The Last Victim, a novel by Kevin O’Brien

The Last Victim was a psycho political thriller which reflects the depth of human perversity, and the length some people will go to achieve their goals.

Twins Brad and Bridget Corrigan, Cheryl Blume, Olivia Rankin and Fuller Sterns are about to graduate from high school. As a means of memorializing the occasion, they decide to commit vandalism. Unfortunately, they are caught by the authorities, thanks to high school outcast Mallory Meehan ratting on them. To seek revenge they lure her to Gorman’s Creek and throw her down a well where they leave her for dead. The high school friends then make a vow to never speak of their crime, severe ties with each other to seal the deal and go their separate ways.

Fast forward twenty years later, Brad Corrigan is running for senator of Oregon. Olivia Rankin, Fuller Sterns and Cheryl Blume all die due to mysterious accidents. It turns out Brad hired people to eliminate anyone aware of his crime, including his sister’s husband turned X, to whom Bridget made a full disclosure to before their wedding.  Brad eventually wins his seat in the senate, but not without his twin sister Bridget severing ties with him and their family. Bridget pulls away upon learning what Brad did to cover his crime. To make matters worse, Bridget also learns this was with the full backing of their father whose dying wish was to see his son win a senate seat.

Blood is (not always) thicker than water, as the character of Bridget Corrigan suggests. As humans, we all have flaws. But there is only so much we can tolerate. What happened in high school was a prank that went too far and immaturity may have been an acceptable excuse. But what Brad Corrigan pulled as an adult reflects a total lack of moral fiber which may justify his role in politics, but does not justify murder. Bridget had no reservations on severing tie with her twin brother because of what he did, and the rest of the family for supporting him.

Ambition corrupts, and the corruption can invade at full speed when it is driven by popular support. Brad Corrigan insured his senate seat by making sure no one could speak about his past crime. He had a father and a wife who made sure the cover up was a success, even if it came to be at the expense of other family members.

Birds of the same feather, flock together – bluntly put, rotten people deserve rotten company. Unknown to Brad, his pregnant wife is not carrying his kid – she’s carrying his brother…go figure!




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