Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, Karin Slaughter and Sandra Brown, New York Times bestselling author Christina Dodd’s all-new thriller, POINT LAST SEEN, will have readers keeping the lights on all night.
LIFE LAST SEEN
When you’ve already died, there should be nothing left to fear… When Adam Ramsdell pulls Elle’s half-frozen body from the surf on a lonely California beach, she has no memory of what her full name is and how she got those bruises ringing her throat.
GIRL LAST SEEN
Elle finds refuge in Adam’s home on the edge of Gothic, a remote village located between the steep lonely mountains and the raging Pacific Ocean. As flashes of her memory return, Elle faces a terrible truth—buried in her mind lurks a secret so dark it could get her killed.
POINT LAST SEEN
Everyone in Gothic seems to hide a dark past. Even Adam knows more than he will admit. Until Elle can unravel the truth, she doesn’t know who to trust, when to run and who else might be hurt when the killer who stalks her nightmares appears to finish what he started…
Readers become writers, and Christina has always been a reader. Ultimately she discovered she liked to read romance best because the relationship between a man and a woman is always humorous. A woman wants world peace, a clean house, and a deep and meaningful relationship based on mutual understanding and love. A man wants a Craftsman router, undisputed control of the TV remote, and a red Corvette which will make his bald spot disappear. When Christina’s first daughter was born, she told her husband she was going to write a book. It was a good time to start a new career, because how much trouble could one little infant be? Ha! It took ten years, two children and three completed manuscripts before she was published. Now her fifty-nine New York Times and USA Today bestselling novels — paranormals, historicals, and suspense — have been translated into twenty-five languages, recorded on Books on Tape for the Blind, been called, “Books To Read If You Love Nora Roberts!”by Bookbub and the year’s best by Amazon and Library Journal. Dodd herself has been a clue in the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle (11/18/05, # 13 Down: Romance Novelist named Christina.) Booklist calls her, "Wildly entertaining, wickedly witty." Christina is married to a man with all his hair and no Corvette, but many Craftsman tools.
“On nights like these, when the storms brew and the fog waits, lost souls visit Gothic and sometimes….they stay.” Dodd’s latest series are almost always set along a wild and stunning Pacific coastline, usually with matching wild weather. Point Last Seen (Last Seen in Gothic #1) is no exception. Set in the peculiar little town of Gothic, The City of Lost Souls is found on Big Sur area of the California coast. One day, despite desperately needing sleep after finishing his latest sculpture, Adam Ramsdell can not resist the siren call of the Pacific Ocean. Whether the dark waters are calling to him or because of a local seer’s prediction, he climbs down the cliffs to a local beach in search of something. His death, pieces of shipwrecks he uses in his sculptures, or peace from his demons? “…and when he set foot on the white sand he smelled sea salt and loneliness.” On this day these particular beach currents oblige him by bringing in a dead woman (not “mostly dead”). When Adam slings the woman over his shoulder she revives, regurgitating half of the Pacific. The woman is hypothermic, grievously battered, and has deep strangulation marks. The formerly dead woman (not “mostly dead”) can’t remember anything other than part of her name, Elle, and an overwhelming terror of a dark figure of the man who tried to kill her. It was the Pacific that finally succeeded in killing her, albeit for only a short time. Any time Elle falls asleep, the screams that were suppressed during her strangulation finally escape unnerving anyone who can hear them. Elle has arrived at a busy time for Gothic; there is the upcoming Gothic Spring Psychic Festival which hopefully will draw large crowds of people. Gothic needs those people as the Pacific Coast Highway has once again been destroyed in the ancient collusion between mountains and ocean. Tourists have been few and far between with only one road into town. Gothic needs those tourist bucks so badly that town leaders ask Adam to demonstrate his sword fighting skills with the mutual agreement that he stays ten feet away from all tourists. Oh, Dodd is so sneaky with her snark. Dodd loves word play. Gothic’s business names are a great example; Firm Bun Bakery, Running With Scissors Needlework and Quilting, and Hair on Your Chest Coffee Shop. Not only does Dodd like clever word play, she likes to put words together for beauty’s sake. “…Yeah, I’ll bet the wind caught that laughter and carried it up the hill to catch on the olive trees where it will linger, whispering in the gray green leaves.” In Point Last Seen, as in several of Dodd’s other books, the