Review: Her Final Words by Brianna Labuskes

Print Length: 348 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (August 1, 2020)

From  It seems like an open-and-shut case for FBI special agent Lucy Thorne when Eliza Cook walks into the field office. The teenage girl confesses to murdering a young boy. Disturbingly composed, she reveals chilling details only the killer could know. Beyond that Eliza doesn’t say another word, leaving a vital question met with dead silence: Why did she do it?

To find the answer, Lucy goes to the scene of the crime in the small Idaho town of Knox Hollow. But Lucy’s questions are only mounting. Especially when she’s drawn deeper into the life of the victim. Then a combing of the woods yields unsettling evidence that Eliza isn’t the only one in this close-knit rural community with secrets.

Getting to the truth is becoming Lucy’s obsession. And it’s a dangerous one. Because for the good folks of Knox Hollow, hiding that truth will take more than silence.


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This was one of those stories that is so hard for me to review. 

On one hand,  it  drew me in and kept me reading hours past the time I would have usually gone to bed. The story moves at a steady pace, introducing new twists and turns the more you read (there were a couple of surprising moments, although one of the "main ones" seemed rather obvious to me). I liked the complexity of the characters, and I enjoyed the not just the secrecy surrounding the church, but the way the author managed to realistically grasp small town life and the way (cult-like church aside) those who live there tend to view outsiders as a threat and close ranks to protect their own. Another point in this stories favor is how unlike other novels of this same ilk there was no attempt to weave a romance into the story-line the way I have seen other authors try to do. 

On the other hand? As it wound down I felt like the author started throwing too much at the reader to "shock" them (or because it was a convenient to tie up a loose end). It became less of  "OH MY GOD WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT?" and more of a "Oh... okay... um... what?" People acting (in my opinion) out of character based on what we know about them, other characters made to look guilty that aren't, and entire plotlines built around something that wasn't. For me, it just put an abrupt halt to what had otherwise been a solid read. 

Even with that, I would definitely give this author another chance because of their ability to create a realistic world that draws people in.

                             Her Final Words is available from

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