The Last House by R.G. Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 2 days
Pages - 320
Publisher - Riverrun
Source - ARC
Blurb from Goodreads
Social worker Kit Goddard is convinced that Sandbeach Child Services have let an injured seventeen-year-old boy down, just like they'd done to her brother ten years earlier. Since the referral came in, it had been passed between departments, her own manager Georgia and colleague Tim brushing it off as a low risk, low priority case. But Kit can't shake the feeling that something isn't quite right.
Scanning the referral, she notices that the house seventeen-year-old Dylan Meredith lives in with his 'weird' mother had been described as decrepit. The anonymous caller said he was injured, frightened and afraid to tell the truth.
As Kit begins to look deeper into the history of the family, she learns that Dylan's grandmother had been an inpatient at Penlan psychiatric hospital and had died there in 2012. But as her colleague Tim had stressed, this was not a case for psychiatric services.
In a bid to trace the anonymous caller for more information, Kit sets of to the small coastal town of Rock. Only to be confronted with the sense of strangeness that surrounds the Meredith family and the rumours that have troubled this small community for years.
So if you haven't read the first book in this series I would say it isn't necessary to be honest as Kit is still relatively new to the job and finding her feet. Her recent case is referenced and there are still teething problems to her settling and finding her rythmn. A seventeen year old comes across her radar, a fair few red flags and it seems people in the office are quite eager to close the case. Kit being a kid from a care background feels something isn't right and takes a vested interested getting herself into some hot water, bit of a theme with her.
I think this book is very different pace and feel from the first book, this one has a more slower pace as Kit tries to bond and get a handle on Dylan, his mother and their situation. We also see a lot of Kit's own personal life, issues with her biological parents, her relationships with her siblings and a bit of a curve ball from life causing them all to assess their relationships and actions going forth.
I think the book may prove a tad emotive for some depending on your own personal history and mental health does feature a bit within this book. We also have a look at the issues faced by social workers, red tape. office politics and abuse of power and manipulation especially as Kit is a newbie and does get herself involved more than some of the other workers seem to. Really interesting to read despite not being huge parts of the story I thought it was interesting none the less and how shady and not very nice some of these characters are. It is a bit of a slower start than book one but the last quarter really kicks up a notch and you find yourself not wanting to put it down to see where it goes 4/5.