main characters are almost secondary to the secondary characters. I hope that makes sense. Not to forget Adam and Elle, as they both have interesting dark pasts or dark futures; but with continuation of this series one hopes that Madame Rune and the other denizens of Gothic will continue to have a strong and droll presence. The same with her aforementioned settings, they matter; the settings will always help drive the story. Actually her narratives, characters, and settings all take turns at the wheel. The several threads of Point Last Seen, all come to a head during the Psychic festival but she keeps the lines all clear and suspenseful. Possibly the best line I've read this year is in this book, I can't quote it because it would be a spoiler. There is humor and beauty in Dodd’s writing, but make no mistake, there is a lot of darkness, both criminal and emotional. This is a gripping, entertaining book; and will keep you wondering and guessing. Thanks to NetGalley and HARLEQUIN for an ARC for review purposes. Originally posted on MysteryandSuspense.com
On stormy nights, Gothic is said to disappear and on its return, it brings lost souls back from the dead. — The Legend of Gothic California
POINT LAST SEEN is set on Big Sur, one of nature's magical places. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. My grandmother and great-aunts, powerful women who were huge influences on me, were born and raised in Ben Lomond in the Santa Cruz mountains, and as a family we traveled and camped all around central California. As my Aunt Sadie once told The Husband, "As long as a wheel's going to turn, we're going to go."
The first time my mother and I drove the scenic the Pacific Coast Highway into the heart of Big Sur, we were captivated by its frothing waves crashing against rocky cliffs, wide stunning views and mystical forests that whisper and roar in the ocean breeze. A visit to San Simeon (Hearst's Castle) cemented my sense that here, in this place of wealth and wildness, anything was possible. There was and is an other worldly ambiance to Big Sur, a sense that this ancient area is immune to civilization. For the most part, it remains untouched.
Naturally when I looked for a glorious, isolated spot to place a small, quirky, totally fictional town with a totally fictional legend, I thought of Big Sur and created Gothic, California. I hope you enjoy your visit with the marvelously eccentric citizens of Gothic, and the adventure and suspense Adam and Elle face as they unravel the secret that lies buried in her mind…before it gets them both killed. Point Last Seen now coming July 26!
Point Last Seen by Christina Dodd Last Seen in Gothic series #1. Contemporary thriller, romantic expense. Adam Ramsdell finds a floating body in the ocean surf near his house on Gothic. He’s shocked when that body starts coughing up water and is obviously still alive. But all she remembers is that her name is Elle and she’s terrified of something out in the world. Adams agrees she can stay in his home as she tries to remember her past and perhaps escape the impending danger.
Intriguing romantic suspense with surprising twists and unusual coincidences. Not sure I trust Madame Rune but she is a crafty and entertaining woman. 4.5
A man hiding from disaster. An injured woman unconscious on a beach. A forgotten secret so dark and dangerous that it could get people killed.
I really wanted to like this book. The synopsis from the cover sounded wonderful and then I opened the book and started reading. The writing feels awkward, the plot line is an overused thriller trope (person coming to with no memory and is rescued by a stranger), and it’s hard to follow. To top it all off, this female author called a character’s breasts “the girls.” I tried to ignore that and the bad writing, but the further into the story I got the worse it seemed to get. So nope, thanks but no thanks. Rating of 1 star (I would have given zero stars if I could) and very much a DNF.
POINT LAST SEEN (Last Seen in Gothic Book #1) by Christina Dodd is the first action-packed romantic suspense in this new series written with plenty of thrills and quirky inhabitants in the small Pacific coastal town of Gothic.
Adam Ramsdell has found the privacy he seeks in Gothic, CA as he works to turn salvaged metal into works of art and works as an armorer. When the local fortune teller tells Adam he must go the beach, he goes for the peace the ocean brings him but discovers a half-frozen body being tossed out onto the beach. He believes she is dead until he throws her over his shoulder to carry to his ATV and she revives as she brings up the sea water trapped in her lungs.
Elle has no memory of how she ended up on the beach, but she knows she has been strangled, beaten and is deathly afraid of a large dark shadow. As flashes of memory slowly return, she begins to endear herself to the people of Gothic and discover Adam’s secrets. She cannot remember much, but she knows she can trust Adam to protect her.
