REVIEW: THE LAST GOOD GIRL, BY ALLISON LEOTTA

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It was a Friday night in March 2015 when Emily Shapiro went to Lucky’s Bar, trying to move beyond events that began for her the previous September. But as she left the bar that night, a Delta Psi fraternity member, Dylan Highsmith, confronted her and then chased her down the street.

Later, when she was reported missing, video coverage showed him chasing her…and then there was no further sign of her. A missing Tower University freshman was a big deal, especially as her father, Barney Shapiro, was the university president.

Anna Curtis, a federal prosecutor, has been staying on a Detroit urban farm with old friend/new lover Cooper Bolden, still torn about her broken relationship with Jack, the Homicide Chief at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D. C. She is pulled into the investigation, and is working alongside her friend, FBI agent Sam Randazzo. Just as they are getting started, Jack joins them, and they begin coordinating their efforts with his task force on college sexual assaults.

The Last Good Girl takes the reader into the daily pursuit for the missing girl, and we follow their efforts to break behind the secretive walls of the popular fraternity, protected by all the Old Boys’ networks, including local law enforcement. It seems that Dylan’s father is a politician and big contributor to the university.

Alternating narratives reveal to the reader Emily’s video log, as it details how Dylan drugged and raped her, how she tried to get justice, and how she met with resistance along the way. Her frustration and sense of powerlessness grew with each new post.

I also loved how the author brought the reader right into the personal world of the characters, spotlighting their thoughts, their feelings, and their childhoods. I loved having a sense of who they were as people.

As I quickly turned the pages of this intense thriller, I was captivated throughout; I didn’t see the final revelation coming, but then it all made sense. 4.5 stars.

ratings worms 4-cropped***

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