Cover Image: Last Seen Alone

Last Seen Alone

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Last Seen Alone by Laura Griffiths

Vanessa Adams has gone missing. 

Leigh Larson is an attorney who fights for victims of sexual extortion, harassment and online abuse. Vanessa hired just before disappearing. What could have happened to Vanessa?  Leigh is determined to get answers. 

Brandon Reynolds is called out to find Vanessa’s abandoned car on a desolate road. A pool of blood nearby in the woods suggests a brutal homicide. But there is no body. 

Leigh and Brandon must work together to get to the truth of what happened to Vanessa. 

My attention was held most of the time as I wanted to know what happened to Vanessa. A decent story. I 

Thank you Laura Griffiths,  Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for the audio to listen to this book in return for my honest review!
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🔊Song Pairing: Where’d You Go - Illenium 

💭What I thought would happen:

Local woman missing kind of story. Figured a spouse or relative attempted to find them. 

📖What actually happens: 

Vanessa has gone missing. Last seen purchasing a gun in the middle of fiddle playing forestry….

Brandon is the lead detective on the case to find Vanessa’s body dead or alive. However, Brandon feels quite certain this is a homicide due to the traces of blood found. 

Leigh is an attorney battling for victimized women, specifically taking down assholes who post revenge porn of their ex girlfriends (you go girl!). 

Leigh had a meeting with Vanessa weeks prior to her missing and puts her into Brandon’s case. Instant chemistry between two lone wolves. 

🗯Thoughts:

It’s not that I didn’t dislike this book. It’s more so that nothing original happened whatsoever. It was painfully predictable and the characters only had about 60% likability/charisma. 

I just wanted to get through it so that I could find out what happened to Vanessa and to move onto my next book. 

The narrator, Cynthia Farrell was excellent. She has an excellent sultry voice for this mystery. 

Thank you NetGalley, Dreamscape Media and Berkeley Publishing for the ALC & eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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2.5 stars, rounded down for stupid armchair detective attorney

The premise of this romantic suspense novel is pretty good. "Missing without a trace" books are my catnip, I can't resist any of them. I'm honestly not a fan of romantic suspense, so maybe that's where this book lost me. I love romance and I love suspense, but the two together often feels like one or the other is not given the development it needs. In this case, I thought both were kind of lacking.

The good:
Like I said, I liked the premise. At the beginning of the book we meet Vanessa who is being chased through the woods (after buying a gun) and disappears. The police find her abandoned vehicle and belongings and a large amount of blood in the woods, but Vanessa has vanished.

The overall suspense story and its conclusion, although a bit predictable, was decent. It flowed well and made sense, most of the dots were connected in the end.


The not-so good:
I didn't feel any chemistry between attorney Leigh and detective Brandon. The first part is all about him investigating and getting distracted by her legs, her perfume, her chest, etc. Then all of a sudden without any development they kiss and then the next meeting they have sex. I didn't get a sense of attraction growing between them other than the lust. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it just felt forced.

Leigh is a stupid armchair detective. She is repeatedly in danger, repeatedly told to step back into her lane as an attorney and leave the detective work to the police. Yet she ignores it over and over again. (Yet still Brandon is attracted to her, go figure). All for a client that she barely remembers and that she received a paltry retainer for. She obviously had a death wish or was just incredibly dumb to keep confronting suspects and investigating on her own.

If not for those things, I would have graded this book a bit higher. I just hate armchair detectives overall, especially when they are intelligent people who should know better. If readers do feel chemistry between the main characters they may be able to overlook the shortcomings of the investigation.

A side quirky thing I noticed, and it happened at least three times, if not more. There are scenes when Character One is either preparing food or has purchased take out. They offer food to Character Two (whose stomach is usually growling) and Character 2 declines. The food offer is presented at least once or twice more before the Character 2 finally gives in and eats (or they leave or get interrupted). It started to become a kind of joke for me because it happened over and over.

I divided my reading of this book between the print copy and the audiobook. I liked the narrator, Cynthia Farrell, and thought she did an excellent job giving voice to both the male and female characters. She kept me engaged and interested in the story.

Overall: I'm just not the right reader for this book. I overanalyze things that maybe some readers would let go. If you like romantic suspense and have enjoyed other books by this author, then you will probably enjoy this one.
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I enjoyed this one! I listened to the audio version and thought the narrator really brought the story to life. The characters were likable and the plot was both different and interesting.  This is a new author to me and I will definitely look for more of her books.
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Austin homicide cop Brandon Reynolds gets a call out to what appears to be a murder scene, an abandoned car and a tremendous amount of blood; problem is, there is no body. The vehicle is registered to Vanessa Adams, but the only other scrap of information in the car is a business card for attorney Leigh Larson. Leigh is a no holds barred attorney who’s on a mission to take down men who prey on women. She had only just been hired by Vanessa, so Leigh has little information and no clues about a suspect. Together with Brandon, Leigh sets out to find the killer and get justice for Vanessa. Timely and powerful
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Without a doubt, Laura Griffin is a bestselling and successful author, with a large fan base with her mix of suspense and romance in her books and novellas. 

The cover chosen for her book “Last Seen Alone” is very intriguing and paints a mysterious picture for the reader to ponder.

The story starts out well enough with a interesting plot - however, after a while, it started to sound far fetched and unrealistic. Attorney Leigh Larson, starts fairly early on (and continues) to do things that I have a hard time picturing an attorney doing - mainly taking the role of an investigator AND putting herself in grave danger…. wait … wasn’t she supposed to be an just an attorney that was JUST HIRED by Vanessa, the client the day before she disappeared ?? Would any sane attorney put your entire practice and case load on hold  for someone you just met, with just a small retainer given for legal services to be rendered? Yes, the her client is missing… blood present on/near crime scene, but empty car, no body present anywhere. Ok wouldn’t you think police would have to take it from here? I think most people would, and I would think police would insist on it. Yet apparently, attorney Leigh thinks differently. 

As Homicide Detective, Brandon Reynolds, is summoned to investigate the scene of  the missing woman, he realizes this is an unusual case and finds Leigh’s business card, The reader may rationalize that a detective would conduct an interview with the attorney to collect whatever info, but I can’t wrap my head around an attorney  working as though, almost partner status (because they are attracted to each other) when the police are searching for what they believe is the pursuit and capture of a ruthless criminal. Did I miss something?? Are job roles interchangeable on a whim? Do police or homicide investigators let attorneys or civilians work with them ? This seriously began to mess with my head because it was so wrong and unrealistic from both attorney and police career work. I began a downhill slide because I just couldn’t relate - romance or not. The romance felt based more on physical attraction, mostly to satisfy young urges - also a disappointment.

Sorry to say, that this one didn’t work out for me, but it fell flat on so many levels. However, I deeply appreciate and thank NetGalley, the Publisher, and the Laura Griffin for the opportunity to receive  an Advanced Audio Digital Publication in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
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Thank you Net Galley for an audio copy of Last Seen Alone by Laura Griffin.   I really enjoyed this mystery. The main character Lee was written to be strong and courageous.   Excellent heroine!
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Clever and fun, with a nice romantic angle (if a bit eye-rolling of a sex scene).


Review copy provided by publisher.
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