I’m indebted to Hayley Steed at EDPR for an e-copy of Last Light by C J Lyons in return for an honest review. Last Light is the seventh Lucy Guardino novel although it can be read, as I did, as an entirely standalone book, and was published on 3rd May by Edgy Reads. Last Light is available for purchase on Amazon UK, Amazon US, from Waterstones, iTunes and Fantastic Fiction.
After leaving the FBI, life should be easy, right? Wrong—not if you’re Lucy Guardino.
Lucy has always seen herself as a normal Pittsburgh soccer mom who happened to have a job chasing the worst of the worst. But after a violent predator targets her family and she’s injured, Lucy sacrifices her career with the FBI in order to keep her family safe.
What is she now that she’s no longer a FBI Special Agent? she wonders as she begins her new job with the Beacon Group, a private consulting firm that specializes in cold cases and bringing justice to forgotten victims. Lucy fears she’s traded being a kick-ass law enforcement officer for being a civilian mother hen shepherding a team of amateurs.
Her fears appear justified when she’s partnered with TK O’Connor, a former Marine MP struggling with her transition to life back home, and sent to rural Texas to investigate a case that’s more than cold, it’s already been closed with the killers behind bars for the past twenty-nine years.
But…who really killed Lily Martin, her infant daughter, and husband? Why was an entire family targeted for annihilation?
What price will Lucy pay when she fights to expose a truth people will kill to keep buried?
My Review of Last Light
Retired through injury from the FBI, Lucy Guardino joins the Beacon Group to solve cold cases. Her first, leading back to 1987, is not going to be as straightforward as she hopes.
I haven’t read any of the other Lucy Guardino books but reading Last Light I can see how they have built an enormous following. Fast paced and gritty with seedy corruption, shady and varied characters and just the right level of violence to give an authentic appeal, especially to those who love late night American police dramas, this is a series well worth exploring. Initially I didn’t think I was going to like the style as it felt too American for my taste, and I wasn’t sure about the level of county police corruption presented in the early stages of the book. However, having suspended my disbelief, I was drawn into the narrative and the characterisation almost against my will as the strands of the story developed and I found I wanted to know what happened next.
The main characters, particularly TK, all have their flaws and frailties which make them all the more believable and I liked the strong female portrayal of Lucy. Indeed, there is enough revealed with just enough still hidden to draw the reader into the next book, wanting to know just how the relationships develop as the Beacon team works together.
The themes presented are very thought-provoking. The treatment of those who’ve been mentally damaged by active service, how we define and behave within families, the levels of corruption that exist around us that we complicitly ignore are all explored within the pages of Last Light, giving it an interest beyond simply being a good crime thriller.
I thought the switches between 1987 and the present day were really skilfully handled so that the tension was built up the more the truth was uncovered. The denouement is dramatic and thrilling to read and I found myself quite tense and reading more quickly in tune with the writing. C J Lyons certainly knows the elements that make for an exciting read. I could easily see Last Light as a big screen feature film.
Last Light is perfect for those who like American crime thrillers.