I picked up this book at my favorite thrift and was excited to read it as I had read another Megan Miranda book, All the Missing Girls, and I really enjoyed it. But when I started reading through the first couple chapters of Last House Guest, I realized Miranda has a particular style of writing that she uses in in her books. I immediately recognized the plot beats, the similar use of flashback, the breadcrumbs left at the end of each chapter. I was left disappointed and begrudgingly finished this book even though I had figured out the ending halfway through.
Set in the fictional town of Littleport, Maine, the story follows Avery, a young woman with a rough background whose best friend, Sadie, mysteriously dies at the end of one of the summers in the beach town. Avery’s world is turned upside down as Sadie’s death is ruled a suicide and her wealthy family moves on too quickly for her liking. It also doesn’t help that she works for Sadie’s family, managing all the properties they own in Littleport while they are away. We meet Avery as she is dealing with the start of peak season in the beach town, when suddenly she starts uncovering evidence connected to Sadie’s death (weird that it didn’t happen sooner, but okay). Sadie’s older brother also turns up out of nowhere after being away for years and is weirdly nice to Avery, which puts her on high alert. And the properties she manages start getting vandalized or broken into in a way that makes her think she’s losing her mind (“was this window always broken?” “did someone try stealing a TV?”). Is someone trying to intimidate her into quitting her investigation into Sadie’s death? Why wouldn’t they want her to uncover the truth?
Sadly, this book fully lost me about three-quarters of the way through and I had to force myself to finish it. The ending was so predictable and as a whole the story was underwhelming.