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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Last One

Narrator: Jenny Funnell

Simon & Schuster Audio

ISBN: 9781668021156

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication Date: 08/08/2023

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 3.5 Stars (ARC)

An unputdownable locked-room thriller about family, trust, and survival from the acclaimed author of the “utterly thrilling” (Lisa Jewell, #1 New York Times bestselling author) First Born.

When Caz steps onboard the exclusive cruise liner RMS Atlantica, it’s the start of a vacation of a lifetime with her new love, Pete. On their first night they explore the ship, eat, dance, make friends, but when Caz wakes the next morning, Pete is missing.

And when she walks out into the corridor, all the cabin doors are open. To her horror, she soon realizes that the ship is completely empty. No passengers, no crew, nobody but her. The Atlantica is steaming into the mid-Atlantic and Caz is the only person on board. But that’s just the beginning of the terrifying journey she finds herself trapped on in this white-knuckled mystery.

My Review

Will Dean returns following First Born with his latest, THE LAST ONE —a mind-bending locked-in thriller when a woman finds herself trapped on an exclusive cruiser liner and everyone goes missing.

Caz and Pete are on vacation, the exclusive cruise liner, RMS Atlantica. Everything goes well on the first night, and they enjoy themselves; however, the following day, Pete is missing along with the other passengers.

She is shocked and fearful when she discovers all the cabin doors are open and horrified there are no passengers or crew. What comes next is a terrifying journey.

Three other passengers turn up: Smith, Daniel, and Frannie, and we do not learn much about them.

Will Caz make it out alive and solve the mystery?

While many may enjoy this one for entertainment alone, for me, not so much—The setting was good; however, I found it to be too over the top with two crazy twists.

THE LAST ONE reminds me of a TV series (which I do not care for) —one I will not name, which would be a plot spoiler. Yes, there are twists, turns, a maze of danger, intrigue, mystery, and misdirection, with feelings of claustrophobia and fear, grappling for survival and a way out. However, I prefer my thrillers to be more believable. I was not invested in any of the characters and felt the book was too long.

One place you will never find me is on a cruise ship, even before this book. While I did not enjoy this one as much as First Born, I look forward to his next one.

Thanks to Atria Books for a gifted ARC via NetGalley for an honest opinion.

Blog review posted @

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Pub Date: Aug 8, 2023


“A true adrenaline rush, THE LAST ONE by Will Dean will have you trembling with anticipation from the very first page.”

– Bella Media

“Will Dean’s THE LAST ONE is the perfect place to settle in for some deadly intrigue on the high seas.”

– Off the Shelf

“One wild ride that is not to be missed."

– First Clue

“THE LAST ONE is the latest in brilliant novels by the ultra-talented Will Dean, who year after year proves he is one of the best writers doing it today…Chapter-ending cliffhanger after chapter-ending cliff hanger, THE LAST ONE is a horrifying, nightmare-inducing thrill ride.”

– Best Thriller Books

“I really enjoyed this high concept mystery from Will Dean. No spoilers from me, suffice to say…a contemporary twist on the case of the Mary Celeste.”

– Adrian McKinty, author of the instant New York Times bestseller The Island

“Original, imaginative, thrilling.”

– Marian Keyes, #1 internationally bestselling author of Again, Rachel

“Brilliant, twisted and oh so clever. The Last One is Will Dean at the top of his game. And just wait for that killer last line.”

– Chris Whitaker, New York Times bestselling author of We Begin at the End

“Thrilling and terrifying in equal measures with a brilliantly heart-stopping ending. So good!”

– B.A. Paris, New York Times bestselling author of The Prisoner


– Ian Rankin, New York Times bestselling author of The Inspector Rebus series

“A dream trip aboard a luxury liner turns into a nightmarish voyage in Will Dean’s edge-of-your-deck chair thriller, THE LAST ONE. Dark, desperate, and loads of fun, Dean thrusts the reader into a maritime maze of danger, intrigue, and nerve-shattering twists and turns. Add this one to the top of your summer reading list at once!”

– Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Overnight Guest

First Born

Will Dean 05/07/2022

From the acclaimed author of The Last Thing to Burn, a psychological thriller about the dark secrets that emerge when a woman’s twin sister is murdered, with his signature “intense, gripping, taut, terrifying, moving, and brilliant” (Lisa Jewell, #1 New York Times bestselling author) prose.

Sisters. Soulmates. Strangers.

About the Author

Will Dean, author of The Last Thing to Burn which was shortlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, grew up in the East Midlands of the United Kingdom. After studying law at the London School of Economics and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden where he built a wooden house in a vast forest, and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes.

His debut novel, Dark Pines, was selected for Zoe Ball’s book club on ITV, shortlisted for the National Book Award (UK), The Guardian’s Not the Booker prize, and was named a Telegraph book of the year. READ MORE







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