The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets

The Last Woman in the Forest

Diane Les Becquets

After the man Marion loves dies tragically, she discovers disturbing inconsistencies about his life. She hopes to clear his name, but wonders if he could have been responsible for unsolved murders.

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From the national bestselling author of Breaking Wild, here is a riveting and powerful thriller about a woman whose greatest threat could be the man she loves.…

Marian Engström has found her true calling: working with rescue dogs to help protect endangered wildlife. Her first assignment takes her to northern Alberta, where she falls in love with her mentor, the daring and brilliant Tate. After they’re separated from each other on another assignment, Marian is shattered to learn of Tate’s tragic death. Worse still is the aftermath in which Marian discovers disturbing inconsistencies about Tate’s life, and begins to wonder if the man she loved could have been responsible for the unsolved murders of at least four women.

Hoping to clear Tate’s name, Marian reaches out to a retired forensic profiler who’s haunted by the open cases. But as Marian relives her relationship with Tate and circles ever closer to the truth, evil stalks her every move.…

Advance Galley Reviews

The Last Woman In The Forest is engaging read that pulled me in right until the very last page. It was such an entertaining ride with a slew of twist and turns throughout the book. The plot is completely original and you will not be able to turn fast enough!!

The Last Woman in the Forest is a fantastic story about Marian Engstrom who works with rescue dogs to protect wildlife. Marian meets and falls in love with her mentor. Tragically, Tate dies and Marian begins to discover things about Tate and starts to think he might be responsible for unsolved murders of women. I very much enjoyed this book. There are many twists and turns and it really leaves you on the edge of your seat. Well thought out characters and a twisty plot that make for a great read.

This was a compelling page turner about a young woman who begins to suspect her now dead boyfriend was a serial killer. She is a bit of a loner, not many friends and inexperienced in relationships. She wonders how she could have been so naive? She seeks help from a forensic profiler (think Criminal Minds) and the two of them start to put the pieces together. I enjoyed this book. Couple of improvements I would make: I think the relationship between Marion and Nick could have been better developed and the relationship between Marion and Jenness could have also been further developed. I got the feeling towards the end that he grew quite fond of her but I didn't see it while it was happening. Also, I would have liked a red herring or two just to mislead the reader a bit. Overall, a solid read. Big thank you to First to Read for the ARC.

Pretty decent page-turner that got better the further along I got.

This was really a good book which kept my attention. I like psychological thrillers, but have never been one to read one with such an outdoor setting. I love dogs and found Marian's interaction with the dogs very believable, but I am not a camper and don't have any desire to be one, so that part of the story was really different for me. When I started it at first, I put it aside after about the first 30 pages, and read a different book. I came back to "The Last Woman in the Forrest," and decided to start it from the beginning. I'm glad I did. It does tell a very frightening story about how a psychopath can really fool people who think they are close to said person. I found the author's note at the end of the book, where she says that as a young person, she was held captive and abused by someone she had known and trusted for years , poignant. I am a person who sometimes gets gut feelings about people or situations, and I have learned to trust those inner feelings, because they have usually proven to be right in my case, though of course, I have never experienced anything like Marian experienced, thank goodness. I learned a lot about university studies about animals; I have never been to Utah or Montana, though I have a little home at the foot of the Smoky Mountains. This story has made me think about purchasing some bear spray! I did enjoy this book and can recommend it to others. I may see if I can find and read this author's first book, which another reviewer mentioned. Thank you, First to Read.

Exciting and compelling plot with plenty of false leads and credible twists right to the very end. At times, it gets a little too emotional for my taste, and also somewhat nerdy about dog psychology, samples of animal faeces and outdoor life, which costs the book at least 1-1½ star. However, Diane Les Becquets continues to write excellent books about life in the wilderness, and I was very well entertained by this one as well as her past novel, "Breaking Wild" from 2016.

When I first started reading The Last Woman in the Forest I wasn't sure if it was going to be something I would finish. Boy, am I glad I did - just when I thought I had figured everything out it takes a turn! A fast paced mystery! Thank you First to Read,

The premise that Marian works with dogs as part of her job already bumps the book up to 4-stars on that premise alone. The fact that the book is a suspenseful thriller is an added bonus. Happy in her new job, Marian falls for Tate, the guy that everyone in their team looks up to. He's worked everywhere, is full of knowledge that is helpful in learning to do her job, and he's full of knowledge of the world outside as well. Marian even questions him at one point asking how he knew all of this "stuff". But Tate starts to slowly change over time. He's getting snappy, he's short with her, and he mentions that he's come across a victim in some local murders, he even gives her details. Marian not sure what to say, thinks on it but keeps going along with things. He's a great guy, it's just a coincidence, or is it? Told through alternating people and timelines of our main character Marian, and a talented forensic profiler Nick, the story unfolds before us. Les Becquets showcases amazing researching in this book. Covering murders unsolved throughout the country including what we call locally as The Kellyville Killer. Then there is the job aspect of research, it isn't just training but it's research, the care of the dogs, the intuition, the physical strength, and endurance required. It's quite impressive. I knew what was happening and who I should be suspicious of right off the bat, it didn't deter from the story. The Last Woman in the Forest is intense, from beginning to end. A great read.