As Elle works to recover her memory, she doesn’t realize that those out to end her life are near and Adam has his own demons from his past that may well be out for revenge also. Will they be able to survive their pasts for a future together?
There are several plot threads throughout this romantic suspense that all come together to make a wonderful read. Adam is the tortured hero with the difficult past and his transformation from loner to lover was well paced and believable because the town already looked up to him even though he did not acknowledge it. Elle is a strong and determined heroine even without her memory, she asked for the help she needed it, but also stood up for herself. The town’s cast of characters were quirky and added some humor to the story as well as hiding secrets that I hope will be divulged in future books in this series. After the HEA, I assume each new book will have a new H/h and the town’s cast of characters and the location itself is what will be continued in this series. I will be looking forward to more.
This is a romantic suspense that will keep you reading until the very end.
Small Town & Rural Fiction / Mystery / Suspense Publication date: June 26, 2022 Narrated by: Vanessa Johansson Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
When you’ve already died, there should be nothing left to fear…
I found this book a little hard to follow just listening to it due to the amount of characters and lack of focus. Perhaps this may be better one to pick up as a physical copy? There's something about Vanessa Johannsen performance that I don't enjoy. Sometimes I was confused who was talking and who's pov I was in. The narrator's voice was the same up-down pitch that was distracting. I loved and enjoyed when Rebecca Soler narrated Virtue Falls and January LaVoy Obsession Falls but not this narrator.
Hopefully the story manage to hook me but at the moment I'm ready to DNF!
Decided to DNF. I just can't get into the story and the characters act strange (.
As I used credit on this audiobook, I decided to continue listening. Unfortunately, I just cannot get past the narration. It is boring and melodramatic all at the same time, which sounds weird, but there it is. Vanessa Johanson could be great for some titles, but IMO, this isn't one of them.
The plot and characters had potential, but the story was laid out a bit awkwardly and felt disjointed. There were missing pieces to Elle's memory, and these missing pieces were revealed throughout the book at odd times, with no explanation as to why and how they suddenly came back to her. The romance was fast, it just happened.
This definitely was not my favorite work by Christina DOdd. I’m not sure why, but I kept feeling bored and didn’t feel like there was enough suspense to make me read on. I kept expecting something to happen but I was more distracted by the narrator than concentrating on the plot. Not the worst story but I seriously doubt I will buy another audiobook when it's by this narrator!
You can really tell that this mystery/thriller is published by Harlequin, because it has that campy romance thing going on big time. A beautiful female scientist is discovered dead on a beach by a hunky man with a heart of gold and a troubled past. In slinging her over his shoulder to bring her body to authorities, she expels the water in her lungs and comes back to life. (Um, okay.) She's covered in bruises and has marks from being strangled by giant hands, but she has amnesia and cannot say who she is or who is after her.
Okay, I can get on board even though a lot of that is kinda out there. But it's more than a little off-putting for this traumatized woman to almost immediately be checking out her rescuer's package. And the characters in the town are meant to be sort of charming oddballs but they're quite over the top. One of the main characters is a likeable fortune teller who used to be a psychiatrist, but the author kept misgendering her (she now identifies as female). Rune was referred to as "she" most of the book and then every once in a while for no reason the author would just randomly call her "him" and once referred to her as "a large man." It's great to have a trans character, but then you have the responsibility to treat her with respect.
And the villains in this book.... oh my goodness, they're straight out of a cartoon.
All the same, it's a fun read if you want a sort of romantic modern sexy "Murder She Wrote" kind of thing set in coastal California with movie stars, fortune tellers and troubled pasts. The sex is very PG, even though it is a big part of the plot. G, almost. We hear a lot about how the main character has a giant erection and is wondering whether she's wearing panties and things like that as he nurses her back to health, and she nearly immediately falls in love with him even as she's supposedly terrified and tortured with nightmares and flashbacks. Just suspend your disbelief if this is your cup of tea.
Ok, first off, I love Gothic!! This was such a great introduction to a really unique town with so many quirky and fun characters!! I loved them all!!
I also love Elle and Adam…he is so lost and is being crushed by the weight of his guilt. He cares for the town in his own gruff way, but refuses to let anyone get too close. Friends? Never heard of em. And he would have never become enmeshed in all of this if it hadn’t been for the ‘not dead yet!’ body that washes up on shore. Elle is lost and confused and terrified. She knows someone is out to get her, but she can’t get her brain to remember anything else!
