Scarllet ✦ Underrated Lit Warrior's Reviews > The Last Place You Look

The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka
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Trying to force a connection hadn't gone very well for me before. But sometimes the connection insists on making itself. The universe sends you the same lesson over and over until you learn it. The world is a series of patterns on its own; the coincidence is only in the discovery of them.

Holy hell do I love a good mystery! The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka has been recommended to me multiple times whenever I wish for an LGBTQ detective novel and it was not a disappointment. In fact, everyone who loves detective fiction like Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes but gay needs to pick this book up immediately.

Roxane Weary is this bisexual private detective with a bit of a drinking problem, a penchant for relationship issues, and in dealing (or not dealing) with the loss of her father. She's nowhere near a perfect detective, she is very smart and has good intuition but she sometimes (most times) makes mistakes and is a human with a heart and emotions.

We open her life with her cop father, Frank, having had died on the job. Frank and Roxane had a very tumulous relationship - both being stubborn, headstrong and very into alcoholic beverages, and throughout Roxane's case, we see her having trouble mourning and coping with that loss. It's always on the back of her mind, despite her not wanting to deal with thoughts of him at all.

Roxane's case is brought upon by Danielle, whose brother, Brad, is on death row and she is contracted to find evidence that exonerates him before his execution date, but it's not that simple. In attempting to solve a fifteen-year-old seemingly open-and-shut case, Roxane is constantly stopped and blocked by the small town police where the crime took place and she manages to find leads where there are none. Every time Roxane wanted to even ask one question, the cops were all up in her business which was so frustrating to read because it was just one way in which she was stumped in her investigation. I just kept on being like What are they hiding?

I loved this "who can you trust" suspense going on. Every turn she takes is riddled with secrets and uncertainty, nothing clicks in her investigation. but even when she is at rock bottom (or at the bottom of a glass of whiskey, girl needs to chill with the drinks), Roxane is stubborn as her father. That is a facet of their personality that she has trouble assimilating but everyone who knew him always mentions because like father like daughter. It helps her continue to investigate since she just does not give up. While she's investigating, another girl goes missing and time is ticking. She wants to figure out what is going on with her case but also, she wants to find the next missing girl before it's too late and figure out how in the hell these cases are connected.

My thoughts on Roxane are as follows: I know she's a bit of a mess, grief will do that to you, but she is a cool badass detective that cares so so much. Even when the odds are against her and she is pushed against her limits, she does not let it stop her. The mystery had me at the edge of my seat and I was even feeling like her when more facts kept piling up but did not connect.

I was absolutely, without a doubt, rooting for her to figure out the truth and to end up okay by the end of her investigation. Her character is real and everything about her is honest and written with care. The climax of the story had me remembering an episode of Criminal Minds and it definitely brought up the tension that had been surrounding me since the beginning up to one hundred notches. Literally, this went from 0 to 100 real quick because it felt like an honest slow burn of a mystery since we are tripping through this investigation along with Roxane.

I also love how queer this is but like how normalized that aspect of her life is. There's no surprise, Roxane is bi and it's just a part of her life that we are privy to.

All in all, I am READY for the next installment of Roxane Weary's story. I love love love mystery novels and I already have my eye on book two AND book three (whoa, Scarllet, a series?? You, interested in actually completing a series? It's THAT good!!)
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Reading Progress

August 22, 2018 – Shelved
August 22, 2018 – Shelved as: physical-tbr
December 4, 2018 – Shelved as: in-my-bookshelf
December 4, 2018 – Shelved as: lgbtqa-rep
February 19, 2019 – Started Reading
February 19, 2019 – Shelved as: mystery
February 19, 2019 – Shelved as: suspense
February 19, 2019 – Shelved as: bi-mc
February 19, 2019 – Shelved as: audiobook
February 19, 2019 –
page 63
19.57%
April 11, 2019 –
page 108
33.54%
April 18, 2019 –
page 136
42.24%
April 21, 2019 –
page 164
50.93%
May 5, 2019 –
page 268
83.23% "this book is sitting at the edge of my seat good."
May 5, 2019 – Shelved as: adult-fiction
May 5, 2019 – Shelved as: favorite-characters
May 5, 2019 – Shelved as: 5-star-read
May 5, 2019 – Finished Reading

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