Book Review: The Last Place by Laura Lippman—and a Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Robin Burcell,

winner of The Expats by Chris Pavone!!


The Last Place
Laura Lippman
William Morrow, October 2002
ISBN 0380978199

Tess Monaghan, Baltimore private investigator, is in trouble with the law, all because she and her friend, Whitney, tracked down a guy who uses the internet to prey on young girls and then proceeded to humiliate him in a rather unique way. Now, Tess is sentenced to 6 months of weekly anger management therapy. Tess, of course, does not think she needs this at all.

Feeling bad for getting her friend into this, Whitney gets Tess a job with one of her foundations, a job that seems simple on the surface. All Tess has to do is look into the quality of the police work done on five domestic violence cases across the state. Why, then, does it begin to look as though these cases may be connected to each other somehow?

Tess hooks up with Carl Dewitt who, as a Toll Facilities cop, had found one of the bodies or, at least, part of it. He’s retired on disability now but has never forgotten this case—in fact, he seems to be nearly obsessed with it. He convinces Tess that there’s more to the case than meets the eye and they team up to do their own investigation. What this will lead to is far more frightening than either Tess or Carl could possibly imagine.

Author Laura Lippman is a master of the  suspense genre and this latest in the Tess Monaghan series is no exception. A number of authors have attempted the dual point-of-view style but Ms. Lippman is one of the few who can do it effectively, telling the story from Tess’s viewpoint while periodically interjecting the killer’s thoughts. This is one of those books I simply could not put down until I had finished it and then I was left with a lingering sense of dread—the perfect suspense thriller in my opinion.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, 2002.
Review first published on in 2002.