Friday, April 30, 2021

The Last Thing He Told Me - Laura Dave

I've enjoyed many of Laura Dave's previous books and I was eager to read her latest - The Last Thing He Told Me. I quite like the cover - those houseboats and wide open sky.

What's it about? From Simon and Schuster: (my thoughts follow)

"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."

My Thoughts:

I was intrigued from the opening chapter - what - or who - does Hannah need to protect Bailey from?   

Relationships play a big part in this book with a focus on Hannah and Bailey's non-connection. Hannah keeps reaching out, while Bailey keeps swatting her away. Until they have a common goal - to find Owen. Dave does a good job of portraying this. And I think she nailed the sixteen year old mindset! 

The reader learns more about Hannah and Owen's relationship as she recalls the last two years, searching for clues to where he might be now. And Hannah and Bailey follow tenuous connections from Bailey's memories. I thought the clues and the chasing down of confirmation was well written, albeit a little hard to believe at times. I did question Hannah's skill set in approaching and reading certain people (sorry - deliberately obtuse) She is a wood turner by trade and it was a bit of a stretch for me to buy into her 'powers of persuasion'.

The why and the who are found, but it felt like I'd already read this story. Dave does put her own stamp on things, especially the ending, but at a certain point I pretty much knew how things were going to play out.

The Last Thing He Told Me is more light domestic suspense than a thriller.  It was a good read, but I like my suspense a little grittier and a bit quicker paced. I found it more character driven than action driven. If you like Joy Fielding or Iris Johansen, you'll enjoy this one.


Vicki said...

Your review sure caught my attention! I just may end up reading this.

Luanne said...

It was entertaining Vicki, but just an okay read for me.