I loved the interactions between Elle and Adam. The thoughtfulness and caring and strength and how they take turns being there for each other. Also…I hope Rune gets her own book!! All in all, this book was fabulous and I can’t wait to read more!!
"When you’ve already died, there should be nothing left to fear… When Adam Ramsdell pulls Elle’s half-frozen body from the surf on a lonely California beach, she has no memory of what her full name is and how she got those bruises ringing her throat."
Ok, with that synopsis, who can really resist this book? Not me, and I'm so glad I didn't try! Disclaimer: I'm a huge Christina Dodd fan. I was before I read this, and I definitely still am. This book, filled with lost souls, was also a mystery, a thriller, and a suspense filled ride. I absolutely love the town of Gothic and look forward to reading more about it and its inhabitants in the books that follow this one.
Adam leads a self imposed solitary existence, and he has no plans to change that, until he finds a dead body on the beach near his home. Enter Elle. After bringing her back to life, and realizing that she has no memory of who she is or how she got in the water, and after noticing that she is covered in bruises, he takes her home with him and promises her a safe place to stay until she is well enough to leave. That proves easier said than done when he starts developing feelings for her. The search for Elle's identity and the mystery of her death leads to violence not just for Adam and Elle, but for other residents of Gothic. It turns out Adam isn't the only one with a checkered past in the town.
I loved this book so much in part because I loved Adam and Elle so much. They were great characters with great chemistry. The other residents of Gothic were pretty great, too, and everyone's back story was detailed, which made it easy to get invested in them. I'm really looking forward to seeing where this book series goes.
The plot was interesting and the writing was superb, which made this a quick read for me. The pacing was also on point.
In summary, I highly recommend this book to readers looking for a good mystery to sink their teeth into.
I received a copy of this book free of charge from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
How is it possible that POINT LAST SEEN is the first book I’ve ever read by Christina Dodd? This story blew me away! Lies and secrets like nobody’s business! This was such a crazy ride! I was sitting there trying to figure out what was the deal with so many things hidden and who was telling the truth!
Christina Dodd has a talent for creating gripping plot lines and a book that practically demands to be read in one sitting and POINT LAST SEEN is no exception. I took my time with this amazing and mind blowing story as I wanted to make it last. Christina Dodd reels in her readers with quite a hook.
Christina Dodd starts by putting the reader on a crazy roller coaster ride of emotions! POINT LAST SEEN takes place in the quirky little town of Gothic. The City of Lost Souls is found in the Big Sur area of the California coast. While on the beach one day, Adam Ramsdell pulls Elle’s half-frozen body from the surf. Elle has no memory of what her full name is or how she got those bruises ringing her throat. So Adam has no choice but to bring her home and help her. So, Adam not only is her protector but he is also determined to find out who she is. Who is she and how did she wind up in the ocean? You are going to have to read POINT LAST SEEN to find out!
I was quickly caught up in the story-line and found it difficult to put down. This book just flew by! POINT LAST SEEN was such a thrilling ride for me! POINT LAST SEEN is a real page-turner. I couldn’t put it down until I knew what had happened. Fans of psychological mysteries will enjoy this one. This story is so well written, that even though it jumps back and forth between the present and the past, it is still easy to follow. POINT LAST SEEN is a suspenseful tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harlequin through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I started the book hoping that it would be Dodd's attempt at a real Gothic genre feel, but it soon turned into something else that defies a category. Some humor, some angst, a little romance, a little suspense. I loved the hero, Adam. He basically wants to be left alone by everyone, all tragic and broody. The heroine, Elle, is literally tossed into his lonely existence and really stirs things up. The quirky cast of supporting characters are wonderful. Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to love this book I didn't. The plot was great, the characters interesting but there just wasn't like anything about it I liked, except the first 20%. Then ending, great is spots, left a "is that all there is" feeling.
Gothic, California is a little town perched above the Pacific Ocean in Big Sur. It depends on the tourist trade to survive, but that has dwindled due to a landslide taking out Hwy 1, aka PCH, aka Pacific Coast Hwy. It's a place that Adam Ramsdell has come to hide from the world. He's not alone in this desire, lots of the town inhabitants have something to hide. Adam has been living here for five years, hiding from others and himself, holding his secret very close.
