Title: The Last Thing He Told Me
Author: Laura Dave
Audiobook Length: 8 hours and 49 minutes
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Contemporary
Read Start Date: April 24, 2023
Read Finish Date: May 5, 2023
Brief Summary of the Plot 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.
My Review: The book follows the story of Hannah Hall, a woman who is forced to face the truth about her husband’s past when he suddenly disappears.
The story begins with Hannah’s husband, Owen, disappearing without a trace. Hannah is left alone with her stepdaughter, Bailey, and a note from Owen that says, “Protect her.” This sets off a chain of events that forces Hannah to confront the truth about her husband’s past and the secrets he kept from her.
As Hannah delves deeper into Owen’s past, she discovers that he was not who she thought he was and she begins to question everything she thought she knew about her husband.
The narrative of The Last Thing He Told Me is presented from Hannah’s point of view, unfolding in two distinct timelines. One timeline progresses forward from the day Owen vanished, while the other traces backward from the day Owen left. In the current timeline, we witness Hannah’s struggle to come to grips with the shocking truths about her husband’s past. Meanwhile, in the past timeline, we gain a deeper understanding of their relationship and the version of Owen that he chose to reveal to her, now causing her to question everything and piece together his true identity. Hannah is caught between her love for Owen and her responsibility to shield Bailey from the risks of Owen’s past. As she tries to navigate this complicated situation, Hannah must decide whom to trust and must make the impossible choice between Bailey’s safety and being a family again.
I first listened to this audiobook in the first year of my daughter’s life, when I was so sleep deprived I couldn’t really appreciate it. Upon the second reading, I absolutely loved this book. From the well crafted thrilling plot, to the well-developed and realistic characters, this book had me gripped from the first page.
I really liked how the story unfolded in two timelines, as it gave a comprehensive view of the story, while at the same time kept the tension high.
I also really liked Hannah, a nice, caring woman put in an impossible situation by her husband’s dark past. She handles the complex situation she is thrown into with a grace and determination that had me rooting for her through out the book.
This book won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Mystery&Thriller in 2021. I can see why!
Summer is just around the corner. If you haven’t read this book already, I highly recommend adding it to your summer reading list.