to skip it!
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Rating 3.5 stars rounded up!

To keep rolling with the mystery, suspense, thriller, psychological, murder, trend that I seem to be on, today's post is about The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets.  Having never read anything written by Diane Les Becquets before this book, I was not sure what to expect going into this book. This book was available on NetGalley for review and when I read the synopsis, I knew I wanted to read it, so I was happy to see my request was approved.

Marian Engström is a conservationist who works with rescue dogs in research projects.  She is often working in very remote and dangerous locations.  While on a site in Northern Alberta, Marian meets Tate, one of the coordinators, who then becomes her mentor, and then her boyfriend.  After he is killed on assignment, Marian begins to suspect that Tate might have been a serial killer responsible for the unsolved murders of four young women. Marian wants to be sure, so she enlists the aid of Nick Shepard, a retired psychologist and criminal profiler who has brain cancer.

The story switches back and forth between the months before and after Tate’s death. Marian is hoping that Nick can learn information necessary to help Marian eliminate Tate as the possible suspect for the deaths of these women. 

This thriller is the slow building character-based mystery. The author writes very descriptively and she lays out the pieces of the puzzle to keep readers wanting more. The story is well researched and well written and the storyline itself is interesting and unique.

I received an advanced readers digital copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to provide a positive review.
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After so many years of trying to jumping from one job to the next Marian Engstrom finally discovered her true calling: working with rescue dogs to help protect endangered wildlife.  Somewhat of a loner she was content and happy with the dogs and her first assignment took her to Alberta, where her love for the dogs seemed to cross over to her mentor Tate.   Eventually the assignments seperated them and shortly thereafter Marian heard the devastating news of Tate’s death.  

Bad enough how horrendous the news which had splintered her soul, but some of the stories and information he had given her were coming back to her and the inconsistencies were beginning to show her a completely different person than the one man she had taken on as a lover.   There had been several unsolved murders that had occurred in the surrounding area and Marian was beginning to believe that possibly Tate had been responsible.

In an effort to clear Tate’s name, Marian reaches out to a retired forensic profiler who’s haunted by the open cases. But as Marian relives her relationship with Tate and circles ever closer to the truth, evil stalks her every move.…

***  This was both an interesting novel in the content of discovering how the people lived and studied to help endangered wildlife.  The lonely life alone and learning to survive in the wild was extremely interesting.  The investigation into Tate and discovering whether he was or wasn’t the murderer was filled with suspense right through to the end.   While the use of  Nick, her forensic investigator was another interesting character as he did all he could to help Marian keep herself on track and ultimately helped save her life.    Extremely good read and very much recommended.

Marilyn Rondeau
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I received this ARC book from Netgalley for honest Review.
What a great thrill and suspense it was to read. What a great psychological thrill! This novel had everything in it. The  thrill, the suspense, the psychological, romance and the twist is crazy. This novel will keep you thinking and guessing. When you think you right, well let me just say that you might be wrong. This had me all over the place. My heart beating so fast! I couldn't believe what I was reading. If had me in shock. Every page, every chapter was a page turner. I couldn't believe my eyes what I was reading. I highly recommend everybody get this book and read it. It will surprise you in every way.


The storyline was very good! 
The theme and setting was well put together. The characters was well put together in the story. 
This story will have in a rollercoaster with all the spooky and secrets. Was so well put in the story. 
Everything all in one book. 
It was just perfect!
I highly recommend everybody get this and read it. 
What a great read! This had me hooked from the beginning. What a Rollercoaster! The sitting, theme, and the Characters had me pulled so in. Everything was well put together and it was just perfect. This novel would have you guess and thinking all the way to the end. What a great thrill and suspense. I love a great suspense that would have me think and guessing. This novel did just that to me. To the point that am wrong. When the ending comes am on shock. I wouldn't of never believe or guess. Like OMG! 
Highly recommend everybody get this book and read it. Its so good! 
Can't wait for her next book.
#thelastwomanintheforest
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This book starts off strong - the opening scene really gets you quite interested... and then it just kind of goes downhill from there.  Marian works in the wild, tracking and monitoring various animals - it's a lonely life without much romance or time for anything else.  Although it's frowned upon to date someone within your group, when she meets Tate, she just can't help herself.  However, what's too good to be true usually is and she starts suspecting him of being the killer of at least four woman.

The writing is fantastic but for me, I could have done without the overly description scenes with regards to the job at hand.  Don't get me wrong, I do find it fascinating but there was a lot of it and I could feel my eyes getting blurry in certain parts and had to put this down several times.  

We go back and forth from past to present and even with her suspicions, she loves him and wants to try and clear Tate's name.  She couldn't have possibly fallen in love with a psychopath... right?  This psychological suspense novel borders on genius but doesn't quite reach the mark.  It's rather slow paced and doesn't pick up anywhere after the prologue.  I with the characters had been a bit more fleshed out and had a fast pacing but the overal feel of the book was definitely consistent and I was intrigued enough to find out if Tate was really the killer or not.  By the time I got to the ending, I wasn't surprised, relieved or cared and I really wish I had.

I appreciate what the author was trying to do in terms of making women aware of their instincts to get themselves out of potential harmful situations... but I think this gets lost.  If you like reading stories about conservation projects with an overlaying of psychological suspense then this will definitely be a good read for you.  It's very atmospheric in putting you in the feel of the places they go to for their work.  While I felt the main storyline dragged on a bit and was a bit slow, I think readers who enjoy that psychological pull of did he/did he not will thoroughly enjoy this one.
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