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Raven's Reviews: Pairs Well with The Only One Left & The Book of Cold Cases

Updated: Jun 7

I've been doing some "Pairs Well" reviews on TikTok where I review 2 books at a time that have the same vibe as to avoid book hangover. Here's a good pair!

The Only One Left by Riley Sager

"The Only One Left” is a gothic horror novel by Riley Sager that follows the story of Kit McDeere, a home-health aide who becomes the caregiver for Lenora Hope. Lenora is the infamous sole survivor of her family’s massacre in 1929, and she’s believed to be responsible for the murders. The novel is set in 1983, and Kit, after a suspension and personal loss, takes on the job of caring for Lenora at her dilapidated Maine estate, Hope’s End.

As Kit settles into the eerie mansion, she is haunted by a childhood rhyme about Lenora’s presumed guilt and becomes determined to uncover the truth. Amidst strange occurrences and her patient’s inability to speak or move, Kit discovers Lenora is writing an account of the night her family was killed. The narrative alternates between Lenora’s journal entries and Kit’s first-person perspective, slowly unraveling the dark secrets of the Hope family murders and the mystery of a missing nurse.

The book delves into themes of violence, emotional abuse, addiction, and the consequences of family secrets, all set against the backdrop of a gothic, decaying mansion. It’s a tale that combines elements of horror, mystery, and psychological suspense, keeping readers guessing until the very end.

"The Only One Left” is a compelling and fast-paced read that many mystery and thriller enthusiasts will enjoy, especially if they like period peices.

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St James

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James is a gripping novel that intertwines two narratives across different timelines. The story revolves around Shea Collins, a receptionist by day and a true crime blogger by night, who becomes fascinated with the infamous Lady Killer murders from 1977. These murders shook Claire Lake, Oregon, when two men were killed with the same gun, accompanied by peculiar notes left at the scenes.

Shea’s life is marked by her own traumatic past, having narrowly escaped an abduction as a child. This fuels her passion for her blog, titled ‘The Book of Cold Cases’. Her path crosses with Beth Greer, a wealthy and enigmatic woman who was the prime suspect in the Lady Killer murders but was acquitted. Shea seizes the opportunity to interview Beth, leading to a series of meetings at Beth’s mansion, which is as unsettling as it is fascinating.

The novel is a chilling blend of mystery, thriller, and horror, with a touch of the paranormal. It examines themes of societal perceptions of women, the impact of trauma, and the quest for truth. “The Book of Cold Cases” is a testament to Simone St. James’ storytelling prowess, offering a tale that is both haunting and compelling.

What they have in common:

☑️Creepy house on the cliff overlooking the ocean

☑️Older woman accused of redrum back in the day but never went to prison

☑️who wants to finally tell her story after all these years

☑️Endearing sleuth with issues of her own who investigates

☑️Is it haunted?

☑️Lots of family secrets

☑️Duel Timeline chapters - 1920s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, today

Watch my review here:

You'll love these two books as back-to-back reads!


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