There are a few authors who I will read anything they write, no matter what and Riley Sager is one of them. Whenever Sager has a new book coming out, I immediately add it to my TBR and I'm excited to dig my feet into it when it is released.

The Only One Left is his latest novel that was released on June 20th and I had it as a Book of the Month choice. I finally read it (because I barely read anything in June and July) this month and I think I can confidently say this is my favorite Riley Sager book yet. It has so many incredible elements of the thriller genre without being over the top. 

If you love thrillers, if you love Riley Sager, you will love The Only One Left.

Publisher's Summary

At seventeen, Lenora Hope
Hung her sister with a rope

Now reduced to a schoolyard chant, the Hope family murders shocked the Maine coast one bloody night in 1929. While most people assume seventeen-year-old Lenora was responsible, the police were never able to prove it. Other than her denial after the killings, she has never spoken publicly about that night, nor has she set foot outside Hope’s End, the cliffside mansion where the massacre occurred.

Stabbed her father with a knife
Took her mother’s happy life

It’s now 1983, and home-health aide Kit McDeere arrives at a decaying Hope’s End to care for Lenora after her previous nurse fled in the middle of the night. In her seventies and confined to a wheelchair, Lenora was rendered mute by a series of strokes and can only communicate with Kit by tapping out sentences on an old typewriter. One night, Lenora uses it to make a tantalizing offer—
I want to tell you everything.

“It wasn’t me,” Lenora said
But she’s the only one not dead
As Kit helps Lenora write about the events leading to the Hope family massacre, it becomes clear there’s more to the tale than people know. But when new details about her predecessor’s departure come to light, Kit starts to suspect Lenora might not be telling the complete truth—and that the seemingly harmless woman in her care could be far more dangerous than she first thought.

My Thoughts

I was scared of this book, I won't lie. It was very creepy at first but once you understood what was going on, it was easy to focus on and not be creeped out. I was having a hard time reading this at night but my goodness, was it an intense, interesting, crazy book that I was not expecting at all.

When you first get inside Kit McDeere's head you know that she is not a reliable narrator; it's very clear that she was not telling the whole truth about what happened to her and her job. 

When you meet Lenora and the cast of characters at Hope's End, it's very obvious someone in the house is lying. Someone is holding a secret very close to the chest and everyone is suspicious. 

What is not clear, is who is responsible for the Hope family massacre, who is responsible for the old caretaker leaving, and who is responsible for the weird things happening around the house...and when you do find those things out, you will not know what hit you.

I didn't realize until well throughout the book that the story takes place in the 80s, which I love so much more than anything taking place present day. I think it added an element of eeriness and surprise to the plot because true crime wasn't true crime back then - it was all folklore and old wives tales.

Lenora didn't scare me; she was creepy, but I was convinced something was up with her. She was a liar too.

Throughout the novel you go back and forth between Lenora's past leading up to the murder of her family and Kit's present day. Somewhere, a little more than halfway through the book, things get changed up and the rug is pulled out from under you and nothing is the same. It gave me whiplash but my god did it make for a great reveal.

It was on par with the reveal in Gone Girl, that's how shocked I was. That happened at least two more times throughout the book, truly until the last page. I can't say much more without giving the entire plot and all the twists away, but just know that nothing is as it seems in Hope's End. 

People were very critical of Riley Sager's last novel, The House Across the Lake, because it was too much like The Woman in the Window and jumped the shark (I personally liked the book), but this is a return to form for him. The Only One Left gives me the same vibe as Home Before Dark  and Lock Every Door. I personally think it's probably better than those two but it's very much the Riley Sager you know and love. 

Have you read The Only One Left? What did you think?

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