Book Review: Last Light (A Beacon Falls Novel, featuring Lucy Guardino), by C J Lyons

Publisher: Canelo   |   Publication date: 3rd May 2016

Last Light My Review

Last Light by CJ Lyons - Kindle CoverThe structure of Last Light has a touch of a US primetime crime series about it giving it instant appeal. The plot is slick, it basks in suspense, and it’s positively glowing from the wealth of key characters.

A prologue dated November 13th 1987 introduces us to a young woman who had just arrived home with her children. There’s nothing too dramatic about unloading your groceries is there, except when she returns to the car her baby is missing. An unspoken tension hangs in the air, but we’re not shown the cause, or effect, until we revisit this awful scene further down the line.

Fast forward to the current day where a new field branch of The Beacon Group is being formed. This well established operation aims to shine a light on the missing, the dead and the never forgotten, but monetary constraints have invited an assortment of cold case solvers into the fold, which adds considerable interest to the story to come.

Lucy Guardino drafted in to lead the merry bunch. Retired from the FBI after being injured in the line of duty herself she does her best to disguise her daily discomfort. Lucy’s extensive experience in the field will be invaluable, but the first task her new role demands is finding the right kind of shoes to conceal her foot brace. Then, she must ignore any doubts she has about taking an office based job to inspire people who haven’t the foggiest idea about operational field work.

Her little team with big personalities includes a former US marine who is a brusque, practically homeless young woman with a passion for Parkour, and an investigative reporter who has ‘Tonal Agnosia’. People initially find his unemotional line of questioning and responses difficult, but there’s something in his past that troubles them more.

That aside, Lucy elects two members of her team to accompany her to investigate their assigned case. Although a murder confession was secured twenty-nine years ago (cue spliced revisits to 1987) all these problematic strangers have to do is gather the facts relating to a possible miscarriage of justice at the request of The Justice Department. But when they resurrect the case it’s far from cold and the team are soon trying to outmanoeuvre the criminally unhinged.

The Beacon Group may not have provided the desk job Lucy Guardino had imagined, but it does give us an impressive story that constantly evolves and builds to quite the spectacular finale! The sequence of events is cleverly thought out and I’d be curious to see the next cold case that’ll find its way to their in-tray.

Although Last Light is part of a new series featuring Lucy Guardino, this particular book can be read as a complete standalone.

Rating: 4/5

(I received a digital copy of this book from Hayley Steed of for review.)

Last Light Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

A brutally murdered family…a wronged man in prison.

From bestselling author CJ Lyons comes a new, standalone Lucy Guardino series. For fans of Lisa Gardner, Angela Marsons and Helen H. Durrant.

“Everything a great thriller should be–action packed, authentic, and intense.” ~#1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child.

1987: Lily Martin is horrifically murdered along with her young child in Texas.

Today: Life should be easy after leaving the FBI –  but not if you’re detective Lucy Guardino. Lucy has always seen herself as a normal mum who happened to have a job chasing the worst of the worst. But after a violent predator targets her family and she’s injured, Lucy sacrifices her career at the Bureau.

She joins the Beacon Group, a firm that specializes in cold cases. Lucy fears she’s traded the elite for shepherding a team of amateurs.

She is sent to rural Texas to investigate a case that’s already been closed with the killers behind bars for twenty-nine years.

But who really killed Lily Martin and her infant daughter? Why was an entire family targeted for annihilation? What price will Lucy pay when she fights to expose a truth people will kill to keep buried?

Last Light is the start of a Lucy Guardino series which can be read on it’s own. If you enjoy captivating suspense, intelligent storytelling, strong and vulnerable characters, and a freight-train pace, then you’ll love this adrenaline rush of a heart-pounding thriller.


Last Light Author Profile

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-seven novels, former pediatric ER doctor CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart. CJ has been called a master within the genre (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as breathtakingly fast-paced and riveting (Publishers Weekly) with characters with beating hearts and three dimensions (Newsday). Her novels have won the International Thriller Writers prestigious Thriller Award, the RT Reviewers Choice Award, the Readers Choice Award, the RT Seal of Excellence, and the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense. Learn more about CJ s Thrillers with Heart at