Book Review: The Last Good Girl by Allison Leotta—and a Giveaway!

The Last Good GirlThe Last Good Girl
Anna Curtis #5
Allison Leotta
Touchstone, May 2016
ISBN 978-1-4767-6111-4
Hardcover

From the publisher—

It was her word against his…until she disappeared.

Emily Shapiro has gone missing. A freshman at a Michigan university, Emily was last seen leaving a bar near Beta Psi, a prestigious and secretive fraternity. The main suspect is Dylan Highsmith, the son of one of the most powerful politicians in the state. At first, the only clue is pieced-together surveil­lance footage of Emily leaving the bar that night…and Dylan running down the street after her.

When prosecutor Anna Curtis discovers a video diary Emily kept during her first few months at college, it exposes the history Emily had with Dylan: she accused him of rape before disappearing. Anna is horrified to discover that Dylan’s frat is known on campus as the “rape factory.”

The case soon gets media attention and support from Title IX activists across the country, but Anna’s investigation hits a wall. Anna has to find something, anything she can use to discover Emily alive. But without a body or any physical evidence, she’s under threat from people who tell her to stop before she ruins the name of an innocent young man.

Inspired by real-life stories, The Last Good Girl shines a light on campus rape and the powerful emotional dynamics that affect the families of the men and women on both sides.

There are a handful of women who are former sex crimes prosecutors and have made use of their knowledge and expertise to create compelling protagonists and series featuring such crimes. Allison Leotta is one of the best and, with each book, I think she gets better. That, of course, is as it should be.

Anna Curtis is such an appealing character that she alone can draw me back; she’s intelligent, focused but not driven, compassionate towards the victims and passionate about giving them justice. Anna isn’t perfect and that makes her all the more human. When the investigation into Emily’s disappearance reveals that she had claimed that Dylan raped her, Anna is determined to do what’s right by the girl.

Campus rape has become more and more publicized in recent years and, in many cases, it’s a he said/she said situation. Ms. Leotta has crafted a storyline that brings this crime even more to the fore, largely by making her characters so vivid, so alive, that I literally felt the fear and anger that a friend of Emily would feel upon learning what had happened to her. What makes it even worse is the uncertainty that so frequently occurs when the young man involved may or may not actually be guilty and, yet, his future is in dire jeopardy. Add to that the privileged status of Dylan and so many of his counterparts in real life and you have to wonder if true justice is even possible.

In Ms. Leotta‘s hands, this tale becomes so intriguing, with twists and turns everywhere, that I was riveted, unable to put the book down until sleep deprivation forced me to. Anna is up against time and some powerful adversaries who could easily destroy her career but finding out what really happened to Emily is paramount.  That search for the girl—and the truth—kept me fully engaged until the very end and I’m already wanting Anna’s next book 😉

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, June 2016.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To enter the drawing for a print
copy of The Last Good Girl
by
Allison Leotta, just leave
a comment
below. The winning
name will be
drawn on Friday
night, June 10th.
This drawing
is open to residents
of the US and Canada.

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17 thoughts on “Book Review: The Last Good Girl by Allison Leotta—and a Giveaway!

  1. This book has a powerful story and screams Read Me, I am sure it is an eye opener for all. Thanks for the review, I am very interested in reading this novel.

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  2. Was campus rape always such a prevalent factor or has it become more so in today’s day and age? It’s a shame that it has become a topic so popular to center a book around. Oh well, I guess everything comes to importance in time. robeader53@yahoo.com

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  3. This book sounds so good, yet scary for me–we live in MI and I have a college aged daughter. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  4. This sounds good, really good and pertinent in light of the recent nightmare events at Stanford. I also worked at a university for 26 years, and there are many, many cases of unreported sex/rape crimes committed constantly. For one, it gives the school a bad reputation; secondly, students are afraid to come forward.

    Like

  5. Pingback: My Favorite Books Read in 2016 | Buried Under Books

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