Sometimes I read two books at the same time, one in audiobook format and the other one on paper. I usually make sure the two don’t belong to the same genre to avoid confusion and/or unjust comparisons. So I’ll usually read one fiction and one non-fiction, for instance. This time I started listening to Laura Dave’s The Last Thing He Told Me almost at the same time as I started reading my beloved Tana French’s The Trespasser, and I couldn’t help comparing the two. That’s not fair in any way to Laura Dave because, for me, French is in a whole different league. Would I have enjoyed this book more if I hadn’t been reading French at the same time though? I doubt it…
Hanna has been married to Owen for about a year and is still desperately trying to create a good relationship with his daughter Bailey. One day, Owen disappears leaving nothing but a short note: “Protect her”. Hanna has no clue as to why Owen would disappear, other than that the company he works for and its owner are at the centre of an investigation. But Owen can’t have been involved, surely. Hanna embarks on a quest to find out what happened to Owen and how she can keep Bailey safe, while dealing with a surly teenager who, of course, hates her stepmom.
There’s nothing really original here. A woman’s life is upturned by a series of events. What she thought she knew turns out to be false. It’s been done before. I knew that going in, but I wanted to listen to an audiobook that’s easy to follow. It kept my attention well enough. There were no unnecessary detours; pretty much everything in the book serves a purpose. I liked the fact that Hanna is a wood turner (which taught me about the existence of such a profession). It was the only thing that gave me a clue as to her personality though. Bailey is a caricature of a teenager. I don’t know how much the voice of the narrator had to do with this, but all dialogues felt wooden and predictable.
Not a great read, in other words, but if you’re looking to pass the time with something easy and light, this might suit your purpose.