"I find things." Private Investigator Roxanne Weary has lost a lot. Her father, paying clients, and her tenuous romantic relationship. So when a paying client asks her to track down the witness to an old crime, she agrees. But when the evidence begins piling up, she finds herself caught in something much larger than she ever could have predicted. A compulsively readable mystery that breathes new life into the PI genre. Recommended by Emily— From Books We Love: Fiction
Kristen Lepionka's 2018 Anthony Award Nominee for Best First Novel, The Last Place You Look is a head-on collision between an allegedly closed case and a tenacious, troubled private investigator who doesn’t know when to quit.
Nobody knows what happened to Sarah Cook. The beautiful blonde teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her parents were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend Brad Stockton—black and from the wrong side of the tracks—was convicted of the murders and is now on death row. Though he’s maintained his innocence all along, the clock is running out. His execution is only weeks away when his devoted sister insists she spied Sarah at an area gas station. Willing to try anything, she hires PI Roxane Weary to look at the case and see if she can locate Sarah.
Brad might be in a bad way, but private investigator Roxane Weary isn’t doing so hot herself. Still reeling from the recent death of her cop father in the line of duty, her main way of dealing with her grief has been working as little and drinking as much as possible. But Roxane finds herself drawn in to the story of Sarah's vanishing act, especially when she links the disappearance to one of her father’s unsolved murder cases involving another teen girl.
The stakes get higher as Roxane discovers that the two girls may not be the only beautiful blonde teenagers who’ve turned up missing or dead. As her investigation gets darker and darker, Roxane will have to risk everything to find the truth. Lives depend on her cracking this case—hers included.
About the Author
Kristen Lepionka grew up mostly in her local public library, where she could be found with a big stack of adult mysteries before she was out of middle school. In the name of writing research, she has gone on multiple police ride-alongs, taken a lock-picking class, trespassed through an abandoned granary, and hiked inside an Icelandic volcano. Her writing has been selected for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Grift, and Black Elephant. She is also the editor of Betty Fedora, a semi-annual journal that publishes feminist crime fiction and lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her partner and two cats. The Last Place You Look is her debut novel.
"This is a remarkably accomplished debut mystery, with sensitive character development."—Booklist (starred review)
"This suspenseful, original, and confident debut will please fans of the hardboiled PI genre."—Library Journal (starred review)
"Action-packed...Lepionka has created an appealing, relatable lead."—Publishers Weekly