The Last Thing He Told Me

by Laura Dave

Hardcover, 2021

Call number





Simon & Schuster (2021), Edition: First Edition, 20th printing, 320 pages


Fiction. Literature. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:A 2022 Audie Award Finalist The instant #1 New York Times bestselling mystery and Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick that's captivated more than a million readers about a woman searching for the truth about her husband's any cost. "A fast-moving, heartfelt thriller about the sacrifices we make for the people we love most." �??Real Simple 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, heartbr… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Bauernfeind
This was one of those books I thought I would just have to push myself through it (because my rule is once you start - don't stop) because the beginning was a bit slow/stilted/off. Then in the meat of the book, it was excellent. Lots of this way and that type of drama. Then the end; it ended like a
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Hallmark Christmas movie. Not what I thought but I'm not the author! I gave it 4 out of 5 stars because of the beginning
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LibraryThing member silversurfer
A much hyped book that left me cold.
A fast read but left me wondering what the rave reviews were all about.
LibraryThing member grandpahobo
The plot moves along and there is a moderate amount of suspense. However, there isn't any real depth to the characters. I read this after finishing a 1100 page biography and it was the perfect light, enjoyable read.
LibraryThing member zhoud2005
A promising start and an anticlimax.
LibraryThing member DidIReallyReadThat
An interesting plot but I found it hard to believe that Hannah, an artist, was better at solving what happened to her husband than the police and the FBI. The relationship between her and her stepdaughter was little too pat.
LibraryThing member mchwest
Two days, 227 pages the first and the rest today! Damn I love good reads but hate when I have to eat them up like this. Reese and her club did it again, I love most of their ideas for books, and honest to say the cover, houseboats on the bay , was the big pull for me.It was obviously a page turner
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and don't spend the whole book trying to see the plot twist just go with it. I loved Laura Daves Eight Hundred Grapes, and missed her Hello Sunshine, but ordered it right away, so keep writing please!
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LibraryThing member ecataldi
When Hannah opens the door, a twelve year old girl hands her a note from her husband that says "protect her." He is clearly referring to Owens daughter and Hannah's stepdaughter, Bailey. But what does Owen mean and where has he gone? He won't answer any calls and he has seemingly vanished into thin
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air. Hannah hears on the radio that the company her husband works for has been raided by the government and people are going to jail. But why would her husband be involved in a scandal like this? And what does Bailey need protecting from - the FBI? Hannah thought she knew Owen well, but the deeper she goes down the rabbit hole the less she is confident about. Even his daughter, Bailey is perplexed. What is going on? Twisty - this thriller will keep readers guessing as they try to figure out why or where Owen has disappeared to.
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LibraryThing member icolford
As Laura Dave’s taut thriller, The Last Thing He Told Me, begins, Hannah Hall is unable to contact Owen Michaels, her husband of one year. Owen has managed though to smuggle a note to Hannah that says only, “Protect Her.” The message, Hannah realizes, refers to Bailey, Owen's 16-year-old
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daughter from his first marriage, who has resisted accepting Hannah into her life and resents having to share her father with his new wife. But “protect her”? From what? As the story proceeds, Hannah’s initial confusion and distress are magnified when news reports suggest that there is some nefarious motivation behind Owen’s disappearance. Owen is a software developer for a successful tech firm called The Shop, and his boss has been arrested on suspicion of running a financial scam and cheating investors. Hannah trusts Owen with her life and is convinced he is innocent of any financial fraud. But if he is not complicit in whatever is going on at The Shop, why has he gone into hiding? And why did he conceal a duffel bag full of cash in Bailey’s school locker? Then Hannah learns that The Shop has been under investigation for months, and a U.S. marshal who accosts Hannah causes her further anxiety with hints that Owen has been lying to her all along and is not the man she thought he was. From this point, Dave’s cleverly constructed novel ramps up the tension when Hannah and Bailey head out to find Owen and look into his mysterious past. Laura Dave’s heroine, Hannah Hall, is a supremely attractive protagonist: resourceful, thoughtful, caring, independent. The layered mystery of Owen’s disappearance is only one thread of the story: the reader also becomes invested in the evolving relationship between Hannah and Bailey, thrust together under fraught circumstances and forced to work together toward a common goal. The narrative moves at breakneck speed, is filled with twists and turns that keep the reader guessing, and along the way introduces peripheral characters who serve a variety of plot functions but also generate interest as individuals. The bittersweet resolution is satisfying and resists the sentimentality to which it could easily have fallen prey. Laura Dave’s sixth novel is a solid entertainment, suspenseful and engaging from start to finish. Her writing is tight and polished. It may be obvious that The Last Thing He Told Me is a novel written with the big screen in mind, but fans of suspense fiction won’t be disappointed.
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LibraryThing member Romonko
After hearing all they hype about the book and because it was a Reese pick, I was really looking forward to sitting down with a good thriller and trying to get over my book hangover from a book I recently finished. The book is not awful. It is definitely readable, and I did finish it, but I just
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kept hoping it would start to get suspenseful soon. It really never did. The book was more about dysfunctional families with a little crime mixed in, then it was about mystery and suspense. I hate it when books and reviews promise so much, and then when you finally begin to read it, it falls flat. At one time suspense thrillers were my favourite genre of books, but that time has long gone because I seem to be disappointed more often than not. Maybe it's just me, but I like heart-pounding action in this type of book. I don't care for mind games and innuendos, and there is quite a bit of that in this one. Again I am in the minority here, with my opinion of this book, but if anyone feels the same way that I do and is looking for the same kind of thing, this is not the book for you. It's OK. It moves along. albeit a bit slowly, and it does come to a conclusion, but even that is disappointing and everything is left up in the air. But it just doesn't move along fast enough to make me care what happens to the protagonists..
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LibraryThing member bookworm12
When Hannah’s husband disappears she’s left to unravel his last cryptic message with her teenage stepdaughter. In some ways, this reminded me of a modern-day Rebecca. There are shades of that classic woven into the fabric of the thriller about a new wife who doesn’t truly understand her
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husband‘s past. The plot kept me interested and had a great sense of place in both Austin and the houseboat community in Sausalito.
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LibraryThing member JRlibrary
A man is involved in a work scandal and goes on the run. His wife and daughter are left trying to figure out who he was and why he’s hidin now. Great fast read. It
LibraryThing member arlenadean
Title: The Last Thing He Told Me
Author: Laura Dave
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Four
"The Last Thing He Told Me" by Laura Dave

