Can’t Wait Wednesday : The Only One Left by Riley Sager


“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : The Only One Left by Riley Sager.  The description for this one is fantastic.  

Bestselling author Riley Sager returns with a Gothic chiller about a young caregiver assigned to work for a woman accused of a Lizzie Borden-like massacre decades earlier.


At seventeen, Lenora Hope
Hung her sister with a rope

Now reduced to a schoolyard chant, the Hope family murders shocked the Maine coast one bloody night in 1929. While most people assume seventeen-year-old Lenora was responsible, the police were never able to prove it. Other than her denial after the killings, she has never spoken publicly about that night, nor has she set foot outside Hope’s End, the cliffside mansion where the massacre occurred.

Stabbed her father with a knife
Took her mother’s happy life

It’s now 1983, and home-health aide Kit McDeere arrives at a decaying Hope’s End to care for Lenora after her previous nurse fled in the middle of the night. In her seventies and confined to a wheelchair, Lenora was rendered mute by a series of strokes and can only communicate with Kit by tapping out sentences on an old typewriter. One night, Lenora uses it to make a tantalizing offer—I want to tell you everything.

“It wasn’t me,” Lenora said
But she’s the only one not dea

As Kit helps Lenora write about the events leading to the Hope family massacre, it becomes clear there’s more to the tale than people know. But when new details about her predecessor’s departure come to light, Kit starts to suspect Lenora might not be telling the complete truth—and that the seemingly harmless woman in her care could be far more dangerous than she first thought.

Expected publication : June 2023 


Survive the Night by Riley Sager

Posted On 16 December 2021

Filed under Book Reviews
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My Five Word TL:DR Review: Conflicted with Likes and Dislikes


Survive the Night is an unusual book.  I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, it made me furious at times and I couldn’t stop reading it.  Without doubt it went where I didn’t expect but unfortunately I think this is a classic case of too little too late.

The story begins on campus where Charlie Jordan is looking for a shared ride home.  Charlie’s best friend has been murdered by a serial killer and she can stay no longer in the place where her memories have become torture.  Unexpectedly, given the time of year, it appears that someone is going her way, Josh Baxter is similarly in a rush to return home and offers to take Charlie with him.  The thing is, can Charlie trust Josh or is this road trip about to take a nosedive into hell?

Okay, I do like the premise for this.  And, I did want to love it.  As it happens, although I can’t say this one wowed me, it was strangely addictive and I seemed to read it at breakneck speed BUT – so many frustrating things. Just, so many.

To be fair to the author he got the period right, this story wouldn’t really fly right at all in the current era but set back in the 90s it definitely has the ‘it could just happen’ factor.  Sager also does a good job of making both characters untrustworthy leaving you in a constant state of suspense.  Charlie isn’t exactly reliable and to some extents I found her difficult to get along with.  She has this whole escaping into her head condition going on where she seems to completely disappear into the land of make believe with almost cinematic movies playing out in her mind rather than what’s really taking place.  I really struggled with this concept to be honest and I’m not totally certain that I really understood it – but given some of the other things taking place I decided to just go with the flow.  Josh comes across oddly, sometimes evasive, sometimes as though he’s baiting Charlie, he definitely knows too much about her and he seems to waiver between good guy/bad guy.  So, both characters are a bit dubious and definitely leave you doubting yourself – which is impressive as this is what Charlie is undoubtedly feeling too.

I also have to hand it to Survive the Night – it’s a book that I simply had to complete, there was never a chance that this was going to be a DNF because I needed to know what the heck was going on.  Which leads me to the conclusion which delivers a couple of twists that I really didn’t see coming at all – well more than a couple if I really consider it.  And, I have to say that was certainly an unexpected ending.  A little bit crazy, a little over the top and a lot twisted – my jaw literally dropped.

So how come this one didn’t knock my socks off?  Well, firstly, Charlie drove me mad.  I didn’t buy her need to get off campus that very night, especially when her boyfriend had offered to drive her in a couple of days.  Then there’s the whole standing outside by yourself in the dark waiting for a stranger to rock up in his car.  Of course you would.  Then there are the times during the trip where she has the chance to escape the situation but doesn’t take it.  Just some of her decisions were so off the chart annoying that even the ending couldn’t redeem it – although the author does make a good go of it.  Plus, I wasn’t on board with who had engineered the whole escapade and I think there was a certain point of the story where the author gave away a little too much too soon.

All that being said I can’t deny that this was a story that held me in it’s grip. I think if you’re looking for a quick read that will intrigue you enough to push through any little annoyances and that will in fact give you a couple of real ‘wtf’ moments then give this one a shot.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 3 of 5 stars