In One Last Summer by Richard Godwin, we are introduced to Rex Allen, a man who is obsessed with filming and photography. Lost in contemplation, he has only vague memories of how he came to live in a new house, with only few possessions. A living shadow, he is only brought to stark relief after meeting his beautiful neighbor, Evangeline Glass. Suddenly everything clicks for him again; the sound of the shutter becomes a loud tick, pulling him to an obsession of spying on her, and photographing her every move.
When he blackmails her into becoming his own personal model, a strange evolution begins to evolve. Evangeline begins to become someone else. A name he knows but not a face. He is searching for a past that forever haunts him. Can they both survive this strange and dangerous game of pretense?
I found myself both repelled and interested in Rex, as a person, a neighbor and yet a creep and inveterate bully. But there is also something that lies below the surface of his personality that does not quiet repel you as would be expected in such a case. Godwin has found a way to make you appreciate this character even though he seems quite creepy. He has spun an intricate tale of romance, horror and revenge in such a way that you are alternately confused, sickened and then understanding.
Godwin has spun a tale around tragedy and life, one that creates waves of concern and anger as his character delves further into his own mind to find the hidden truths. I was not sure how I felt about this novel as I found myself wrapped in the pages, it is like and yet unlike his other work, which is what I had been expecting. There is sadness and anger, romance and loss, and yet it is all spun in a package that you don’t see coming.
This would be a great book for the suspense and horror aficionado, as well as those who enjoy surprise and romance. Full of diverse and strange often brooding moments, this book will keep you guessing till the very end.