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Last One To Know

Last One To Know

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Barbara Freethy delivers riveting, plot-twisting suspense and a deeply emotional story. Every book is a thrilling ride." USA Today Bestselling Author Rachel Grant

I was working at my sister's clothing boutique in Carmel when I got the call. The hospital told me that my mother had been shot and was in critical condition. This could be my last chance to see her, and I needed to go to San Francisco immediately.

I was stunned. Not just because of the horrific news, but also because my mother had died in a storm twenty years ago…

To find out the truth, I'll have to dive into the life of the woman in the hospital bed, into her past and mine. But as I get closer to the truth, the target moves from her to me…and suddenly her life isn't the only one on the line. 

From #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy comes a tangled, twisty tale of secrets and lies in a thrilling, page-turning standalone domestic thriller that will keep you reading all night! 

What the readers are saying about LAST ONE TO KNOW… 

"Barbara Freethy is a master of mystery and suspense, and this book is further proof of that! What a page turner! There are twists and turns from page one, more questions than answers, and several mysteries intertwined. I loved it!" Kristen – Goodreads 

"A new favorite book by one of my favorite authors! I am so glad Barbara Freethy has started writing mystery thrillers. Absolutely a cannot put down story of twin sisters discover a family secret that leads to not discovering who they are, both as sisters and separately. I couldn’t put it down! A page turner with an ending that completely surprised me!" Karen - Goodreads 

"Ok so, just fair warning, no matter where you think this is going, you're going to be wrong. And if you're like me, you're going to be wrong multiple times! This was such a thrilling book. I was hooked from the very beginning." Brandy – Goodreads



New Orleans, Louisiana 

The weather had changed since I'd landed in New Orleans twenty-four hours earlier. There was a hurricane stirring up trouble in the Gulf, but it was supposed to miss the city. But even if it didn't, I'd be gone before the storm made landfall. 

As I walked through the busy French Quarter on a Saturday night in mid-September, I wouldn't have guessed that anyone was worried about the storm. The bars and restaurants were full, with crowds spilling out into the street. The weather was balmy, humid at seventy-five degrees at eleven fifty at night, and I could feel the sweat beading up on my face, my dark-brown hair getting thicker by the minute. I wished I could leave right this second, hop in a cab, and take a plane back to my normal life. But normal had never lasted long for me, which was why I was here now when I should have been home. 

I took a turn at the next corner, walking down a much quieter side street, where the music faded into the distance and the shadows grew longer and darker. 

I paused in the doorway of a tattoo shop that was closed for the night and checked my phone. The last text I'd sent sat there with no reply, and my stomach turned over again. I'd been fighting fear and nausea ever since I'd left Los Angeles, ever since I'd lied to the people who loved me. 

Looking up from the phone, I saw a cluster of drunken twenty-somethings coming in my direction. They passed by, barely giving me a second glance, too interested in trying to remember the lyrics to a song they were singing as they stumbled down the street. I was twenty-nine years old, not that much older than them, but I felt like an old woman in comparison. I couldn't remember the last time I'd felt so carefree, so confident, so young, and so free. 

Maybe I'd never really been any of those things. I'd just pretended to feel like that, so I would be like everyone else. But I had never been like everyone else. 

The bells on a nearby church suddenly rang…twelve long, penetrating, clanging bells that were echoed by my pounding heart. I hurried down the street. We were supposed to meet at the cemetery next to the church. Even though I hadn't gotten a text to confirm, I needed to be there, because that's why I'd come. 

As the wind lifted my hair, I felt drops of rain. Maybe the city wouldn't take the full force of the hurricane, but the incoming storm only deepened my sense of foreboding. It didn't help that I was heading into an old cemetery with overgrown trees and bushes or that the black iron gates squealed as I opened them, like a painful ghostly scream. This cemetery had been full for decades and as I walked around the crowded, sometimes broken gravestones, my bad feelings increased. I told myself it wasn't evil spirits I had to worry about. If I ran into danger, it would be from someone who was very much alive. 

When I reached the mausoleum, a stone building in the middle of the property, I paused under an overhang, happy to have shelter from the increasing rain. Every crack of a twig had my head turning in fear. It felt like someone was watching me, but everyone here was dead. I paced back and forth. The adrenaline surging through my body needed somewhere to go. 

This was a mistake. I shouldn't have come. 

But I'd had to come. I'd had no choice. 

Finally, I heard the gate open again, then footsteps. I held my breath until one of the few nearby lights in the cemetery illuminated a familiar face. Relief ran through me. "You're late," I said. "But it's good to see you." 

"I wasn't sure you'd come."

"Yes, you were. I've never not come. But why are we here in this spooky place?" 

"The past has caught up to me." 

The words were haunting and terrifying, and an icy shiver ran down my spine. "What happened?"

"I was seen. I need to get away. Did you bring what I asked?"


"Good. My…friend should be here soon."

"I hope so. The weather is turning bad," I said. "Is this person someone you can trust?"

"I hope so."

That answer didn't make me feel better. My heart sped up. "The rain is getting worse."

"The storm changed directions. It's heading straight for us. But it might be helpful. It might provide cover for us to leave the city. There will be chaos and confusion." 

"I don't need cover." I held out the bag I was carrying. "I brought what you asked. Now I'm going home." I said the words as forcefully as I could, even though I was torn up on the inside as to what I should do. 

Headlights from an incoming car lit up the street next to the cemetery, and then they went off.  Car doors opened and closed.

"Is this who we're waiting for?" I asked. 

"No. It's not. Oh, God! They've found us." 

The gate screeched opened again. Two figures were heading straight toward us. "Is there another way out of here?" I asked. 

"There's a back gate on the other side of the cemetery that leads to Washington Street. That's where my friend was supposed to enter." 

"Lead the way," I said.

We ran around the back of the mausoleum, moving deeper into the cemetery. I thought we might be able to get away. Then I heard a shout behind us. The beam of a flashlight lit me up. 

Fear drove me to run even faster, but as we dove into the shadows, it was hard to see where we were going. I stumbled, hitting my knees on a protruding gravestone that tumbled me to the ground. I scrambled back to my feet, ignoring the searing pain in my leg, as I prayed for a way out. 

A gunshot rang out, the blast instinctively making me duck my head. Swearing, I ran faster, flying over the ground, desperate to get back to my life. "I'm not dying tonight," I swore. "Not here. Not now."

A flash of lightning and an earth-shaking roar of thunder followed my words, the skies opening up with torrential, windy rain. Maybe the storm would provide the cover we needed to escape. 

I had to survive this night. I had to get home. I had to…