The Last Mark

Author: Ashley Elston

Evie Porter has a good life, at least, from what you can see. She’s living with and engaged to Ryan Sumner, a wealthy man with a good business. The problem? Evie Porter is a lie – everything from her history to her name – and her fiancé is her mark. This is her last chance. She dares not think of what will happen if she doesn’t provide her elusive boss, Mr. Smith, with the information he wants about Ryan. The stakes are high. Failing again is not an option.

But perhaps this job isn’t a last chance at all, but a set-up. A new woman is in town, and she has Evie’s real name, her real history. If Mr. Smith wants to play a game, however, he might have picked the wrong woman. With her old life and real identity forever gone, what does Evie have left to lose? Besides, she didn’t get to be the best without her own network, her own secrets and connections. Now, it’s time to use them. But how far will Evie go? How far will Mr. Smith go? And what happens to the people stuck between these warring underground factions?

This was my first book by Ashley Elston. I’d gotten it as part of my Book of the Month subscription and from the title, description, and thriller badge, I knew I had to select it. I never say no to a new thriller or mystery.

Here, Evie (for lack of a better name) tows a fine line between villain and protagonist. She is shady enough to give herself options, thriving in that morally grey area, a more selfish Robin Hood with a soft heart under the bluster and disguises. She’s bad enough to be totally enthralling, but she still has a code of ethics, and as her work for Mr. Smith becomes more complicated, she has to determine where (and if) she will draw the line. That’s part of her problem now. But never forget, she might have a good heart, but she’s still a clever villain, and Evie has been planning.

What is unexpected, beyond Evie’s general desire to do no harm, is her boyfriend, Ryan. He is a mark for a reason, yet he is also the only one who could ever understand Evie. Here is where we get most of our surprises and a shifting scenery between hope and paranoia. It’s gripping.

While a close inspection might unravel this careful double-agent world, readers have zero desire to unweave the beautiful tapestry of deceit, double-dealings, and constant scheming. Evie is a rebel with a cause, someone who draws us into the story and makes us care. Readers will be enamored throughout, ready to believe and interested as the story seesaws between past and present, spinning together a finale that leaves us satisfied and smirking. Highly recommended.


– Frances Carden

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Frances Carden
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