My Opinion:

How will this all turn out for Hannah after her husband's disappearance leaving a message with one instruction to 'Protect Her'
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in which he was relating to his daughter and her step-daughter Bailey? What will happen when Hannah and Bailey set out to determine why Owen left and where he had gone? What will happen when the wife finds out she didn't know anything about her husband and during their life together?

This is definitely one of those stories that you will have to pick up to see how this author will answer all the above questions to brings it all out to the reader with some likable and relatable characters.

Be ready for quite a story with many twists and turns that will keep you turning the pages to see what is coming next in this mystery thriller suspenseful story. In the end, one will find the novel 'The Last Thing He Told Me' was of 'love, forgiveness, and even found families.'
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LibraryThing member ethel55
I really liked this and was swept up in the story from the beginning. There are a lot of twists and enough federal letter organizations to keep you wondering who to believe. It was tough to stop reading, the chapters and revelations kept coming at such a good clip, as Hannah and her step daughter
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Bailey head to Texas from Sausilito to try to figure out what Owen's cryptic message means.
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LibraryThing member booklovers2
Listened to this as an audio book. Hannah a wood carver, furniture designer meets Owen, a techie widow with a young daughter. A long distance romance builds her in NYC on the east coast him in Sausalito on the left coast - They marry only Owen isn't who he says he is - one day home alone someone
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knocks at the door - a young girl hands her a note from her husband "Protect Her" is all that is written - same day Bailey, Owen's daughter finds a duffle bag in her locker with $600,000 in it with just a note - "Remember, you know who I am" - The trouble is - who is Owen Really? and where is he. The company he works for "The Store" is now under investigation and his boss is being indicted and Owen is gone. Hannah gets a visit from a US Marshall and the Feds neither know about the other - something is totally wrong and Hannah sets out to find out who her husband really is while trying to protect his daughter. Interesting story - kept me llistening - I wasn't exactly thrilled with the ending but did enjoy the unraveling to get to the truth about Owen.
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LibraryThing member ToniFGMAMTC
Really got into this one. I thought I had it figured out early on but didn't. Did know go how I expected. I recommend.
LibraryThing member susan.h.schofield
I really enjoyed this domestic thriller from Laura Dave. It grabbed my attention from the beginning and I couldn't put it down. It was entertaining and intriguing. I had never read one of her books before but I look forward to reading more by her. Thanks to NetGalley for the digital ARC.
LibraryThing member LoriKBoyd
What would you do? Your semi-perfect life is turned upside down when you receive a cryptic message from your husband to protect his sullen teenager daughter, and he goes missing. Then you learn that everything you knew or thought you knew is a lie, no one is who they think they are. Confusing yes,
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but Hannah is determined to find out who Owen really is, while protecting Bailey but putting them both in harms way, and ultimately hoping to her family put back together.

