Book Review: The Last Word by Taylor Adams

“If you give this book a one-star review, you might end up dead.”

Set to be published on 18th May, The Last Word by Taylor Adams follows house-sitter Emma and her golden retriever Laika in an old beachfront home on the rainy Washington coast. Her only human contact is her enigmatic old neighbour, Deek, and the house’s owner, Jules.

One day, Emma reads a poorly written — but gruesome — horror novel by the author H. G. Kane, and posts a one-star review that drags her into an online argument with none other than the author himself. Soon after, disturbing incidents start to occur at night. To Emma, this can’t just be a coincidence. It was strange enough for this author to bicker with her online about a lousy review; could he be stalking her, too?

As Emma digs into Kane’s life and work, she learns he has published sixteen other novels, all similarly sadistic tales of stalking and murder. But who is he? How did he find her? And what else is he capable of?


Thank you to NetGalley for a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Even if you wanted to give this book a one-star review, you wouldn’t dare after reading this! But of course, you’ll be silly to want to rate this book so lowly, as it’s an exhilaratingly fun and heart-pounding horror thriller that is sure to keep you up or night (both from not wanting to put it down and being too scared of the shadows lurking in the dark!).

The first part of this book is brilliantly creepy and tense, like straight out of a horror film. It genuinely gave me chills and I loved the sinister atmosphere in this isolated setting. Sadly, the creepiness didn’t last long enough for me once everything started to come to light, but the final parts are just as impressive all the same.

While I personally would have liked the horror elements to remain stronger throughout, what we instead get is a clever and twisty psychological thriller, and it’s definitely still a very tense read that will leave you desperate for answers.

Most of all, I really enjoyed the way the story was told, part through Emma’s first-person narrative and part from the perspective of the author, telling their own story. It’s a very original technique that added a lot more suspense and intrigue, making it feel like you were witnessing the story from a cinema seat with a bowl full of popcorn.


The Last Word by Taylor Adams
Release Date: 18th May 2023
Print Length: 352 pages
Genre: Horror Thriller
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton


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