Thank you to Booksparks for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Synopsis (from She Writes Press):
Psychologist and police consultant Dr. Pepper Hunt, struggling to deal with the murder of her husband, leaves the private practice they shared and relocates to Wyoming. There, in the stark landscape of the high desert, there is nothing to remind her of everything she lost and left behind. Then her new patient, Kimi Benally, goes missing in a Wyoming blizzard after her last therapy session—making Pepper the last person to see her. She knows the secrets Kimi shared in therapy hold clues to her mysterious disappearance, and she joins forces with Detective Beau Antelope to try to discover what’s happened to her. But as she follows the trail of Kimi’s obsession with the past, Pepper begins to fear the worst for her missing patient—and her own haunted memories surface.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a great mystery that stayed one step ahead of me the whole time, keeping me guessing until the final pages. And not only was there a mystery surrounding Kimi’s disappearance, but also in Pepper’s history and what brought her to Wyoming. Doucette really stretched that out, giving the reader small glimpses into that tragedy and Pepper’s role in it. That worked really well for me because it kept me wanting more. It also kept me on my toes when it came to trusting Pepper. By reading it in these snippets, much like Pepper was experiencing the memories, it helped me to gain trust in her as a character, and it showcased Doucette’s ability to string the reader along. She did the same thing with Kimi’s situation, revealing small chunks at a time, and I appreciated the opportunity as a reader to try to piece it all together as each detail was revealed.
As for the characters, there were a lot of different personalities at play which, again, worked really well in progressing the story. Each character added a different tempo to the pages, so it never felt stagnant or too drawn out. Also? Some of those personalities were easy to hate and I’m not going to lie: I enjoy a story with a few good jerks in it. (Just deserts, that’s all I’m going to say.)
I do also want to mention the setting of Last Seen. It takes place in a small Wyoming town in the middle of winter, and Doucette did a great job of creating the world around the characters. I could picture everything like I was right there with them, despite never having been to Wyoming. (I can still picture the snow-covered ground lit only by moonlight as if I had just experienced it last night.)
Last Seen was a great start to this series and I’ll be anxiously awaiting the next installment.