One morning after a stormy night of creating his metal art, art that reflects the torment in his soul, Adam discovers a woman washed up on the shore. She has no memory, but her first name, Elle. She also had the very vivid signs of being strangled. Adam offers her a refuge while she tries to recover both her memory and her strength. But her memories are dark and threatening and revel images of someone trying to kill her. Her greatest fear is that he will come after her to finish the job.
My thanks to HQN, Publisher, and Charitina Dodd, author, for providing a complimentary digital Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this novel via NetGalley. This is my fair, honest and personal review. All opinions are mine alone and were not biased in any way.
This is an entertaining, well-written, fast paced, romantic suspense thriller. It has likable characters, murder, mystery, intrigue, a heart-warming romance, a beautiful setting, interesting secondary characters, twists and turns and a happily ever after ending. Ms. Dodd never disappoints her readers!
This book has a wild plot that is somewhat unbelievable, wild characters that range from the heroine whose life is in danger to the reclusive hero and even to a perhaps trans psychic, and a really wild setting that is not helped by the out-of-control weather on the Pacific Coast. All of that being said, the book is a 3.5 for me, with the believability factor rating it down and the quirkiness of the setting being enticing. It is a dark novel with crime and violence lurking under the surface and a lot of hints about more to come. The village of Gothic makes the story since it is a one of a kind type of place where the castaways of life seem to have gathered, started a new life there and support each other. Adam Ramsdell is a sculptor of sorts (large, metal and not displayed in galleries) who is hiding from his disturbing past. Elle is running from her past but she doesn’t know why because when Adam finds her on the beach, she is half-drowned, suffering from hypothermia and has amnesia. All of this boggled my mind and stretched the bounds of realism, but it did contribute to the story. I enjoyed the story itself but not all of the constant drama. I especially enjoyed the developing relationship between Adam and Elle and how they learn to trust and depend on each other. Sex is a part of the story and it is rated a hard PG with some rather vivid descriptions that I tended to skim over rapidly since I did not think they added to the story itself. The entire book requires an active imagination but did not require me to remember all of the nitty little details about Adam and Elle’s past lives since these details were revealed slowly and methodically, in a definite teasing manner. I did not like the character of Rune, perhaps a trans, but not well portrayed, a psychiatrist who is now a psychic. That was over the top for me and just put there to appease the current trends. Rune’s advice and insight could have very well been given by her in her role as a psychiatrist; the psychic thing was not necessary and did not add to the development of the plot nor the entertainment value of the story, in my opinion. All in all, those who enjoy quirky thrillers will enjoy their trip to Gothic, but the emphasis is definitely on strange. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harlequin via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
This one took me a minute to get into but once I did I could not put it down. I usually don't read a book this far in advance of release but I just couldn't wait to dig into it, after all it is by one of my favorite authors and once I read just a part of the tag line I was hooked. Gothic is a small town on the Pacific coast outside of Big Sur and full of quirky characters in the town of Lost Souls. Adam pulls what he thinks is some plastic out of the surf but it is really a body and when he lifts her over his shoulder she comes back to life. Battered and bruised and frozen, Elle does not remember who she is or what happened to her. Now Adam not only is her protector but they are embroiled in finding out who she is. So many twist, turns, and other stories going on. Just when you think you have it figured out there is a twist to take you in a different direction.
Glad this is going to be a series and I cannot wait to see where it goes.
**Received this ARC for review from the publisher via NetGalley**
Christina Dodd's new series, Last Seen in Gothic starts off with a bang. Gothic is a small town on the coast of California, where there are many people who come to heal, Adam Ramsdell being one of them. Adam is hiding out and healing after a mission he went on resulting in some deaths and he is blaming himself. He has been working in steal making some dangerous sculptures, specifically steal that washes up on the beaches or is found in shallow waters from shipwrecks. When he is walking the beach, he finds a dead body, at least one he thought was dead. It turns out to be a young woman, Elle, who was dead from hypothermia, but when Adam throws her over his shoulder, she vomits up water and is revived. She has lost her memory and stays with Adam while she heals and tries to regain her memory. As memories return, Elle realizes that she is still in danger, and perhaps so is Adam.
