“Watching my grandfather work taught me that not everything was fluid. There were certain things that you hit from different angles, but you never gave up on. You did the work that was needed, wherever that work took you.”
Title: The Last Thing He Told Me
Author: Laura Dave
Category: Mystery, Fiction
ISB Code: 9781501171345
Publication Year: 2021
Number of Pages: 320 pages
Meet Hannah Hall, a woman in her early forties who makes a living by carving wood, a true artist raised by her grandfather, who has lived her entire life without her mother and has finally settled in her suburban life in Sausalito.
She is married to Owen, a man who walked into her woodturning shop and swept her off her feet despite her objections, given the fact that she had recently broken up with her fiancée. As far as she knew, he worked for a software tech company.
Bailey, Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, despises Hannah for everything, but Hannah is determined to win her over someday.
They live on a houseboat in Sausalito, a relatively quiet seaside town where Owen and Bailey had lived for nearly a decade.
Hannah’s life is going well; she enjoys her work, she loves both Owen and Bailey, and she finally has a family after suffering for decades with feelings of abandonment because her parents abandoned her when she was a child.
Then, one morning, she kisses Owen goodbye as he heads to work, and she never sees him again.
She receives a note from a little girl that says, “protect her.” Who is it? What exactly is going on? Why isn’t her husband answering his phone?
Before Hannah can even process what is going on, the TV news informs her that ‘The Shop,’ the name of the company Owen works for, is being investigated for fraud, and so on.
Avett, the company’s head, has already been arrested and is awaiting trial.
The company has been selling stock in a company that is developing a software product that is not yet functional! Is her husband a part of the scheme? Things are going so fast that Hannah is unsure what to do.
Furthermore, Bailey is only now coming to terms with the fact that Hannah is her stepmother. She lost her mother when she was very young and has no recollection of her.
Hannah is drawn to her because she, too, has lost a mother and understands the pain and confusion.
Grady, a US Marshall from Texas, soon appears at her door, offering to find a way to protect Hannah and Bailey by placing them in the Witness Protection Program.
Hannah does not want this for herself or Bailey. They would have to completely change their lives, their interests, and the people they let into their lives.
Hannah does not want this for Bailey and believes she can find another way for them to live together.
Hannah is resourceful, and her friend Jules assists her in delving into the mystery of Owen.
They soon discovered the unpleasant truth: her husband’s name is not Owen! He did not complete his studies at Princeton! He didn’t come from Massachusetts!
Who was her husband? Who was after him? Was it related to the company’s fall out, or was it something more sinister that would make them constantly flee throughout their lives?
Things are falling apart, and Hannah’s knowledge of Owen no longer adds up.
Hannah takes action rather than waiting for things to happen. The majority of the novel talks about Hannah’s search for the truth, her discovery of it, and her decision to make a deal that will affect the rest of her life.
This book is perfect for anyone who enjoys mystery novels!
Aside from the mysteries, I liked how the characters, especially Hannah, were likeable and realistic. She’s a normal person in an unusual situation who was completely out of her depth.
Her thoughts, reactions, and actions felt realistic, and she didn’t do anything far-fetched or crazy.
Furthermore, Hannah’s relationship development with her stepdaughter Bailey was positive.
Despite the fact that Bailey was an annoying and bratty at first, I liked how they began to lean on and support each other. Bailey eventually called her mum.
For that reason, I highly recommend this book because the mystery keeps readers engaged while the characters and relationship developments provide relatable drama and emotion.