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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

The Last Sister (Columbia River #1) | Review

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐.25

"Twenty years ago Emily Mills’s father was murdered, and she found his body hanging in the backyard. Her younger sister, Madison, claims she was asleep in her room. Her older sister, Tara, claims she was out with friends. The tragedy drove their mother to suicide and Tara to leave town forever. The killer was caught. The case closed.

Ever since, Emily and Madison have tried to forget what happened that night—until an eerily similar murder brings it all back. It also brings FBI special agent Zander Wells to the Oregon logging town. As eager as he is to solve the brutal double slaying, he is just as intrigued with the mystery of Emily’s and her sisters’ past.

When more blood is shed, Zander suspects there’s a secret buried in this town no one wants unearthed. Is it something Emily and Madison don’t know? Or aren’t telling? And Tara? Maybe Emily can’t bear to find her. Because when Tara disappeared, she took a secret of her own with her."


The Last Sister is the first novel in Columbia River, a mystery series by Kendra Elliot.

I was worried about reading this a bit because this series is part of an already existing world, and is book five in another series, so I don't know how much I was going to miss having not read that series. I had no choice though because I requested an ARC of the third book not knowing it was part of a series I am.

Let's get into the details.



I don't have much to say about the writing really. The only comment I wanted to make was that there were probably more POVs than were necessary. While we mainly followed Zander and Emily, we got the occasional chapter from Madison's perspective, which wasn't really needed.


Overall, while I didn't think this was anything particularly good, I enjoyed it well enough. It was a pretty basic mystery, like an episode from a crime show. I will say though, I didn't really like the story the direction went in, as the reveal of the whodunnit, as well as just the motive behind the murders.

I also wasn't the biggest fan of how information was revealed in this. Most of the plot was revealed through Emily and Madison remembering details from their past they overlooked before. Not only did that kind of stilt Zander and Ava's own investigation, but I do doubt a bit that they somehow remembered what they did.

One thing I didn't particularly want in this story was a romance. It just felt odd to have a romance between Zander, an FBI agent investigating a murder, and Emily, the person who found the bodies. It was just a huge glaring conflict of interest that ruined the story a bit for me.


You are thrown right into the story right away, so there is no room for any initial character introduction. That could also be because these characters were already developed in the other series. Since I haven't read that though, I can only go off of how they were portrayed in this.

Unfortunately, there just was no character development in the food, and I felt a bit distant from the characters as they felt more like placeholders than people I was supposed to connect to and care about.


Overall, this was just your typical crime story. Nothing new or enthralling, but decent enough to keep me going.

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