This as a quick listen that I really enjoyed. First, I absolutely loved the setting. Gothic overlooks the Pacific Coast in an isolated area. The town itself is full of quirky and eccentric residents, the one I loved the most being Madame Rune, the transgendered psychic who seems to know more than she should. There is more than one thread to this story. We have Elle, and her story; Adam and who might be trying to end his life; and then the story of the psychic fail that is going on in the story with all the characters and activities that it entails. All these storylines mesh well and come together in a wonderful conclusion. There are secrets, lies, some craziness, snark, and interesting characters that kept me interested and looking forward to the next story set in Gothic. I sure hope that Madame Rune will be a constant character in this series. I recommend it to those who like a thriller with some suspense and even a bit of humor. The audiobook is narrated by Vanessa Johansson and she does a great job. I loved all the voices she gave the various characters, as well as her tone and expression. It pulled into the story and had me feeling like I was there with the characters. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.
In my humble opinion, it was the town of Gothic itself that stole the show here. I loved its situation overlooking the Pacific Coast, but most of all I loved the quirky and eccentric residents who chose to call Gothic their home.
The two protagonists, Elle and Adam, were engaging and obviously meant for one another. The narrative moved along at a quick pace, with only minimal 'steamy' scenes, and repetition. Parts of the plot were overly dramatic and this would probably lend itself well to an entertaining rom-com/romantic suspense movie with heroes that are larger than life.
I would recommend this novel to readers who enjoy their romance with some action/suspense to spice things up. In short, light, entertaining, suspenseful and fun - with a 'happily ever after' ending.
What the hell is this book??? It's billed as a thriller with edge-of-your-seat tension combined with humor and cleverness. NOT!!!! It reads like really, really bad fan fiction. It's rife with typos (did NO ONE proof this thing?). The entire thing is written, not cleverly, not with wit, but with the cutesy-poo asininities of a cozy mystery that's more about reading yourself into a trance so you can fall asleep. Edge-of-your-seat?? Maybe the toilet seat. And so, so sloppy! There's a trans character called Rune. Rune goes through a long explanation as to his former life as a married man and how it all devolved because COVID changed his voice (yeah...right) and now Rune prefers the pronouns she/her. Fine. But then midway through the book, Rune is referred to as he/him for several paragraphs. Then it switches back to she/her. It was such a glaring error!!! At one point, the heroine Elle is engaged in a brawl and thinks it was "the wrong day to wear sandals," but then, a few paragraphs later, she uses the "toe of her shoe" to take the brakes off a dolly carrying a sculpture. The last few chapters are a mash-up of frantic attempts to tie up all the loose ends that are of tepid interest at best. And lots more typos. Lots. And this is a "NY Times best-selling author"?????? What has happened to publishing?? Is everyone who staffs these reputable houses illiterate? Tasteless? Suffering a complete lack of standards? What this book is, is a tepid cloying romance-ish failure to succeed at ANY genre. The romance aspect skims across the most tired, trite, obvious tropes that are devoid of originality. The characters are flat and boring. The town where the action is set is ridiculous. You kind of want it to be snuffed off the map. This...book....is...a...disaster.
This new series from Ms. Dodd grabs my attention and keeps me turning page after page. The character development as well as the small-town antics keeps me amused. Adam is a man who wants to be left alone to lick his wounds. He seems to be the standard stoic introvert. This is until we learn about his childhood. I am stricken with sorrow and a feeling of helplessness. I want to go back in time to wrap this tough boy in warm protection. Elle's missing memory makes each childhood flashback a treasure. I just really liked these two characters.
To read the rest of my review, click on the image below to see it on my website.
The amazing Christina Dodd has done it again. POINT LAST SEEN is book one of her new series Last Seen in Gothic and it captures all the marks for the perfect read.
She has a hero, Adam, who isn't sure he can handle being one; a heroine, Elle, who doesn't know why she was almost killed; a little hidden village filled with quirky characters - so what more can you ask for! Well, of course, there is romance - that goes without saying.
You have to love the characters Ms. Dodd brings to life. Though they are a bit strange they do rally around one another and accept each other as they are. My personal favorite is Madame Rune, the psychic/fortune teller, who tells everyone to use whatever pronoun they are comfortable with. So at times she is she and others she is he.
A fantastic beginning to a new series. I cannot wait for book two to come out so I can enjoy another visit to Gothic.
OK, I really loved this book about a quirky town full of quirky characters. The town is named Gothic and sounds like a wonderful place to live. The characters sound like people I would love to know and become friends with. I highly recommended this book to readers who like romance and mystery.
Point Last Seen by Christina Dodd takes us to Gothic, California which is a town for lost souls. We meet Elle who washes up on the beach and is rescued by Adam. Adam is a troubled man who has let an incident from the past haunt him. It is evident that Elle was attacked and is lucky to have escaped. Adam keeps her safe while Elle works on recovering her memories. I loved the town of Gothic. It is a charming town full of quirky, caring residents. Rune is the town psychic and fortune teller. She is a unique character. She is a tall woman who wears the traditional fortune teller clothing and has a five o’clock shadow. Rune tells people that they can use the pronoun they are most comfortable with when referring to her (which is why in the book some people use she and others use he). There is humor sprinkled throughout that had me chuckling. There is a mystery or two along with suspense. The action keeps the story moving along at a good clip. I did feel that the bad guys were a little over-the-top (exaggerated villains). As Adam and Elle spend time together during these fraught times, they begin to fall for each other. They must outwit a deadly foe if they are to get their happily ever after. There are a couple of steamy scenes as well as foul language. The romance was a little heavy handed (too much of it). It begins too soon which felt inappropriate considering what Elle had just been through. Those who love romance novels will enjoy it. I thought the story was too long (448 pages) and I was dismayed at the amount of repetition. I was surprised at the conclusion. I am glad that this is not our only visit to Gothic. It will be interesting to see what lost soul turns up next time in the Last Seen in Gothic series. Point Last Seen is dramatic tale with a damsel in distress, an artistic knight, a conversant psychic, a mad mugger, a crafty killer, a kindhearted chef, a dodgy joust, and a hamlet of lost souls.
Gothic, CA is a small town that keeps alive based on a legend regarding lost souls returning from the dead. The town is gearing up for The Gothic Spring Psychic Festival, which draws in tourists and helps keep the town alive.
Adam Ramsdell settled in Gothic to find some peace from a scandal, and to work on pieces of metal that the ocean churns up onto the shore. Adam keeps to himself and is haunted by his past, a past that keeps him vigilant even in an out-of-the-way town such as Gothic.
Madame Rune, Gothic's psychic, pays an unexpected visit to Adam and convinces him to participate in a jousting reenactment. Before Adam can leave, Rune imparts to Adam that a lost soul is coming to challenge him.
Adam doesn't believe in superstitious nonsense, but is surprised to find himself heading towards the ocean rather than home. As he contemplates wading out into the ocean, he catches sight of something washed ashore and he approaches the black plastic to find a body. Feeling no pulse, he prepares to carry the body up a cliff where he can get cell service. Soon as he tosses the body over his shoulder, Rune's prediction comes true.
The lost soul of Elle comes back to life. Elle has no memory of what happened or who she is beyond the name, Elle, but it's obvious from the bruises that someone meant to do her bodily harm. Elle is absolutely terrified and refuses medical aid because she fears it will lead a killer right to her.
The elusive Adam sets all the town's tongues wagging when word gets out about a woman being seen with Adam, more so when her screams are heard!
Rune is recommended to Adam to help Elle try to recover some of her memories. Who knew Rune had a professional side? One session finds the three of them taking cover for their lives. The question is, who was the intended target?
I was thoroughly entertained by this story! I was kept wondering about Adam's past and loved how easily Elle made friends with all the town's citizens and won over Adam. There are many interesting side characters, but my favorite is Rune, who is a little eccentric but whose flair takes center stage. I missed a few red herrings, where at a reveal towards the end, became an a-ha moment thinking back. I look forward to reading more about the people of Gothic!
I received a complimentary copy and I have voluntarily reviewed this book.
Point Last Seen will bring you to a place of darkness all while constantly coming at you with twist after twist.
I instantly became addicted to this book and there was no way I would be able to put it down until I finished the last word. The talent that plasters itself across each page will leave you in constant awe and satisfaction with Dodd's writing style.
I have always been a Christina Dodd fan. I have read everything from Hard to Kill to Dead Girl Running . I also highly recommend you read her entire back log of previously published books, there is no way you will be disappointed.
Anyway, back to Point Last Seen.
If you are looking for a book that will take your breath away, there is no need to keep searching. From chapter 1, your attention will be captivated and this book never looses its pace. At one point I got up and checked to make sure the doors were locked in my house. Yes, I was that terrified. I am also not too sure I will sleep with the lights off any time soon.
