author: Laura Dave
published: 4 May 2021
publisher: Simon & Schuster
source: Book of the Month
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | BookBub | BookHype | Goodreads
We all have stories we never tell.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.
The Last Thing He Told Me had me from the very beginning. I love a good, twisty domestic thriller, and this had everything I want in one!
Laura Dave’s writing is wonderful. The way the story is told, the characters, the pacing, the plot… all of it felt entirely authentic. The story is told primarily from a present narrative from Hannah’s perspective, intermingled with flashbacks. It really enhances the story. It was paced extremely well, keeping me turning the pages.
But the strength of the story lies in its characters. Hannah’s character felt entirely like someone I could know. She doesn’t feel sorry for herself, caring more for her stepdaughter. Her emotions are hardly dulled, though. They’re just more subtle. Interestingly, although Owen’s disappearance is the driving motivation of the story, it’s Hannah’s relationship with Bailey, more than with Owen, that really drives the story.
This is very much a character-driven story, one that is extremely well done.