Review: Last One to Lie by J.M. Winchester

Print Length: 288 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (June 09 2020)

From  Moving to a new city was supposed to be a fresh start for her family. Now it’s a nightmare.
Her little girl was supposed to be at daycare when Kelsey arrived to pick her up. But they have no record of her daughter ever being there. And to make matters worse, her husband is missing too—he won’t pick up his phone, and the school he supposedly works at says he never accepted their job offer.
Detective Paul Ryan knows something’s up with Kelsey’s story. Kelsey’s husband might be involved in their daughter’s disappearance, but the deeper the detective digs, the more inconsistencies he finds.
As Detective Ryan tries to uncover the truth, what he finds are more deeply buried secrets that someone clearly never wanted found.

My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I finished this book a couple of days ago, and honestly, I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it. On one hand, it had its moments where I was sucked in as I tried to figure out what was going on (in a good way), and there were times when I was staring at this book while I tried to figure out what was going on (in a bad way). 

As often as possible, I like to finish with the positives, but I feel like due to the nature of this book it just won't be feasible this time. 

Last one to Lie was ….. interesting. To begin with, it is told from the first-person view of multiple people. At times this became confusing as every character speaks and acts almost exactly the same. There is nothing to differentiate between who is speaking at what point. There are also two different story-lines taking place at the same time – the decade-old disappearance of Detective Ryan’s sister, and the happening now abduction of Mikayla. While the author manages to somewhat successfully weave together storylines of things that have happened in the past along with the things taking place now – it wasn’t until the end that I found myself horribly confused as to just who did what (more on that in a minute).
Giving credit where it is due – this story is definitely one of a kind and nothing like anything I have read before. I just wish it would have been executed with a bit more clarity. The farther we delve into the first part of this story the more it makes sense. You see…..


Kelsey has an identical twin sister. As the story progresses, we find out that both girls have been traumatized by their pasts, but we are lead to believe that Kelsey is “evil” while her sister Holly is “good”. And yes – Kelsey has done some pretty messed up things in her life (or at least I think it was Kelsey?) Once it was revealed that she had a twin and they had “switched lives” once before it all became a bit muddled to be honest.

This was where I started having a lot of problems keeping the two of them straight. Which one did the horrible things as a child? Throughout the entire book we were lead to believe it was Kelsey that was evil and Holly who was good, but still shot Detective Ryan when he discovered the truth – but at the end of things the woman living as Kelsey originally was really Holly according to fingerprints (even though we were lead to believe that Kelsey was the one who did all the evil things as a child and then took Holly’s spot in the adoption)?
So was Holly the evil one? I am SO confused! It would seem to me that the “evil” sister would have made a better companion to the adoptive parent mentioned in the subplot. Also – I would have liked more closure when it came to Detective Ryan and his missing sister Julia. Does he ever find her?


Even with these things, I do believe this story will appeal to people who like to read books that don’t conform to what we consider “normal” (although I hope they find it less confusing than I did). I would give this author another chance.  

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                        Last One To Lie  is available from

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