The Last Hope by The Black Rose is Book Four of The Killing Game Series. When I picked up The Last Hope, I assumed it would be a continuation of Book Three, The Lost Days, of Ives Andrich’s search for his kidnapped wife Allina. This is not the case at all. The Black Rose has used a unique and interesting technique in writing The Last Hope. Book Four of the series is a parallel and complementary story to that told in The Lost Days.
In The Last Hope, we see the story of Allina’s kidnapping from her perspective. Allina, a successful author and wife of publishing magnate and Chief of Investigations at the FBI, Ives Andrich, is saved from certain death, at the hands of a madman, by members of the elusive and powerful Neo-Nazi organisation the NWDSO. Spirited out of the country, to Germany, Allina is to be held as a pawn in an attempt by the organisation to convince Ives Andrich to join their organisation and ultimately to head it up. The Last Hope details the painful and sorrowful realisation by Allina that although she is being held in the “lap of luxury” and no harm is intended to her, it is all meaningless without her beloved Ives. She waits for what she believes will be his inevitable rescue of her. She comes to regard her captors, if not with fondness, then at least with a begrudging respect for the manner in which they have looked after her in her “gilded cage”. Using the time she has, she completes the manuscript on her latest book and gives herself the opportunity to reflect on what is truly important in life – her faith in her God and that in her husband, Ives.
After the initial shock of discovering this was a companion edition to Book Three, rather than a continuation of the story, I found this idea to be absolutely enthralling. It was wonderful to be able to put the mindsets of the two main characters together and compare their perceptions of themselves and of each other. As I said, I haven’t come across this technique before and I did find it compelling. I loved the character of Allina and the depths of her grace and dignity even under extreme provocation and pressure. In both books, the recurring theme was faith and love. Both Ives’ and Allina’s unshakeable faith in their God and in each other was what connected them so perfectly. For me it was summed up when Allina was taunted that Ives had been killed in the explosion that had led to Allina’s kidnapping. She said; “I know he’s not dead, or my heart would have told me so” (paraphrased).
Read together, I can thoroughly recommend these two books, The Last Days and The Lost Hope. Both are intriguing thrillers, with plenty of twists and turns. I am now excited to read the next instalment of these two characters and see what fate has in store for them.