The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
I totally picked this book up on a whim. I was looking for a new audiobook to listen to and when I opened my Libby account this one popped up as available. It sounded good and I liked the title. I am so thoroughly glad that I chose to listen to this, it was excellent and a really hard one to put down.
Hannah was such a likable character. She had a very creative job, she is a furniture maker basically, but was certainly not a flighty artist type. She was organized and self sufficient and pretty smart. She married late and was willing to take on a teenager as a stepchild. No easy feat. She totally got Bailey and always knew when to push her and when to back off. This became important as they tried to figure out what happened to Owen. You could tell through her actions, thoughts and flashbacks that she really did love Owen and would do anything to find him. But she also knew that she needed to protect Bailey at all costs. I really liked how Bailey and her relationship changed over the course of the book.
I liked Bailey, although she was your typical teen who sometimes made bad choices. But I liked that even though she hid it well, she liked and respected Hannah and was willing to let her make the hard choices. I think she knew how much her father loved Hannah, and wanted to at least get along with her for his sake.
The plot was so well done from beginning to the surprising end. This was quite the page turner and one that was really hard to put down. I was pretty sure I knew why Owen had run, but the specifics were interesting. The hunt for him in Austin, TX was also nicely done with some pretty good sleuthing on both Hannah’s and Bailey’s part. There were also some nice helpful people along the way that were able to get them closer to the truth.
This was a really well done thriller with some great characters and a great twist at the end. It is going to be a mini-series on Apple TV in April starring Jennifer Garner as Hannah. I might just have to check that one out. I also listened to the audiobook and highly recommend that as well. Rebecca Lowman does an excellent job of narration. I will also have to check out other books by this author.