The Only One Left is a story that follows the Hope family murders that took place in 1929. Lenora Hope was only 17 years old when the police were called to the cliffside mansion, Hope’s End, and found her mother, father, and sister dead. For years, everyone assumed Lenora was guilty. She even had her own schoolyard chant, much like Lizzie Borden’s rhyme.
At seventeen, Lenora Hope
Hung her sister with a rope
Stabbed her father with a knife
Took her mother’s happy life
“It wasn’t me,” Lenora said
But she’s the only one not dead
Lenora is now in her seventies, and she’s confided to a wheelchair and is rendered mute by a series of strokes. Kit McDeere, a home-health aide, arrives at Hope’s End to care for Lenora after her last nurse, Mary, mysteriously disappeared. Lenora’s only method of communication includes tapping her fingers. Once for no, twice for yes, and through typing sentences on an old typewriter. Kit is determined to find out what happened and if the woman she’s caring for is really a killer.
The Only One Left was an entertaining read. The pacing was quite slow throughout, but Sager was able to keep me hooked through short and ominous chapters. I enjoyed the ‘whodunnit’ structure, as it kept me coming back for more. Sager revealed things very slowly, which some readers may find drawn out, but I enjoyed every single detail as the information added to the plot. And that was surprising to me because I typically favor fast-paced thrillers.
When the twists and the secrets started to reveal themselves, I was very surprised and didn’t see many of them coming. However, having read Sager’s book, The House Across the Lake, I was well prepared with what kinds of twists he’d throw into this story. There were many reveals throughout that were jaw-dropping, however, towards the end, Sager kept piling on the twists to the point where they felt a bit far fetched, but I can’t say that I wasn’t entertained.
If you’re a fan of Riley Sager or ‘whodunnit’ thrillers, I would definitely recommend that you add The Only One Left to your fall reading list. It was a great story with rich characters and I was touched by the ending. Sager didn’t leave behind any loose ends, which is one thing I truly appreciated as a mystery lover. Order your copy of The Only One Left on Amazon today.
The Only One Left by Riley Sager
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
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