The Last to Know by Jo Furniss

EXCERPT: It is a well known fact that a squire built a great house on land as had been cursed.

A prosperous well sat upon this land, which gave water to the village – until the squire put a stop to it. Some say he let the peasants come but charged them a ha’penny for what the Lord gives freely. Either way, his avarice pleased the devil, who rewarded the squire with more water, enough to sate all his appetites.

And the prosperous well overflowed.

And the river burst her banks.

And the squire was washed down to serve his grim master.

It is said that e’er the Grim’s Holm floods, the devil thirsts for a new servant.

Torn out page, pasted into Gwendoline Kynaston’s journal.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: American journalist Rose Kynaston has just relocated to the childhood home of her husband, Dylan, in the English village of his youth. There’s a lot for Rose to get used to in Hurtwood. Like the family’s crumbling mansion, inhabited by Dylan’s reclusive mother, and the treacherous hill it sits upon, a place of both sinister folklore and present dangers.

Then there are unwelcoming villagers, who only whisper the name Kynaston—like some dreadful secret, a curse. Everyone knows what happened at Hurtwood House twenty years ago. Everyone except Rose. And now that Dylan is back, so are rumors about his past.

When an archaeological dig unearths human remains on the hill, local police sergeant Ellie Trevelyan vows to solve a cold case that has cast a chill over Hurtwood for decades.

As Ellie works to separate rumor from facts, Rose must fight to clear the name of the man she loves. But how can Rose keep her family safe if she is the last to know the truth?

MY THOUGHTS: Loved this atmospheric and slightly creepy story. Loved this so much that I read it overnight. And now I want to read everything else that this author has written.

What is not to like? There is a crumbling old house, an elderly woman who may or may not have dementia, unsolved mysteries, deaths and disappearances from the past, rumours, secrets and lies.

Coming home is meant to feel good, safe, comforting. But for Dylan Kynaston (Nasty Boy), it means returning to an ancient home with a dubious past, inhabited by his mother who may be senile and who has been living like a hermit since her husband, now deceased (it is said he died of shame), was implicated in the death of a boy in his care who had been abused. His arrival, with wife Rose and son Aled, coincides with the return of an old love interest Meredith (‘strange how they both gravitated back to Hurtwood. Like nails drawn to a magnet.’), and the flooding of the Grim Holm for the first time in twenty years. The forces of evil are gathering. Or is it just that it is time for the truth to be exposed? Along with a few more bodies.

Furniss’s characters are extraordinarily well defined. None of them are over the top, all are relatable and realistic. Her narrative flows easily, and the descriptions of the Shropshire countryside is superb. I have never been there, living on the other side of the world, but I could see it all.

There’s an inherent creepiness that seeps through her writing, more implied than overt, which is just the way I like it. Furniss makes great use of local legend Mistress Payne, whose ghost must be welcomed into your house if you wish to avoid ill fortune. Even the names of places: the Long Drop, site of a presumed suicide, Grim Holm, and Hurtwood certainly don’t inspire visions of blue skies and carefree days.

There was nothing I disliked about The Last to Know. It captivated me and held me in thrall from beginning to end.


#TheLasttoKnow #NetGalley

‘People in small towns carry a grudge like a genetic condition. You kick one person in the shins, and half the town limps.’

THE AUTHOR: After spending a decade as a broadcast journalist for the BBC, Jo Furniss gave up the glamour of night shifts to become a freelance writer and serial expatriate. Originally from the United Kingdom, she spent seven years in Singapore and also lived in Switzerland and Cameroon.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Lake Union Publishing via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Last to Know by Jo Furniss for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage

Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbled. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

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