Cutting edge science as rescued dogs are trained to help biologists track animals to ascertain the strength of their numbers and needs, a devious killer preying on women, and a dedicated scientist who just might be his next victim. This entertaining novel combines an edge of your seat thriller with a love of the forest, grand reading.
Marian is thrilled when she is accepted into a program that trains rescue dogs to track spoor in the forest, aiding researchers in gaining a full picture of the animal’s range and needs. Alberta Canada’s wilderness is remote and dark in the month of January. Marian was accepted late, replacing another person who had to drop out of the project, joining a crew already trained and busy. She learns quickly, loves working with the dogs, and feels they are doing important work trying to make a positive contribution. Tate, one of the project’s leaders, takes an interest in Marion. He is calm, patient, kind and great with the dogs. Marion learns a lot about working with animals and the wilderness from Tate. Soon their evident affection deepens, for Marion this is the relationship of a lifetime, thus even more shattering when Tate is killed while on assignment miles away from her.
The story opens with the death of a young Montana woman, seemingly unconnected with the activities of a group of scientists in Alberta’s wilderness. However Marion has found inconsistencies that disturb her, she fears the killer may be close. Wanting answers, to know if her suspicions are valid, she turns to Nick Shepard in Sandpoint, Idaho. Nick, a retired cop, is ill, but there is one case that haunts him, the murder of young women whose killer eluded him. If Marion has uncovered clues to the killer’s identity, Nick is willing to help.
The story is full of dark woods, menace, and a plot that keeps the pages turning. Also there are ambitious dogs relishing their role in forest biology.
Diane Les Becquets wanted to write about women in danger. She was aided in her research by John Philpin, a noted criminal psychologist, who said 95% of stranger to stranger homicides are men killing women. The use of dogs in tracking scat for wildlife biologists is also grounded in reality.
— Deon Stonehouse
From the national bestselling author of Breaking Wild, a riveting and powerful thriller about a woman whose greatest threat could be the man she loves.…
Marian Engström has found her true calling: working with rescue dogs to help protect endangered wildlife. Her first assignment takes her to northern Alberta, where she falls in love with her mentor, the daring and brilliant Tate. After they’re separated from each other on another assignment, Marian is shattered to learn of Tate’s tragic death. Worse still is the aftermath in which Marian discovers disturbing inconsistencies about Tate’s life, and begins to wonder if the man she loved could have been responsible for the unsolved murders of at least four women.
Hoping to clear Tate’s name, Marian reaches out to a retired forensic profiler who’s haunted by the open cases. But as Marian relives her relationship with Tate and circles ever closer to the truth, evil stalks her every move.…
About the Author
Diane Les Becquets, a former professor of English and MFA director, is an avid outdoorswoman, enjoying backpacking off the grid, snowshoeing, archery, and swimming. A native of Nashville, she spent almost fourteen years living in a small Colorado ranching town before moving to New Hampshire. Breaking Wild, her debut novel, was an Indie Next pick.
Praise for The Last Woman in the Forest
“A suspense-filled plot about the hunt for a serial killer….Les Becquets elegantly weaves in an evocative story about the wildlife study into a strong look at the characters whose life’s blood is being a part of nature….The Last Woman in the Forest offers a stunning view of the harshness of nature and the brutality of human nature.”—Associated Press
“Diane Les Becquets is a gifted writer who combines a love of the outdoors with her skill as a storyteller to produce an exceptional novel of love and betrayal….A chilling story that slowly unravels, thanks to the expertise of an exceptional writer.’—The Denver Post
“I raced through this gripping tale in two sittings, only pausing to admire the stunning views of the snowy wilderness. Beautifully paced and twisty.”—Fiona Barton, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow
“This twisted thriller is the perfect pairing for a weekend afternoon.”—Brit & Co.
“[An] elegantly written thriller…the story revs up, providing more than enough tension and suspense as Marian inches closer to the dangerous and disturbing truth. Eloquent, detailed descriptions of nature and of rescue dog training, survival techniques, and the peripatetic life of conservationists enrich the narrative.”—Publishers Weekly
“The intricately woven, atmospheric story will keep readers wondering until the end.”—Booklist
"A taut, well-crafted thriller that pulls readers in from the very first page and keeps them guessing until the very last. All this, while also illuminating universal truths about intuition, trust, and love."—John Searles, New York Times bestselling author of Help for the Haunted
"Diane Les Becquets at her best: unflinching and terrifying, yet buoyed by hope and love. This novel scared me… but that didn't stop me from racing through it….This is a powerful novel, and a story I won't forget."—Wiley Cash, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Ballad
“A compelling and searing novel of grief, suspicion and examining the rugged terrain of the human heart."—Riley Sager, national bestselling author of The Last Time I Lied