The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave | Book Review

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.

How was it?

The blurb for this book might not be revolutionary, in fact, the broad strokes of the story are easily predictable but it’s the way it’s written that makes it interesting. How the mystery unfolds is pretty captivating, enough for you to keep reading knowing that they’ll be little to no surprises – they are still some -, and having guessed a big chunk of what’s going on.

You’d think that being at least a step ahead of our main protagonist, Hannah, could have been frustrating or boring but the protagonist is smart enough and the author does a great job at placing you in her shoes. So empathizing with Hannah’s situation is not hard. I like how memory and the way we tend to remember things with the wisdom of hindsight plays a role in shedding light on this mystery. I liked how innocuous details and memories were used to reinterpret an event or something that was said. This novel is a proper mystery thriller with an investigation, and several clues pushing the story forward in quite the grounded way because nothing is too easy to obtain or discover. Hannah and Bailey’s difficult relationship is also part of the narrative but it didn’t have the biggest impact on me, except to maybe annoy me once.

The Last Thing He Told Me might not be the most groundbreaking book but it has a nice flow.

The Apple TV+ screen adaptation starring Jennifer Garner premieres April 14th 2023.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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