Thursday, September 16, 2021

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

The Last Thing He Told Me
by Laura Dave
Published May 2021 by Simon and Schuster

Publisher's Summary:
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles 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 federal 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. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they’re also building a new future—one neither of them could have anticipated.

With its breakneck pacing, dizzying plot twists, and evocative family drama, The Last Thing He Told Me is a riveting mystery, certain to shock you with its final, heartbreaking turn.

My Thoughts:
I fell into this book and couldn't pull myself out of it until I finished it. We don't know, in the beginning, why Owen has fled. Is he also guilty of the fraud his boss has been arrested for? And where did the money he left in a bag for Bailey come from? Is the man who says he's a U.S. Marshal really a U.S. Marshal? Also, why hasn't Owen worked harder to get his daughter to like her new stepmother? Oh wait, that last one was just a niggling question as the tension and mystery built. 

Dave moves Hannah's narrative back and forth between her search for the truth and the back story of Hannah and Owen...or whatever his name really is. Owen's given Hannah a very convincing story about his past and how he and Bailey came to be living in Sausalito. But the more she thinks about what she knows about Owen, the more things Hannah recalls that don't add up. 

Bailey is just afraid enough that she's willing to hop on a plane with Hannah to follow up on a lead; she's just as eager to find out what happened to her dad and she may have long lost memories that will help solve the mystery of who Owen really is and what might have become of him. 

And now I have more questions. How is it that a sixteen-year-old suddenly recalls so much about something that happened when she couldn't have been more than three or four years old? And isn't it convenient that people who don't want it help in the beginning (and probably shouldn't even be giving away the information they are) so willing to help with a little persuasion? Again, oh wait! I don't really care because I'm all in at this point and willing to suspend disbelieve. 

And then we get to the ending. I need someone who's read this to get in touch because I need to talk about the ending. Was the book written to be made into a movie? It feels so much like it was. I'm still not sure if I liked the ending or not. It feels implausible but so do all of the other possible endings once Dave had reached a certain point in the story. 

Final question - is it worth reading? Yes! For 250 pages, I was loving this book; it was just wanted I needed without even knowing I needed it. While I may have mixed feelings about the ending, you may love it. It's not bad. It just wasn't what I was hoping for even if I'm not exactly sure what I was hoping for.

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