The Last One to Fall

Inkyard. May 2023. 368p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781335915863.
Gr 9 Up–Lepore’s latest thriller opens with misdirection and murder as protagonist Savana Caruso witnesses a deadly fall from a warehouse window. Lepore then flashes back three months, where readers are introduced to Jesse Melo and his friends Raf, Owen, Freddie, and Tara. While Savana has known Jesse for years, she is a newcomer to this other group, and the narrative alternates between her and Jesse’s perspectives. It is abundantly clear that tension bubbling up within Jesse’s friend group connects directly to Raf, whether in relation to his attempts to control his girlfriend, Tara, or his jealousy towards his teammates on the football field. The first big reveal hinges on whether Raf is the victim or perpetrator of the warehouse death, and Savana spends the second half of the book evaluating the motives of each suspect. Unfortunately, the journey to the perpetrator is unsatisfying: important plot elements connected to football and family tensions are often handled obliquely or off-page despite being central tenets of the murder case. While some misdirection is understandable, the secondary characters and story lines needed more care and direct handling. The split perspectives of Jesse and Savana are handled well, though the author’s use of text message exchanges and police reports are often superfluous to the story.
VERDICT While this book starts strong and works in a few interesting twists, too much relies on omission to hide the culprit. An additional selection for libraries where thrillers are in high demand.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing