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Review: Last Chance Road: A Jake Caldwell Thriller (Jake Caldwell series Book 7) by James L. Weaver

July 17, 2022

About the Book:

Is there a serial killer roaming a rural Lake of the Ozarks community?

Former mafia leg-breaker turned private investigator Jake Caldwell is approached by a spitfire 10-year-old girl and asked to find her mother who seemingly disappeared into thin air nearly a year ago.

As Jake and Benton County Sheriff Bear Parley start digging into the case, they make a grim discovery: the girl’s mother isn’t the only woman in the county who has gone missing recently.

As the bodies and clues pile up, the clock ticks away on the life of the killer’s latest victim and everything seems to lead to a place nobody wants to be – Last Chance Road.

My Thoughts:

James L. Weaver once again kicks it out of the park! This is the 7th instalment of this action packed and gritty Jake Caldwell series and one of the best yet. This story follows Jake as he is hired by the determined young Daisy Dawn to find her missing mother. But Daisy’s mom isn’t the only one to have gone missing. The investigation leads Jake onto the path of a twisted and unstable killer. This is a race against time, a violent murder mystery, that is filled with twists and turns. Not only do all the old favourites return (I seriously love Jake and Bear’s dynamic – I could listen to them bitch and moan all day) but the introduction of young Daisy (gritty, determined, hopeful but mistrustful) is a brilliant new character added to the mix and I found myself desperately hoping that she would appear more and more as the story progressed.

The masterful technique James L. Weaver is able to build through his stories is that his villains are as well rounded, detailed, layered and as emotionally damaged as his heroes. You cannot help but understand what is driving them all and how all of their decisions influence their inevitable actions and the explosive results. James L. Weaver has also built up the setting/location as a character in its own right through several of his books now. The Ozarks in his world has a dark, gritty realism that permeates every scene. Every snap of a twig underfoot, every smell of stale smoke, alcohol and drugs in the air, every poor, downtrodden person struggling to survive seeps from the pages.

If you like a good dark gritty brutal murder mystery set in the lower economic areas of the Ozarks, if you like a good action thriller, if you’re a fan of Jack Reacher (Lee Childs) then you must get onto this series. Come on streaming services – pick up this clever and action packed series. I can’t wait for the next one!

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