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The Last Word: A Novel (Hardcover)
After posting a negative review of a horror novel, a woman staying at an isolated beach house begins to wonder if the author is a little touchy—or very, very dangerous—in this pulse-pounding novel of psychological suspense and terror from the critically acclaimed author of No Exit and Hairpin Bridge.
Emma Carpenter lives in isolation with her golden retriever Laika, house-sitting an old beachfront home on the rainy Washington coast. Her only human contact is her enigmatic old neighbor, Deek, and (via text) the house’s owner, Jules.
One day, she reads a poorly written—but gruesome—horror novel by the author H. G. Kane, and posts a one-star review that drags her into an online argument with none other than the author himself. Soon after, disturbing incidents start to occur at night. To Emma, this can’t just be a coincidence. It was strange enough for this author to bicker with her online about a lousy review; could he be stalking her, too?
As Emma digs into Kane’s life and work, she learns he has published sixteen other novels, all similarly sadistic tales of stalking and murder. But who is he? How did he find her? And what else is he capable of?
Displaying his trademark command of rapid-fire pacing, unnerving atmosphere, and razor-sharp characterization, Taylor Adams once again delivers a diabolically disturbing—and deadly—game of cat and mouse.
About the Author
Taylor Adams is the author of several acclaimed thrillers including Hairpin Bridge and No Exit. No Exit has been published in 32 languages and was recently released as a Hulu Original film. Adams lives in Washington State.
"If many thrillers suffer from an inability to live up to their initial promises, The Last Word is the opposite: It gets more clever and interesting as it goes along. It’s not just a suspenseful story about a woman in extremis fighting for her life, but a fine exercise in authorial misdirection and an incisive metacommentary on crime fiction and true-crime writing. Also, it’s unexpectedly moving." — New York Times
“A white-knuckle, read-in-a-sitting thrill ride. In The Last Word, Taylor Adams ratchets up the tension to an unbearable pitch—then keeps going. Thriller fans, take note: You need to read this book!” — Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of The House Across the Lake
“An outstanding psychological thriller…As the tension rises, spectacular plot twists open up new possibilities while effectively demolishing existing expectations. Along with the nail-biting suspense, the book provides some genuine fun by treating readers to overwrought excerpts from an unpublished manuscript about the crimes that take place at Strand Beach. Adams remains a writer to watch.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Adams does a phenomenal job of using classic horror tropes to poke fun at the way some authors write…This is another fast-paced, action packed thriller with fantastic writing and a badass final girl. You can’t count anyone out, and even when you think you know where the story is going, Adams throws in one more twist. I recommend this book to people who love a terrifying thriller with humor sprinkled in to cut the tension.” — Mystery and Suspense Magazine
"Knives are out, as well as swords and stun guns, in this breathlessly paced, head-spinning tale." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Taylor Adams does a masterful job of telling this unusual tale. It has so many plot twists and turns that oftentimes it feels like it’s doing back flips and cartwheels, tying the reader’s brain in knots trying to predict what will happen next.” — Bookreporter.com
"Inspired and intelligent, The Last Word offers a propulsive plot layered with grit and gloom, death and deception." — Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star
"Adams' plotting is relentless, making The Last Word one of the scariest mysteries of the year." — Florida Sun-Sentinel
"The imaginative and thoroughly original plot features bewildering and bizarre twists and a totally unexpected ending. Adams' modern-day Gothic effectively blends horror and thriller and is guaranteed to keep readers off-balance with its intensity and overall creepiness." — Booklist
“Moves at about 150 miles per hour. . . . A novel that’s part action flick and part affecting rumination on moral responsibility within families.” — Washington Post on Hairpin Bridge
“The carefully layered drawing-room psychology of Agatha Christie cross-pollinated with the pure squishy terror of Stephen King. . . . [Taylor Adams] nails his setup and builds some truly distinctive characters.” — Entertainment Weekly on No Exit
“Hairpin Bridge reads like a Stephen King novel and is especially reminiscent of Misery in how the characters shape-shift as the narrative progresses, leaving the reader wondering who is more dangerous—and more importantly, which one will prevail.” — BookPage
“There’s a cinematic propulsion to No Exit that commands the reader’s attention, and Mr. Adams times his shocks with a sure hand.” — Wall Street Journal
“What a box of tricks! This full-throttle thriller, dark and driving, rivals Agatha Christie for sheer ingenuity and James Patterson for flat-out speed. Swift, sharp, and relentless.” — A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window, on No Exit
"A shot of adrenaline straight to the heart! Propulsive and unpredictable, Hairpin Bridge will have you on edge from the first page to the last." — Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of Home Before Dark on HAIRPIN BRIDGE