My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Dreams are ridiculous and weird, but for the most part, they're allowed.
Emily Lindsey doesn’t speak when they find her. Holding a hunting knife and covered in blood that is not her own, she communicates with a single, ominous drawing.
Detective Steven Paul has had the same nightmare for as long as he can remember, a strange symbol figuring prominently into his terror. He decided long ago that the recurring dreams are nothing more than an unfortunate side effect of his often traumatic profession.
Until, that is, he’s assigned to the case of Emily Lindsey, the beautiful, elusive, and controversial blogger found alone, who can’t possibly know the symbol from his nightmares... unless she does.
I am delighted to take part in the blog tour for The Last Day of Emily Lindsey by Nic Joseph, a clever mystery that held many surprises in store and kept me guessing until the very end. Featuring two seemingly unrelated threads set in two different timelines, each containing intriguing unexplained elements, I was eagerly turning the pages to find out more. When I started reading this book, I had no idea where it would lead, except that at some stage the two stories would form some sort of connection – and I can happily say that all the threads did come together in the end!
The story starts with Detective Steven Paul, who has been going through a rough time with the break-down of his marriage and persistent nightmares that haunt him on a regular basis. Lately, frightening visions are plaguing him even in his waking hours, threatening his career and forcing him to see a counsellor at work. He is one of the officers first on scene to investigate the strange case of a woman, well-known blogger Emily Lindsey, found in her own home covered in blood, but with no visible injuries to her own self. Seemingly too traumatised to speak, the detectives are at a loss as to what has happened to her. She has a slip of paper with Steven’s name in her pocket – but Steven cannot remember ever having met her. What happened to Emily Lindsey in the hours she has been missing? Is she a victim or a killer? On leaving the hospital, Steven spots something on the woman’s bed that triggers one of his “visions” – but what exactly does it mean, and how does it connect them together?
With many irresistible elements of mystery and suspense, the book drew me in right from the start. I knew that the two different threads must be connected somehow, but whilst I had a few suspicions that proved to be right, I was never able to completely solve the mystery until it was revealed – layer by layer – as the story progressed. Joseph’s writing is engaging, her characters realistically drawn, and I couldn’t help but feel for Steven as he is working hard to work out the meaning of his visions whilst trying to hide his vulnerable side in order to keep his job. Often, two separate stories are difficult to pull off, as usually one tends to hold more interest than the other. However, Joseph has handled this art beautifully, and I felt myself equally intrigued by the timeline that featured the children, as it had so many deliciously sinister elements that could not lead to anything good.
The story kept me up way too late into the night reading, until I could read no more and had to save the last bit for the next day. I must say that there was one element of the ending that fell a bit flat for me. However, there were plenty of surprises and aha-moments that made this story a suspenseful and original read, and my overall feeling was that of enjoyment. Seeing that most of the book’s power lies in its original surprise elements, I recommend going into this story blindly and letting it sweep you away, so I am trying very hard not to give any spoilers here!
In summary, The Last Day of Emily Lindsey was a clever, original mystery featuring two separate narratives which kept me enthralled until all was revealed at the end. It will appeal to readers who are looking for something a little bit different from the fray – I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to any lovers of the genre.
About the Author:
Nic Joseph is fascinated by the very good reasons that make people do very bad things. She writes thrillers and suspense novels from her home in Chicago. As a trained journalist, Nic has written about everything from health care and business to aerospace and IT—but she feels most at home when there’s a murder to be solved on the next page. Nic holds a BS in journalism and an MA in communications, both from Northwestern University.
Visit NicJoseph.com, or follow her on Twitter: @nickeljoseph
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Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.