Friday, December 13, 2013

The Last Winter of Dani Lancing by P.D. Viner (thoughts)

If this novel couldn't be described as haunting then I don't know what else could. I am almost having a hard time putting into words my reading experience with this book.  This is yet another story where from very early on I knew that things were not going to end well (I've read a few books like this lately).  It didn't matter to me.  I was completely drawn into the book as the author portrays how Dani's murder affected the lives of those she loved and those who loved her.  This book is haunting, disturbing, and ultimately one of those gut wrenching experiences while reading that leaves you thinking about it for days afterwards.

In The Last Winter of Dani Lancing we get a glimpse into the lives of Jim and Patty Lancing.  Their only daughter Dani was murdered, and even after almost twenty years her death still plays a huge role in their every day lives.  They both dealt with the death of their daughter differently and it is because of this that they are drawn yet once again into the search for her killer.  Will they finally find the closure and answers that have eluded them after all this time?

This book was a book that kept me reading even when I didn't want to.  It was both engrossing and page turning even though it had some of the most unlikeable main characters that I have ever come across. I think that it is a mark of a good author when they can keep a reader's attention and allow them to connect to a story even though they don't care for the characters.  And that is exactly what this author did!  I may not have liked Patty or really understood Tom (Tom being Dani's old boyfriend) but I wanted to know their story.  I didn't even like Dani's character at times but I wanted to know what had happened to her and why.  I loved that the author painted such a clear picture of how Dani's death ruined the lives of those around her.  I found it entirely too easy to put myself in Dani's parent's shoes if you know what I mean.  It gave the book such an eerie atmosphere and really made it clear that everything couldn't possibly end well.  It didn't stop me from reading though and on the contrary made me want to read the book even more.  I needed to know how everything was going to end even though it felt like a train wreck waiting to happen.  There were lots of aspects of this book that surprised me but overall it was the ending that took my breath away.  This author sure knows how to pack a punch!

Overall, I found this to be a really solid thriller and debut from this new author.  I found it quite intriguing the way the author left the book open towards the end in a way that might mean more books.  I would definitely read more if this was the beginning part of a series (fingers crossed).  I would read more by this author even if this book isn't part of a series because it was such a surprisingly good read.  I'm eager to see what Viner will come up with next!  I noticed that this book was being compared to some of the other big name thrillers that have come out recently.  Do yourself a favor and just ignore the comparisons.  This one stands perfectly fine on its' own two feet in my opinion, and none of the books it was compared to really do it justice.  I would highly recommend this book but be warned that it was not always an easy read. 

Bottom Line:  A thriller that let the tension build until the very last page!

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this book for review thanks to the publisher.  Thoughts are my own!


  1. I was waiting for your review of this one because that cover definitely looked interesting. I'm going to add it to my list!

  2. The Last Winter sounds like a good one. I know what you mean about being drawn in by the storyline even if you don't care much for the characters.


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