GPL Blog

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

From the publisher: A gripping mystery about a woman who thinks she’s found the love of her life—until he disappears. 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.

The Last Thing He Told Me is the beach read of the summer. I don’t expect everlasting greatness from a beach read – just an intriguing book with a plot that makes me want to keep reading. The Last Thing He Told Me is a winner from this standpoint.

Hannah Hall was raised by her grandfather after her indifferent parents abandoned her to him. This has shaped her life, literally – he was a woodworker and so is she. She makes beautiful art from wood. I liked that the author gave our narrator an unusual profession. When she finally falls in love in her late 30s, she falls hard. Owen Michaels feels like home. Hannah doesn’t mind that the first priority in his life is his teenage daughter from a previous marriage that ended when his wife died, and she pulls up stakes in New York and moves to Sausalito, California.

The family lives on a houseboat, which also added a different touch. Used to being Owen’s sole focus, Bailey does not like Hannah, and Hannah struggles to find a way to connect. Then Owen doesn’t come home from work. The CEO of the small company he works for is arrested for fraud. Before he disappears, Owen manages to pass a two-word note to his wife – and a bag of cash to his daughter.

The author introduces a lot of characters, and as readers, we have to decide if they are trustworthy or have agendas. Hannah and Bailey form an uneasy partnership as they realize Owen is not who he said he is and they follow clues to his – and Bailey’s – past.

If you are a fan of the author I’m not sure what to tell you. I have never read anything by Laura Dave, and I saw some reviews by fans who were disappointed in this book. For me, the plot, the clues, the characters – everything kept me reading because I wanted to know how the story ended. I finished this book in a day, and lately that is unusual for me because I don’t have that much time to spend reading. The ending fell a bit flat – more of a double than a home run, but I was entertained overall so the book is a recommendation from me. The ending is also followed by an unnecessary epilogue that I would have left out. Sometimes leaving the reader wondering is a good thing.

The Last Thing He Told Me is available for checkout at the Galesburg Public Library. It is also available as an ebook or audiobook through Libby.