The Last Good Girl by Allison Leotta (2016)

Book 5 in the Prosecutor Anna Curtis series

Author Allison Leotta has written another exciting, entertaining legal thriller with Prosecutor Anna Curtis at the helm, giving readers the tense action of the genre, with a lot less testosterone and much more heart.

Our heroine is a young, federal prosecutor who has dedicated her career to defending women in abuse, assault, and domestic violence cases as a way to chase away the ghosts of her own childhood spent terrified by her abusive father. Leotta handles the subject of violence against women with restraint, however, and her stories never contain gratuitous depictions of the crimes, which can be a relief for more sensitive readers. The novels all highlight the author’s extensive personal knowledge of the federal prosecution laws and her stories capture for readers a sense of what a delicate tight-rope prosecutors must walk to respect the rights of the accused while they fight to put them in jail for their crimes.

The Last Good Girl tackles the topic of sexual assault and violence against women on college campuses. Set on the campus of a fictional, large, state University, the story not only discusses of the culture of rape, excessive drinking and drug abuse, and coerced, non-consensual sex but also the very real threat young women face from school administrator’s who silence victims and refuse to punish sexual predators. In this story, a young rape victim has gone missing after several months of attempts to bring charges against a wealthy fraternity boy for drugging and raping her.

As Anna Curtis and her team search for the girl, they learn that at every turn she was discouraged from filing charges by campus police; she was humiliated by the quasi-legal proceedings of the Student Judicial Committee; and finally unsuccessful in her attempts to have the boy expelled from campus…all despite having knowledge that he was a serial rapist.

Following a trail of evidence that includes online posts, text messages, You Tube videos as well as more traditional physical evidence, Anna begins to build a case against the fraternity boy while searching for the missing girl, desperately hoping that she has not been forever silenced.

A great, fast-paced book to kick off summer reading season!