J.G. Hetherton

Laura Chambers finds herself caught in a deadly web of small town secrets as she hunts for the truth about her father, who mysteriously disappeared.

Hillsborough, North Carolina is a town with a dark history, one that was hidden until investigative journalist Laura Chambers pulled it into the light.

Nearly a year has passed since her deadly encounter with a serial killer’s twisted progeny, a brutal confrontation that left her physically and emotionally scarred. She’s ready to put the past behind her, but the past has other plans.

A woman runs onto the interstate, directly into the path of a truck, and the gruesome accident leaves behind a mangled corpse. Her very last phone call was to Laura, but the victim was barefoot, in a state of undress, and her face is disfigured beyond recognition. Identification seems impossible, and the only thing in her possession is an old photograph depicting Laura, her father—and standing next to them, her imaginary friend from childhood. What else is mistaken about her memories?

Laura’s father passed away when she was eight, and she thought she understood why he vanished from her life in the year before he died, but the photograph casts doubt on everything she thought she knew.

As the lines between fact and fiction blur, Laura digs into the history of the deceased, and her own family, determined to discover what lies beneath . . .


Last Girl Gone is one of the most surefooted, accomplished debut thrillers I’ve read in ages. Readers are going to fall hard for J. G. Hetherton. He’s a terrific talent and makes the rest of us look bad. It would be a shame if something were to happen to him…”
—Chelsea Cain, New York Times bestselling author
“J. G. Hetherton’s Last Girl Gone is a stunning debut that takes the reader down a dark and vivid rabbit hole. The twists and turns come fast and furious, and the novel’s protagonist, journalist Laura Chambers, is a character I want to read more about. Swiftly paced, riveting, poignant and real, this book shows you can go home again…but you really may not want to.
—David Bell, bestselling author of Bring Her Home
Last Girl Gone doesn’t read like the work of someone new to suspense. Not only has J. G. Hetherton created an engaging and interesting protagonist who discovers terrible secrets from the past and an implacable evil surviving in the present, he has crafted a riveting story full of twists and shocks. Perfectly paced and plotted from its dramatic beginning to its twist ending, Last Girl Gone is a compulsive read that will keep the reader turning pages.”
—Christine Carbo, award-winning author of The Weight of Night
“Forget sleep. Forget everything. No one will pry this book out of your hands until the last diabolical twist.”
—Brian Freeman, bestselling author of The Night Bird
Chilling, creepy, atmospheric…[A] rare debut novel that reads like the work of a seasoned pro. [Hetherton’s] tale of murder, cruelty and small-town psychopathology grips onto you hard and fast and doesn’t ever let go…Outstanding…Not to be missed!
—Owen Laukkanen, award-winning author of The Forgotten Girls
“One hell of a twisted baddie, all wrapped up in [a] fantastic premise, fantastic writing, and one hell of an ending. I read it in a day.
—Paul Cleave, international bestselling author of Trust No One
“The Hillsborough setting will appeal to local readers who might recognize favorite haunts scattered throughout.”
News and Observer
Captivating [and] gripping…[There’s a] deepness with which Hetherton has filled his debut with familiar characters. You can’t help but like [them]…[Last Girl Gone] will keep you entertained and guessing all the way through [with] twists and turns…This is one worth reading.
News of Orange County
Memorable [and] compelling…Fans of James Ziskin’s Ellie Stone will welcome this ambitious investigative reporter.”
Library Journal
A promising debut…Laura’s work with now-retired sheriff Donald Rodgers gives the plot heft and illustrates how sharp investigators span generations…Hetherton delivers a realistic look at contemporary newsroom culture that bodes well for future installments.”
Publishers Weekly
“This diabolical debut thriller offers more twists than winding country road and is sure to keep the reader on tenterhooks. Past secrets and evil are unlocked bringing home a chilling and unexpected conclusion. J. G. Hetherton is an author to watch.
New York Journal of Books
A damn fine thriller. Beyond character, cultural resonance, and a propulsive premise, [Hetherton] unleashes twists and turns with the finesse of a pro and proffers an ending that’s equal parts surprising and superlative. If Last Girl Gone is any indication, there are exceedingly great things to come.”
Criminal Element
Last Girl Gone had me guessing to the very end…An overall thrilling story with a powerful main character. I will be waiting for Laura Chambers #2.”
Seattle Book Review
A strong psychological thriller…It may scare you silly, but it’s riveting and the story will stay with you for a long time to come. A compelling and well-written mystery, this could very well be the one book to take to the beach this summer.

© 2022 by J.G. Hetherton