THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME
Author: Laura Dave
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Genre: Thriller | Mystery | Suspense
Back Cover Blurb
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her.
Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.
As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered; as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss; as a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.
What I Thought
Damn, but I love me a thoroughly twisted and suspenseful mystery and The Last Thing He Told Me is exactly that. Laura Dave throws Hannah, step-mum to Bailey, right in at the deep end of the ocean and, I might add, us along with them. We’re left peering over Hannah’s shoulder the whole way, as she desperately tries to figure out what’s going on and, just who the hell her new husband is, before all is lost.
This is as much a character study of Bailey and Hannah as it is a mystery, and Laura Dave does a great job of slowly unraveling said mystery one breadcrumb at a time, leaving the reader in the dark as much as Hannah and Bailey. I had my suspicions and, just when I thought I knew what was happening, the author adds a whole new set of wrinkles. And that’s when you realise you have no idea who Hannah’s husband Owen is anymore than Hannah does.
The tensions throughout are never over played, and there’s just enough going on by way of mystery to keep us guessing as to who Owen actually is, and why he’s vanished at the start of the novel. And boy, when you find out, how the past stitches into the present, and just where or, I should say, what the future holds, it’s totally not what you’re expecting. The twists are so damn clever. All of which I can’t talk about here, in this review least I spoilt the surprises, which, fellow reader, you will just have to find out for yourself. And let me tell you, they were well worth the subtle build up.
We have a small supporting cast who are all well delineated and play their parts well. But the story is, at it’s heart not just a mystery, but a story of a woman and teenager bonding and coming together in the face of a dawning revelation, that holds this whole story together.
It’s about how Dave takes these characters, throws them off a cliff, and then, shows us how they not only survive, but help one another in the face of uncertainty and mounting adversity.
The Last Thing He Told Me is tightly written, taut and suspenseful, and a thoroughly absorbing mystery that doesn’t let up until the last page. So if, like me, you love slow-burning cleverly-written thrillers, then this one is a definite must.
Simply put, this is an outstanding read.