I’m a huge fan of outdoor suspense novels, so I was expecting a little more action and subterfuge. The story moved at a good pace and I felt the ending was a little predictable, and it could have been more gripping and intense......that would have made this story a great read......not just a good read.

This book was good, yet creepy. I can't say i didn't like it, because I read it in one sitting, but as a psychological thriller it was by nature pretty unsettling. There's not a ton of action or suspense in this book, it's more of a slowly unfolding story with many twists and turns. By the end, I had mostly figured out what was going to happen, and while the big reveal wasn't much of a shock most of the book was fairly unpredictable and kept me guessing at what Marian's investigation would reveal. Overall, this was an interesting book, and if you enjoy psychological thrillers I would give it a try.

When Marian applied for the K9's for Conservation program in Alberta she had no way of knowing how her life was going to change. She was working toward her dream job of becoming a handler, protecting wildlife by tracking their migration in remote areas, and she met the man she would fall in love with Tate. After Marian learns of Tate's tragic death she begins to question what she really knew about the man she loved. A string of murders, involving young women, leads Marian to believe Tate may have been the killer. The Last Woman in the Forest is a fascinating mystery in which a woman begins to question if the man she knew and loved could have been a killer. The POV's of the story shift between Marian's past and present, Nick Sheppard, the man hired to investigate Tate, and third person accounts from each of the victims. I found the information on the conservation programs, dog handling, and travel to be very interesting. The novel is a bit of a slow read without much excitement or suspense throughout. This novel is more about discovering the truth about how well we really know those closest to us versus an action packed psychological thriller. Some of the material surrounding the victims may not be suitable for all readers and I commend the author for including her own personal experience with a traumatic assault in the author’s notes.

The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets was offered as a review opportunity by Penguin Publishing and the First to Read program. Choosing this book to review was out of my comfort zone as I usually chose historical fiction or rom-coms. I'm glad I did venture out though because this was an unexpected joy.  The suspense, both fear of the next move and psychological were just enough to keep me guessing but also providing a fun read right before Halloween. The Last Woman in the Forest was very well written and although the author left hints of the ending, there was enough suspense to keep the reader engaged and in the dark so to speak.  Marian is working as a rescue dog handler collected animal data in remote areas but she loves it and feels this work is her calling. Marian also discovers love while in the forest in her mentor and trainer, Tate. But is love all it seems to be and is Tate who she thinks he is?  Prior to Marian's arrival in this area there were several murders of women. These murders were investigated by a profiler named Nick and when Marian starts to question if she could be related to the murders and if a man she thought she knew could also be related she found her way to Nick who helped her reopen the unsolved case and eventually close it.  I gave this read three stars on Goodreads . I found the plot to be consistent but I was hoping for more finality to the Nick character and I found a few areas a little on the slow side. Overall though I really enjoyed this book and have recommended to several people that I know enjoy this genre.  I was given a pre-release copy in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to leave a positive review.

In every relationship we all want to see the best in a person. Especially when "love" is involved. More often than not we choose to ignore the bad. But when you believe that person is a serial killer you begin to open your eyes. Marian's journey is very emotional and life changing for her, yet she is determined to find the truth no matter what. This thriller/mystery for me was at first hard to follow as it jumped around quite a bit in the descriptions of the beautiful back settings and explanations of the conservation studies. Once you get a handle on what is happening it became a page turner that was hard to put down. the characters become "real" and you cannot wait to see what happens next. I do recommend this book and look forward t more from this author. I received this book as a First to Read selection, in exchange for an honest review by Penguin Books.

I thought this was a hard to put down book!! It did jump back and forth and at times I found that a bit confusing. The ending did surprise me . I enjoyed it

A twisting, turning adventure that keeps you reading deep into the night. Very interesting characters and back stories, too. An enjoyable read with mystery, love, tricks and turns unexpected. I recommend!

A good solid read. I read it in about three days. I really liked hearing about the conservation programs and their use of dogs. I am not sure I'd call this a thriller, but more of a mystery. Very well written with developed characters. I would definitely recommend! Thanks First to Read for my advance copy.

