Title: The Last Day of Emily Lindsey by Nic Joseph
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 338 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
A bone-chilling novel about a woman found holding a hunting knife, covered in blood that is not her own, who communicates with a single, ominous drawing, and the man who must get inside her head to solve a mystery without a crime.
Detective Steven Paul has had the same nightmare for as long as he can remember, a strange symbol figuring prominently into his terror. He decided long ago that the recurring dreams are nothing more than an unfortunate side effect of his often traumatic profession. Until, that is, he’s assigned to the case of Emily Lindsey, the beautiful, elusive, and controversial blogger found alone, who can’t possibly know the symbol from his nightmares… unless she does.
The Last Day of Emily Lindsey by Nic Joseph is an enthralling mystery about popular blogger Emily Lindsey who is found covered in blood yet she has no injuries. Clearly traumatized, she remains in the hospital with her husband by her side as detectives Steven Paul and his partner Gayla Ocasio are assigned to the case.
Due to his worsening nightmares and horrifying visions, Steven is in danger of losing his job following his involvement in an incident with a bank robber. Undergoing department ordered counseling, he continues his lifelong habit of keeping his problems to himself. When he and Gayla meet Emily at the hospital, she is unresponsive to their questions and Steven is taken aback to learn his name was discovered in her possession. Immediately following their meeting, Emily begins drawing a symbol that is all too familiar to Steven since he has been seeing it in his nightmares. Delving into her blog, he and Gayla find a starting point for their investigation, but they continue to hit a brick wall when trying to trace her movements prior to her admittance to the hospital.
The chapters alternate between the investigation in the present and a group of five children who are appear to be involved in some type of cult. One of the children, Jack, is trying to find out what happened to his mother, who disappeared without a trace a couple of years earlier. Her disappearance is somehow connected to the mysterious happenings that occur every year on June 2nd. The chapters devoted to this part of the storyline follow the children and their efforts to devise a plan to sneak into the upcoming secret June 2nd meeting.
In the present, Steven and Gayla are frustrated by the lack of progress on Emily’s case. Steven is also struggling to keep his nightmares and visions at bay amid concerns that Gayla will tell his therapist about his ongoing problems. Their investigation about what happened to Emily moves in fits and starts as they continue to run into dead ends. Steven is bothered by some inconsistencies he uncovers and he is also troubled by a mysterious man who keeps turning up at odd times. Their lead from Emily’s blog is initially promising but will it hold up under closer scrutiny?
The Last Day of Emily Lindsey by Nic Jospeh is a fast-paced and intriguing mystery. The story weaves seamlessly back and forth in time but it is initially impossible to understand how the two storylines will eventually intersect. The novel comes to a twist-filled and exciting conclusion that satisfactorily brings the divergent story arcs together. All in all, a compelling police procedural that fans of the genre will enjoy.