Good Reads, Lifestyle

Good Reads Challenge Book Review: The Only One Left

A beautiful Sunday.

“Even a prison becomes comforting if it’s the only thing you know.” — Riley Sager, The Only One Left

What’s up, friends — how are you on this beautiful Sunday? I hope you’re enjoying the Fall weather and cooler temps.  Remember to check in with friends and family, stay hydrated, and always give yourself some grace.

Friends I’ve been in Atlanta for the past few days dealing with some family issues (that podcast is coming exclusively to my friends soon, ONLY on this platform), and I’ll tell you, after staying with family there is nothing like being home.  My flight got in late Friday, and because I’m OCD I completely emptied my suitcase, sorted everything in piles, put all my toiletries away, and settled in.

Saturday I shopped for Sunday dinner filled my fridge to meal prep and did a little tidying. I’m blessed to be able to travel to different areas and visit but there is …(Shall I say it), no place like home.  I’m back to the blog (after BlogTober/Halloween) and my regular schedule.  Today I’m reviewing …The Only One Left by Riley Sager.

The Review

Title | The Only One Left
Author | Riley Sager
Format | Audiobook
Pages | 385
Published  | June, 2023
Genre |  Mystery, Thriller
GR Rating | 4.18
Purchase | Amazon


Now reduced to a schoolyard chant, the Hope family murders shocked the Maine coast one bloody night in 1929. While most people assume seventeen-year-old Lenora was responsible, the police were never able to prove it. Other than her denial after the killings, she has never spoken publicly about that night, nor has she set foot outside Hope’s End, the cliffside mansion where the massacre occurred.

My Rating (5.00)


“At seventeen, Lenora Hope
Hung her sister with a rope.
Stabbed her father with a knife
Took her mother’s happy life.”

Where to begin? This book has been highly anticipated and discussed among my Good Reads friends and Book-Tubers all around. It’s a Riley Sager novel, so expect more twists and turns than a typical Lucey Foley.

Quote from The Only One Left
“She’s capable of so little yet accused of so much, and I remain torn between wanting to protect her and the urge to suspect her.”

I’m going to do this review differently. So, this review is solely what I thought. In a word, fantastic. It had me guessing until the end. How to talk about it without giving away spoilers? You can’t, really. I somehow thought a supernatural presence was creeping in under the radar, but that would be incorrect.

This is just a good old-fashioned murder mystery with updated nuances. Yes, the story takes place in the 80s. The plot …Kit (one of our main characters) gets another assignment as a caregiver after a six-month suspension due to an overdosing incident with her last patient.

Quote from The Only One Left
“Men like him gobbled up all they could, leaving nothing for everyone else.”

This would be Kit’s chance at a fresh start and to redeem herself. She has issues, we all do, but I liked this character. She does what any of us would do after a tragedy, and that’s trying to move on.

The job she takes (however) is to care for the infamous Lenora Hope, who was suspected of slaughtering her entire family. The circumstances of her needing care are suspect, but I felt for this character. She pulled on my life strings. Lenora Hope would be wheelchair-bound for the rest of her days and unable to care for herself. That’s a personal prison that no one wants.

It gets twisty because Kit is not Lenora’s first caregiver. Lenora’s last caregiver, Mary Milton, disappeared under a cloud of mystery. The ticker is that Lenora is not completely paralyzed and may have confided in her last caregiver.

Quote from The Only One Left
“Ladies shouldn’t play pool,” she once told me. “Lucky for me I’m not a lady,” I replied..”

As Kit settles into Hope’s End on the cliff, she begins to learn about Lenora Hope and her family. There’s something peculiar afoot, and Lenora tells Kit that she still sees her sister. (Her dead sister) Not to mention getting used to the mansion, which sits on a tilt, as years of decay start to show, and the mansion is slowly crumbling into the sea. Lenora Hope can’t speak, and her only means of communication would be a lonely typewriter.

Other players in this story didn’t immediately raise my radar, but I knew they had a part to play.

Mrs. Baker, Archie (the cook), Jessie (a housemaid), and Carter (caretaker). Right away, my radar went up about Mrs. Baker. Her character teetered on …”What is she hiding?” to “She’s guilty of something,” and the others just seemed like wayward folks all looking for a happy ending. Archie (the cook) was the most dedicated of them all, who cared deeply and looked after Lenora. He knew deep down she wasn’t guilty of killing her parents. But was she?

Quote from The Only One Left
“It’s our lot in life, Kit-Kat,” he told me. “People like us toil. The rich bastards running everything make sure of that.”

I haven’t updated this graphic, but I’m still reading the same two novels.  You would think that going into the office, I would have plenty of time when I commute to read, but the senseless talking and chatter make it hard to focus on a book.  So now I’m only reading both books before bed.  The Horror at Pleasant Brook I’m at 25%, and Kill River at 60%.  These are the last two books in my GRC, but I will keep reading more until the end of 2023.

Even though they are deceased, there is a rich and interesting backstory about the parents, Winston and Evangeline Hope. They would play an integral part in their own demise. Affairs, addiction, and abuse are woven tightly throughout this novel, and when I found out the entire story, it blew my mind.

One can’t ignore the name that Winston Hope gave his house on a cliff, Hope’s End. I translate that as where hopes and dreams come to die. This was such a great story where the characters, plot, and storyline made sense. Nothing extra, nothing unbelievable, just a good murder mystery with all the drama of a soap opera and much more.

 Share your most anticipated 2024 reads in the comments.

Thanks so much for visiting the blog today.  Don’t forget to follow and subscribe, as I really appreciate the support. — Peace

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