The Only One Left: A Novel (Hardcover)
Named a summer book to watch by The Washington Post, Boston Globe, USA Today, Oprah, Paste, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, and Nerd Daily
"Propulsive ... a dizzying Gothic whodunit."
—New York Times Book Review
Bestselling author Riley Sager returns with a Gothic chiller about a young caregiver assigned to work for a woman accused of a Lizzie Borden-like massacre decades earlier.
At seventeen, Lenora Hope
Hung her sister with a rope
Now reduced to a schoolyard chant, the Hope family murders shocked the Maine coast one bloody night in 1929. While most people assume seventeen-year-old Lenora was responsible, the police were never able to prove it. Other than her denial after the killings, she has never spoken publicly about that night, nor has she set foot outside Hope’s End, the cliffside mansion where the massacre occurred.
Stabbed her father with a knife
Took her mother’s happy life
It’s now 1983, and home-health aide Kit McDeere arrives at a decaying Hope’s End to care for Lenora after her previous nurse fled in the middle of the night. In her seventies and confined to a wheelchair, Lenora was rendered mute by a series of strokes and can only communicate with Kit by tapping out sentences on an old typewriter. One night, Lenora uses it to make a tantalizing offer—I want to tell you everything.
“It wasn’t me,” Lenora said
But she’s the only one not dead
As Kit helps Lenora write about the events leading to the Hope family massacre, it becomes clear there’s more to the tale than people know. But when new details about her predecessor’s departure come to light, Kit starts to suspect Lenora might not be telling the complete truth—and that the seemingly harmless woman in her care could be far more dangerous than she first thought.
“As is often the case with Sager’s novels, trying to predict where the many twists will take you is fun (and maddening), but some of the most interesting parts of the story lie in the people you meet along the way. The mystery is as tantalizing to us as it is to Kit, but The Only One Left is also an exploration of family, of love, of loneliness. It even asks an examination of true-crime obsessiveness and when tales overtake reality.”
“Sager offers his usual array of jaw-dropping twists…. Fans of Daphne du Maurier will enjoy this superior nail-biter.”
“Claustrophobic and haunting, this is Sager at the top of his game.”
“Riley Sager fans can count on the author to deliver page-turning thrillers like The House Across the Lake and Lock Every Door, and The Only One Left is no exception.”
—Country Living, "23 Best Spring Books for Adults to Add to Your 2023 Reading List"
“Another vivid female narrator from bestseller Riley Sager . . . whose signature corkscrew plots keep twisting until the last cutting sentence.”
“This twist on the Lizzie Borden murders has it all: A reclusive woman who was acquitted of brutally murdering her family living in a big, decrepit house; a new caretaker hiding secrets of her own. And, most importantly, there are a number of twists you won’t see coming.”
—Katie Couric Media
“Riley Sager furthers his reputation for innovative, highly original plots in The Only One Left.”
—Shelf Awareness, "Best Books of the Week"
“Spooky and gothic (plot points involving things like rusty old typewriters abound here), Sager certainly knows how to entertain. If you don't get around to it this summer, it would be a perfect spooky szn read.”
“Perennial thriller favorite Riley Sager is back with another page-turner this summer, this one riffing on one of America’s most famous and most notorious true crime cases. . . . The kind of book you’ll stay up late into the night trying to finish.”
“Riley Sager’s spellbinding The Only One Left captures you in its snares from its first tantalizing pages. A Gothic house of horrors, it carries you along effortlessly before delivering a symphony of twists so shocking it took my breath away.”
—Megan Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of Beware the Woman and The Turnout
"Riley Sager is one of my favorite authors, and The Only One Left might be his best yet. Not only is it a deliciously Gothic thrill ride featuring two of my favorite things (Creepy Houses and Murderous Ladies), but it also asks big questions about grief, loss, and the secrets we keep even from those closest to us. Fun, scary, and so absorbing I almost missed a flight because I was trying to read just one more chapter, The Only One Left is one hell of a read!"
—Rachel Hawkins, New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs
“The Only One Left is Gothic horror at its very best—a crumbling mansion by the sea, dripping with blood, secrets, and forbidden romance—and it’s a thriller that will keep you guessing to the end. Riley Sager, king of twists, has done it again. I couldn’t put this book down.”
—Ana Reyes, New York Times bestselling author of The House in the Pines
“Haunting and incredibly nuanced with enough twists to make your head spin, this is Sager at his best. The Only One Left is a chilling, one-sitting read!”
—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of Just the Nicest Couple
"Page after page, Sager feeds our voyeuristic hunger to know every deep, dark, bloody detail in those rare cases that capture our attention and our imagination. I'll say it: Kit is, hands down, my favorite heroine in the Sager-verse and The Only One Left is a terrifying treat for all of his fans (like me!)."
—Chandler Baker, New York Times bestselling author of The Whisper Network and Cutting Teeth
“The Only One Left might just be Riley Sager’s creepiest novel yet.”
“Always master of suspense, Sager had me gasping out loud and listening for sounds in my house. I loved this book and it may even be my new favorite of Sager’s.”
—Mystery and Suspense Magazine
“The Only One Left, a title that clearly speaks to Lenora Hope, is yet another classic from Riley Sager and will have his countless fans reeling and squealing in delight with each passing chapter.”
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“The latest dependable airport bookstore grab and name in summer suspense.”
—The Chicago Tribune
“Sager is a master of the twist and the turn.”
“[Sager’s novels are] all creepily atmospheric, easy to read without being fluffy, and fun as hell.”