9:15 am EDT, November 15, 2018

‘Last Seen’ book review: ‘The Amateurs’ finally close the case

By Kendra Cleary | Edited by Donya Abramo

…or do they?

Last Seen, the final book in Sara Shepard’s The Amateurs trilogy, picks up where Follow Me left off. After Brett slipped through the amateur crime solving group’s fingers yet again, they realize that he’s not the only one missing. Aerin is also nowhere to be found!

Seneca, Maddox and Madison are dying to find their friend and take their former teammate down, once and for all, but of course, the man they once knew as Brett Grady isn’t going to make it easy for them. He’s not quite done playing with them yet. If they want to get Aerin back, they’ll have to solve an entirely different Case Not Closed case.

If you’ve been a fan of The Amateurs series, you’ll definitely devour the final installment in the trilogy. Last Seen has all of the great elements from The Amateurs and Follow Me, with just a little something extra to make it a worthy finale.

If you haven’t read the first two books, check out my spoiler free reviews for The Amateurs and Follow Me and pick those ones up first. Especially if you’re a fan of Pretty Little Liars, since Sara Shepard also penned those books! Last Seen really works better as a conclusion to the series than as a stand-alone novel.

As I said, the book picks up right where the last one ended, and it’ll have your spine tingling from page one. By far, Last Seen is the most chilling book in the series. As soon as you jump into the story you’ll feel like the stakes have been raised to a whole new level. Even if you haven’t been scared yet by The Amateurs, I’d be willing to bet that you will be by this book.

Going into Last Seen, I had a few expectations about what we would see in the book. I assumed that the group would be taking on another case, and I also expected to get some resolution on the Brett side of things. I also figured that the book would make some strides in the Seneca/Maddox relationship and continue to explore Aerin’s romances.

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The book met my first two expectations beautifully. I was completely caught up in the case that they were working on, and the way that story intertwined with Brett’s made for an extremely exciting mystery and a great overall read. I didn’t expect Brett’s story to go where it did, so as the story unfolded, parts of it left me genuinely shocked. The build-up of the first two books certainly pays off in the final stretch of the story.

last seen, the amateurs, sara shepard

My expectations about the relationships unfolding were also met, but differently than I’d anticipated. The fact that this part differed from what I’d imagined was actually one of my favorite things about Last Seen, though!

There was a lot more character development than I remembered from the first two books. In the final installment, the characters were at both at their strongest and weakest. Shepard used them to their full potential for the grand finale.

I loved how each character really wore the scars of everything that they’ve been through in Last Seen. It helped to make Seneca, Maddox, Madison, Aerin and Brett feel more real as characters and it also helped justify and solidy their relationships with each other. Of course, their scars had an effect of how they approached friendships and romantic relationships, but that’s part of what made this a story worth telling. That made the journey as fun and exciting as the destination.

The book did a great job of closing the story, while also leaving some room for it to breathe and grow either into future books or simply in your imagination. Come to Last Seen for the conclusion of this sweeping mystery, but stay for who these characters have become, and who they’re continuing to grow into.

Intrigued? You can get your own copy of Sara Shepard’s Last Seen now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and of course, your favorite local book store!

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