Marian Engström is a dog handler who works with rescue dogs, to help protect endangered wildlife. She loves her job, the challenges it presents, and the places it takes her. Also she falls in love with Tate, an experienced, long time dog handler, who becomes not only her mentor but her lover. Tate enjoys relating stories of his past jobs, his past life, and people from his past. At times, some of the stories that Tate tells Marian, spark a tiny bit of doubt in her mind, of the validity of what Tate relates to her. And then Tate is killed by a bear and Marian feels compelled to look deeper into Tate’s past before she can feel at ease with the memories of her relationship with him. Marian contacts Nick, a retired forensic profiler, who is dealing with brain cancer and who also is lost in the memories of the women who died violently, whose murders he couldn’t solve. Marian is hoping what she learns from Nick can help her eliminate Tate as a suspect in a series of women’s deaths. Nick’s heart hurts for the dead woman and for Marian, who he considers a victim of the damage a serial killer does to more than just those who died. I enjoyed the details we learn from Nick, concerning the mind of a psychopathic murderer of women and how that murderer will manipulate events and people to fit the crimes he plans to commit. Marian is a strong, independent woman who is made to feel incompetent and doubtful by her controlling boyfriend. The book moves slowly but I felt tension for the safety and sanity of Marian, because she knows she’s been manipulated in some way, by her dead boyfriend. Still she loved him and doesn’t want to think her their relationship was a lie or that he could be a serial killer. The only thing that bothered me about the book was the detail that went into the serious injury of one of the rescue dogs. I had to walk away for a while, to let my feelings settle. I know I’m reading about murdered women and I can deal with the story of the women, in a distanced way, but the insertion of the animal injury, in such detail, almost stopped me from going on. But the author handled the resolution of the dog’s situation in a very satisfactory way for me and for that I am thankful. After the book was finished the author goes into the process she went through to write the book and how various people and the things she learned from them, helped her to develop the characters and the story. I enjoyed that insight into the creation of the book and knowing how she gathered her information and developed her ideas, added to my enjoyment of the book. Thank you to First to Read for this digital advanced read copy and allowing me to give my honest review of this book.

The Last Woman in the Forest is a good read. I became totally involved with Marian. This is not the typical type of book that I read. But I was happily surprised. I found myself doing jomc(just one more chapter). I found myself wondering why anyone would choose the work that Marian called her life calling. I also felt sorry for her trying to prove her lover and friend was the person she thought he was. It has a happy ending but a twisted tale to get there

I could not decide if this book was supposed to be a thriller or not. Beautiful descriptions of the surrounding wildlife, the views, the atmosphere of wilderness, the hardships and friendships that are built during the difficult projects, etc. However, the mystery/thriller part of the story was not "thrilling" enough for me. It was very predictable, and easy to determine the end. The book overall was too long, and very repetitive. There was a lot of timeline jumping that made it in some parts hard to follow. The whole atmosphere that was built by the author was too sad and lonely, not scary or edgy.

I enjoyed reading this book but didn't find it much of a thriller and not much happening. A lot of description about the conservation program (a little too much for me) and not much else happening. It wasn't until close to the end that anything actually happened that would be considered tense and then it was over in a page or two. While this was an interesting read there just wasn't enough happening in the book for me to consider it a must read.

I am an avid reader of thriller and mysteries, I got this book as a First to Read, in exchange for a review by Penguin Books. I was very excited to get this book and could not wait to dive in. The mystery itself, although interesting, was predictable and I never was fully invested in the characters. I did love learning more about conversation and all the work behind that, but the story itself was not exciting and could have been written much better.

Thrillers are a new genre that I’ve gotten into lately. Les Becquets’ The Last Woman in the Forest has gotten me more interested for sure in the genre! I didn’t see the ending of this book, even though the suspects were all rather intriguing, with good causes for the murders. The care and attention that went into the setting of this novel was phenomenal. I am usually not a visual reader, but I could “see” the environment. This definitely gave a creepy-vibe to the novel. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a good thriller.

An engrossing story and psychological thriller. Keeps you guessing, which makes you power through to the end. The beginning starts dry but picks up as we quest along with Marian for the truth about her lover, Tate while canvassing the wilderness on exciting assignments as a rescue dog volunteer. The details of the work she was involved with and the nature surroundings enhanced the reading experience. Recommend.

I really enjoyed reading this book. At first, I was mostly interested in the accounts of conservation programs, information about various animals and the dangers of extinction, the facts about grizzlies, and the handlers and how they work with dogs. But it’s also an enjoyable murder mystery with an ending I didn’t expect. Highly recommend


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