I’ve had The Last Housewife, by Ashley Winstead on my radar for months now anticipating it’s recent release. It’s no surprise that I grabbed my copy as soon as it hit the shelves and couldn’t wait to see what all the fuss was about.
After finding out that her college best friend, Laurel, died while listening to her favorite true crime podcast, Shay Evans returns to upstate New York from her suburban bubble in Texas in search of the truth. She recruits the help of Jamie, the podcast host (and her childhood best friend), to find out what really happened to Laurel and face the demons of her past.
I guess I didn’t really know what to expect going into this one, but I couldn’t have imagined any of it would play out the way it did. Let me just preface this review by telling you this book includes every trigger warning possible – grooming; rape; sexual/physical violence; suicide; misogyny; drug use; trauma; cults; etc…..the list goes on. Seriously. The content is dark and sometimes graphic, so readers beware.
This book centers around a sex cult and a protagonist who’s mission it is to bring down those who are in power and avenge her friend’s alleged suicide. It was giving a combo of Fifty Shades of Gray + The Handmaid’s Tale + Eyes Wide Shut vibes for me and I can honestly say I didn’t expect any of that going in. Way twisted. So if that’s your jam, grab your copy, stat.
While I thought it was a decently entertaining read as far as psychological thrillers are concerned, it fell a little flat for me. I think maybe part of that was that I’d been anticipating this one for so long expecting a grand slam and for me, it was more of a base hit. I really had a hard time connecting with Shay…she wasn’t the most likable character. And there were times she said or did something that had me scratching my head and questioning how (insert scenario/thought/action here) could be possible.
That said, it was beautifully written and really well paced. It was a quick and easy read with a really intriguing plot. Even with the dark nature of the content (very much a morbid curiosity aspect to it all), it was enjoyable. I would recommend this one so long as you have the mental capacity to digest the content warnings!!
3.8 out of 5
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