Book Review: The Last Word by Taylor Adams
By Jeff AyersMay 5, 2023
A bad review of a book turns a woman’s life upside-down in this psychological horror novel. Emma Carpenter spends time reading and playing with her dog while housesitting an isolated, old beachfront property on the Washington coast. After reading a terrible book uploaded to her e-reader, she posts a one-star review online.
The author, H.G. Kane, takes offense and asks her to take down the review. She refuses, and Kane swears he will make her pay. Weird things start to happen, and she knows in her gut that the disgruntled author is responsible. She’s removed herself from human contact as much as possible after a traumatic incident. So, she has to ask herself if the enigmatic author of more than a dozen self-published horror novels is out to get her or if being by herself has started to have her lose her grasp of reality.
Adams balances the slasher genre, the isolated cabin trope, and how a person deals with grief and turns it into a page-turning experience. He even examines the publishing world and how cutthroat the industry has become. When it becomes painfully obvious what is happening, Adams delivers a twist that shatters the reader’s expectations, a feat he repeats several times with extraordinary style. His novel No Exit was turned into an original streaming film for Hulu, and The Last Word is also destined for a film adaptation.