The propulsive story of a new wife and stepmother who must unravel the mystery left behind when her husband disappears.
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Why I love it
Author, Take Me Apart
I love a fake identity plot. Maybe it’s all the spy shows I’ve been watching in quarantine, maybe it’s my longtime fondness for scam stories, but hand me a book about someone who’s stolen a dead person’s social security number and I’ll blister through those pages like the FBI is chasing me.
Sure enough, I devoured The Last Thing He Told Me, a gripping thriller about a newlywed who discovers her husband’s entire identity is a lie. Owen Michaels is about to be arrested for securities fraud when he vanishes, leaving his new wife Hannah in charge of his teenage daughter, Bailey. When Hannah tries to track him down, she learns that “Owen Michaels” has never existed. She’s been married to the guy a whole year, and she doesn’t even know his real name.
Spousal betrayal is a common theme in thrillers, to say the least, but what makes this book stand out in a crowded field is the relationship between Hannah and Bailey. I loved watching their awkward rapport evolve into a genuine bond as Hannah goes to ever greater lengths to protect her stepdaughter from Owen’s dark past. This is a novel about lying husbands and fake identities, but it’s also a moving testimony to the power of chosen family. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, twisty thriller that packs an emotional punch, this is the book for you.
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers—Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.
As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss, as a US marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.
Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they’re also building a new future—one neither of them could have anticipated.
With its breakneck pacing, dizzying plot twists, and evocative family drama, The Last Thing He Told Me is a riveting mystery, certain to shock you with its final, heartbreaking turn.