The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
Published: May 2021 by Simon & Schuster
The Plot (Goodreads):
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.
Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth, together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated.
I think most people would really enjoy this book, so I’d really give this 3.5 stars. I felt the book was a bit slow and got a bit lost. There were loose ends that I felt weren’t formally tied up well – we were just left to assume Hannah’s guesses were correct. There were also some red herrings that they did a poor job of resolving, they just died. I did enjoy the resolution, I felt that it was unexpected and unique. I felt that the main mystery was not that much of a mystery as it was pretty obvious why Owen ran early on. Also, why is the shady business called “The Shop”? This name sounded like a nickname or placeholder that never got replaced. As a woodturner, it would make sense if Hannah’s business was “The Shop”, but to call a software company the helps you erase your past “The Shop” is just strange.
To say I have outstanding questions is an understatement. Again, I think many people would enjoy this, I really liked Hannah and Bailey’s characters, I just wish the story moved at a different pace and had a cleaner resolution.
*After writing what I thought was a reasonable, though strongly opinionated review, I found out this book won 2021 Best Mystery & Thriller on Goodreads. My standards for Mysteries & Thrillers seem to be a bit too high, I can’t remember the last time I reviewed something in this genre as 5 stars, so take my reviews with a grain of judgmental salt.
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