Black Thorn Books, Book Review, Mystery, NetGalley, Suspense

The Last Night Out by Catherine O’Connell

I wonder how many outcomes have hinged on such cringe-worthy moments: how many lives have been indelibly changed as a result of one misstep? Whether by choice or by deflection, the consequences of the alternate path can be dire.

Set in Chicago in the late ’80s, Ms. O’Connell’s novel about murder, secrets, betrayals, and friendship is full of suspense, regret, and transformation.

Maggie is about to destroy her dream marriage because of a one-nighter. Carol Anne is a mother of three and wife of a man with secrets. Kelly is living by the skin of her teeth trying to recover from her mother’s, now Angie’s death, and her reckless past. Suzanne is independent and having an affair with a married man. Natasha is living a life of luxury with a controlling husband.

And, Angie. She’s dead. Murdered after a night out with her friends.

This character-driven story is intense and extremely addictive. One can relate to the women’s imperfections and secrets while they put up a front that everything’s fine… until it isn’t. The flow of the story is well done and told by many different points of view. A difficult feat to accomplish.

The suspense of finding out who killed Angie is palpable and the way all of the clues and people are intertwined is clever. The ending caught me by surprise which is hard to do for someone who has read so many mysteries in my lifetime.

If you have a gaggle of close friends and would do anything for them, you will enjoy this story. One of my favorites this year. Highly recommend!

Thank you to Ms. O’Connell, Black Thorn Publishing and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book with no expectations of a positive review given.


The Last Night Out

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Catherine O'ConnellChicago native Catherine O’Connell is the author of The Last Night Out (Severn House/Black Thorn), Well Read and Dead (Harper), Well Bred and Dead(Harper), Skins (Donald I Fine) and soon to be released First Tracks (Severn House July 1, 2019).

A graduate of the University of Colorado School of Journalism, Catherine worked in a number of fields to gain insight into the many walks of life incorporated into her novels including the hotel and restaurant industry, commodities markets, and as a sales executive.

Catherine O’Connell is a member of Mystery Writers of America and sits on the boards of Aspen Words, the literary branch of The Aspen Institute, and English in Action, a mentoring program that teaches English as a second language. She serves as a moderator of the Sharing Shakespeare program at the Aspen Institute.

Catherine has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, the Cox network and numerous radio shows including WGN Radio’s After Hours with Rick Kogan.

An inveterate traveler, wine enthusiast, skier, biker and hiker, she divides her time between Aspen, Chicago, and Paris.

Visit Ms. O’Connell at her website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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