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The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

The Last Thing He Told Me

Repeat author

Laura Dave is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include Eight Hundred Grapes.

by Laura Dave

Quick take

The propulsive story of a new wife and stepmother who must unravel the mystery left behind when her husband disappears.

Good to know

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    Mama drama


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.

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Why I love it

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.

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Member ratings (59,098)

  • Teresa L.

    Corona, CA

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  • Nikki S.

    Harrison Twp, MI

    I absolutely loved this book! I couldn’t put it down! I loved the development of Hannah and Bailey’s relationship! I was left wanting more from the ending but overall, I loved it! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️!!

  • Leslie L.

    Pepeekeo, HI

    This is a great book. I really loved it and couldn’t put it down. I wanted more at the end! Won’t go into details because I don’t want to give any spoilers…. It worked though. I recommend this book!

  • Alexxa R.

    Lexington Park, MD

    I couldn’t put this down! A fast read with characters that suck you in. I don’t think it’s the most original story, but I loved it all the same. My heart broke for Bailey and Hannah! Such a good read.

  • Laura K.

    Pine island , MN

    I don’t know exactly what it was about this book, but I LOVED it. I just couldn’t get enough of it. I was slightly unsatisfied by the ending, not that it wasn’t great, just not how I wanted it to be.