Buy the book, read the book, thank me later. Five Stars.
What works in “Point Last Seen” is the locale - Gothic, a tiny town around Big Sur, California, home of some supposed lost souls. There’s Adam, a rugged recluse who says he has no friends but seems well liked; Rune, the transgender psychic; Mr. Kulshan, a grumpy guy; Angelica, who pretty much owns the town; Clarise, an actress; and Deputy Dan, the good-hearted doofus sheriff.
Adam, walking around the beach and reflecting on his life, happens on a nearly dead girl washed on shore. Talk about a beach read! She has amnesia except she knows her name, Ellie, and she knows she’s been strangled and beaten by a huge man who is more shadow than real.
Trust me when I say this: The romance is a secondary aspect of this thriller. Adam and Ellie sleep together from the start, but it’s because she trusts him and she has nightmares.
The book contains flaws: The villains are boring as dirt, and the ending brings in a couple of twists that the author pulls out of air.
Still, it’s a fun read, and I guess I would pick up the next Gothic series book but it would not be atop my list.
Point Last Seen is my first book by prolific author Christina Dodd. This is a thriller with a romantic interest rather than the straightforward romance novels that make up the body of her work and is the first in a new series set in the town of Gothic, California. "On stormy nights, Gothic is said to disappear and on its return, it brings lost souls back from the dead."
Adam Ramsdell is on the beach after a storm, searching for debris that has washed up in the tumultuous waves and that will form the basis of his new artworks. When he pulls a body from the water it is the last thing that he was expecting. There is no sign of life and the poor woman is freezing cold. As he hoists her up to drag her up the beach so that he can report it to the authorities the corpse suddenly starts coughing. She is alive!
Covered in bruises and unable to remember what has happened to her, all the stranger can remember is that her name is Elle and that a large, strong man was trying to kill her. She is very frightened and reluctant to go to the authorities in case her current location is discovered so Adam and Elle start working together to try and piece together her past and to work out why someone wants to kill her. And of course as they start to get to know each other, things begin to heat up.
For me, Gothic is the star of this story. The town itself and the wider cast of supporting characters are the real strength of the book and you could definitely see this as a Netflix type mini series going forward. The story is engaging and really well thought out but it did feel a little overlong in places as it takes a while for the complicated back story to feed its way through. I had guessed the big twist in the story about halfway but it doesn't deter from the reading experience at all. Overall its an exciting and engaging read and I'm really looking forward to some more Gothic adventures.
Supplied by Net Galley and HQN Books in exchange for an honest review.
As a prolific reader, it was obvious that this was the first book in a series. Dodd does a tremendous job of introducing the town & the characters, complete with backstories without overwhelming the story surrounding the original H/h. It was a good suspense romance. I liked the characters and look forward to reading future books in the series.
The quirky town of Gothic is a perfect foil for this action-filled story. We have Adam, sculptor of metal, hiding from scandal and recovering physically. He comes upon Elle washed up on the rugged Pacific beach. Throwing her over his shoulder revives her breathing, but not her memory. Psychic (and former psychiatrist) Madame Rune works with Elle to recover snippets from her past.
This story is revealed from many facets and point of view. Slowly the pieces are assembled, and a picture starts to come together. As we watch all these characters come to a climax, we are thoroughly entertained, and rooting for the good guys. Pure entertainment.
***** I am voluntarily leaving my honest review of this book *****
"On stormy nights, Gothic is said to disappear, and on its return it brings lost souls back from the dead."
The neighbors were nosy and eager for entertainment in Gothic, a tiny little town in the Big Sur part of the California Coast. It is a small town of lost souls. Everyone has secrets. And, when anything happens with any of the townspeople, the news travels like lightening. It has little tourist shops named "Hair on Your Chest Coffee Shop," "Firm Buns Bakery," "Runs with Scissors Needlework and Quilting," "Eat, Drink, Gossip Saloon" and "Encore! Vintage Clothing Shop" (Motto: Not responsible for Haunted of Possessed Items." The townspeople themselves are an eclectic, quirky group. It's a great set up for what promises to be another terrific series by Christina Dodd. This first murder/mystery certainly captured me with its two dynamite, mysterious lead characters. Yes, I fell under Gothic's spell and can't wait for the next book!