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  • Mandy McHugh

The Last Thing He Told Me, Laura Dave: A Review

This cover and premise caught my eye, and I was thrilled to be approved.

Hannah is trying to connect with her step daughter Bailey when they're thrust into an unthinkable situation. Her husband, Owen, is wanted for questioning in a fraud scheme and flees. Before he disappears, he leaves Hannah an ambiguous note, just two words: Protect her. What follows is a woman's quest to saving a husband with a past she knows nothing about and a journey into the complexities of blended families. Oh, I loved this book. I didn't expect to hit me the way it did, but the hope and resounding belief that love is possible outside of blood ties really struck a chord. Hannah's voice is compelling and fun in spite of the extenuating circumstances. She's self-aware and quietly respectful. Her budding relationship with Bailey is a carefully layered masterpiece in character building, and I loved seeing how each bit of mystery brought them closer or highlighted their differences. This book is utterly un-put-downable. The plot is well structured, the pacing is spot on, and the characters are more than relatable. Yes, this is a suspense, but it's also a refreshing blast of optimism I didn't know I needed. It is possible to have a book with two characters who love each other. It is possible for a stepmother to not have her own biological children but love, nurture, and respect the relationship with her stepchild. What resonated most was Hannah's faith that she knew her husband. The trust and love they had for each other. The sacrifices they made. I can't remember the last time I read something without an automatic assumption of guilt or the overarching conclusion that one bad decision is enough to decide the entirety of their future. Overall, The Last Thing He Told Me is a smart, electric, engrossing read with a big heart and reverberating consequences. I'd recommend to fans of Moriarty or quiet domestic suspense. Big thanks to Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.

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