The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
About the book:
(From the publisher) 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, the FBI arrests Owen’s boss, and 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.
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
The thing that first caught my attention with this book was the premise. I was expecting a thriller — but clearly should have read closer — as this book actually fits under the suspense genre. It doesn’t have the big plot twists or surprises that I was expecting, but I found myself really enjoying it nonetheless.
Because what’s really captivating about this book is the characters. Hannah and Bailey start off with an awkward and rocky, step-mother/daughter relationship. Over the course of the book, their slow-growing bond is forged by uncertainty and this blended family dynamic becomes something really beautiful to behold. (And let me just tell you, that last line!! Gahh. It completely moved me.) The characters were well-built and the story was filled with heart.
I also really appreciated the ending of this novel. (Don’t worry, no spoilers here!) Given the situation that the characters faced, it felt entirely realistic. The author was able to tie up loose ends without it feeling forced.
There were a few moments within the story that stretched plausibility for me (ex: it seemed like a quick decision to travel to Austin, and Bailey’s memory seemed especially sharp for such a young child) — but it didn’t take me out of the story too much and I loved the mystery elements it provided.
All in all, The Last Thing He Told Me was a quick and enjoyable read. I’m leaving this book with a really strong 3.5 stars and will definitely be reading more books by this author!
(Also, that cover. Beautiful! And it fits the story so well!)