In Dave’s suspenseful latest (after Hello Sunshine), a Bay Area woman copes with her husband’s sudden disappearance. Owen Michaels, a coder for a prominent tech company, vanishes just before his boss is arrested for corruption, leaving his 16-year-old daughter, Bailey, over half a million dollars in cash. Bailey and her stepmother, Hannah Hall, aren’t close, but they work together to uncover what made Owen flee, convinced he is innocent. Still, Hannah remains uncertain, and after she remembers how a man claimed to have recognized Owen from high school in Austin, Tex., despite Owen having said he’s from the East Coast, Hannah and Bailey travel there in hopes of triggering Bailey’s early childhood memories. Bailey does remember Texas, though her memories don’t track with what Owen had told both of them. Meanwhile, a U.S. Marshal who’s familiar with Owen’s past encourages Hannah to cooperate as Hannah and Bailey find themselves in danger. The first two-thirds are riveting, with mysteries unspooled at a steady pace and believable stepfamily angst, but unfortunately the final act slips into some loopy turns. The author’s fans, though, won’t have a hard time forgiving the flaws. Agent: Suzanne Gluck, WME. (May)
From the Publisher
#1 New York Times Bestseller
“What starts as an intimate meditation on found families deftly turns into a heart-pounding mystery reminiscent of the best true crime stories. But both work so beautifully in this gripping, perfectly-paced novel. I dare you to stop reading.”
—Susie Yang, New York Times bestselling author of White Ivy
“Laura Dave is a master story-teller. Gripping, big-hearted and twisty, The Last Thing He Told Me grabs readers from the very first page and never lets go.”
—Greer Hendricks, New York Times best-selling co-author of The Wife Between Us and You Are Not Alone
"With dizzying suspense and gorgeous prose, The Last Thing He Told Me tackles tough questions about trust, marriage and what it means to be a family. A page-turner of the highest order."
—Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of Home Before Dark
“Laura Dave's The Last Thing He Told Me is a thrilling roller coaster of a novel. This smart, intimate exploration of love and family is the foundation of a beautifully constructed mystery filled with twists and turns. A must-read.”
—Jean Kwok, New York Times bestselling author of Searching for Sylvie Lee
“Dave pulls off something that feels both new and familiar: a novel of domestic suspense that unnerves, then reassures. This is the antithesis of the way novels like Gone Girl or My Lovely Wife are constructed; in The Last Thing He Told Me, the surface is ugly, the situation disturbing, but almost everyone involved is basically good underneath it all. Dave has given readers what many people crave right now—a thoroughly engrossing yet comforting distraction.”
“A page turner.”
“The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave is a fast-moving, heartfelt thriller about the sacrifices we make for the people we love most.”
“Light and bright, despite its edgy plot.”
“Page-turning, exhilarating, and unforgettable.”
"Dave’s neat trick is to unveil revelations at a brisk clip that does not overwhelm character development. The novel’s richness comes from the way Hannah and Bailey realize they need each other in the face of staggering loss; the mutual trust that grows between them is genuinely moving. As both daughter and stepmother come to realize, “That’s how you fill in the blanks — with stories and memories from the people who love you.”
—The New York Times Book Review
"You will not think that this is Laura’s first suspense novel as it's so sharp and well done."
“Mysteries unspool at a steady pace... riveting.”
"A stunner with a heart and an ending you'll never see coming."
“Fast-paced ...but heartfelt."
—The New York Times, "Inside the Best-Seller List"
When a devoted husband and father disappears, his wife and daughter set out to find him.
Hannah Hall is deeply in love with her husband of one year, Owen Michaels. She’s also determined to win over his 16-year-old daughter, Bailey, who has made it very clear that she’s not thrilled with her new stepmother. Despite the drama, the family is mostly a happy one. They live in a lovely houseboat in Sausalito; Hannah is a woodturner whose handmade furniture brings in high-dollar clientele; and Owen works for The Shop, a successful tech firm. Their lives are shattered, however, when Hannah receives a note saying “Protect her” and can’t reach Owen by phone. Then there’s the bag full of cash Bailey finds in her school locker and the shocking news that The Shop’s CEO has been taken into custody. Hannah learns that the FBI has been investigating the firm for about a year regarding some hot new software they took to market before it was fully functional, falsifying their financial statements. Hannah refuses to believe her husband is involved in the fraud, and a U.S. marshal assigned to the case claims Owen isn’t a suspect. Hannah doesn’t know whom to trust, though, and she and Bailey resolve to root out the clues that might lead to Owen. They must also learn to trust one another. Hannah’s narrative alternates past and present, detailing her early days with Owen alongside her current hunt for him, and author Dave throws in a touch of danger and a few surprises. But what really drives the story is the evolving nature of Hannah and Bailey’s relationship, which is by turns poignant and frustrating but always realistic.
Light on suspense but still a solid page-turner.