Original storyline. Great characters, and development. Realistic relationship between stepdaughter and stepmother. Fast paced read. Had no idea where the story was going at the beginning which really pulled me into the story. Ending was appropriate, satisfying but not. Read the book to find out!

Thanks to Ms. Dave, Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for this ARC. Opinion is mine alone.
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LibraryThing member Twink
I've enjoyed many of Laura Dave's previous books and I was eager to read her latest - The Last Thing He Told Me. I quite like the cover - those houseboats and wide open sky.

I was intrigued from the opening chapter - what - or who - does Hannah need to protect Bailey from?

Relationships play a big
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part in this book with a focus on Hannah and Bailey's non-connection. Hannah keeps reaching out, while Bailey keeps swatting her away. Until they have a common goal - to find Owen. Dave does a good job of portraying this. And I think she nailed the sixteen year old mindset!

The reader learns more about Hannah and Owen's relationship as she recalls the last two years, searching for clues to where he might be now. And Hannah and Bailey follow tenuous connections from Bailey's memories. I thought the clues and the chasing down of confirmation was well written, albeit a little hard to believe at times. I did question Hannah's skill set in approaching and reading certain people (sorry - deliberately obtuse) She is a wood turner by trade and it was a bit of a stretch for me to buy into her 'powers of persuasion'.

The why and the who are found, but it felt like I'd already read this story. Dave does put her own stamp on things, especially the ending, but at a certain point I pretty much knew how things were going to play out.

The Last Thing He Told Me is more light domestic suspense than a thriller. It was a good read, but I like my suspense a little grittier and a bit quicker paced. I found it more character driven than action driven. If you like Joy Fielding or Iris Johansen, you'll enjoy this one.
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LibraryThing member LibraryCin
Hannah has been married to Owen for two years. Owen had a daughter previously, Bailey, who is now 16-years old. One day, Owen just doesn’t come home again. He sends a note to Hannah that just says “Protect her”. As Hannah hears on the news, the owner of the company Owen has been working for
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has been arrested and charged with fraud.

This was really good. Another one that pulled me in right away and kept me wondering. I definitely didn’t expect the ending. Told from Hannah’s point of view, some chapters backed up in time to see the relationship (and some earlier events) between Hannah and Owen.
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LibraryThing member tibobi
The Short of It:

I love a good page-turner that has a little bit of substance too.

The Rest of It:

I’ve enjoyed many of Reese Witherspoon’s club picks during this pandemic and The Last Thing He Told Me was no exception.

"Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one
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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."~ Indiebound

The story goes back and forth between the present and the past, leading up to Owen’s disappearance. The message Owen leaves for Hannah is just cryptic enough to really confuse her. Hannah is well aware of Owen’s love for his daughter Bailey but that is what makes it all the more confusing. Why would he ever want to leave her?

After a friend contacts Hannah about what’s going on at Owen’s office and how they are being investigated, Hannah begins to worry that Owen has gotten himself in over his head. Is he a criminal? Was he forced to participate in something illegal? Does she know him at all? Bailey is equally perplexed by it all. She knows her dad and he would not go missing unless he had a very good reason to do so.

When it comes to these hyped book club reads, all you want to know is if it lives up to the hype, right? Well, I believe it does. There isn’t a whole lot of action but I like the way the story unfolded and I liked the dynamic between Hannah and Bailey, given the difficult circumstances.

For more reviews, visit my blog: Book Chatter.
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LibraryThing member EllenH
I see very mixed opinions about this book, I really liked it! It was a slower mystery, suspense kind of story than I expected, and more thought provoking, than an edge of your seat kind of read. I found it to be a very engaging kind of story.
LibraryThing member pgchuis
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley.

I'm giving it 4* to reflect an excellent first half and then a disappointing second half, which felt like it belonged in a completely different book. In the first half Hannah's newish husband Owen disappears in the wake of a financial
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scandal at the company he works at. He leaves Hannah a note, asking her to protect his daughter Bailey, who barely tolerates Hannah. He leaves Bailey a bag containing $60,000. Despite this, Hannah is convinced Owen's reasons for disappearing are more about keeping Bailey safe than they are about avoiding criminal proceedings.

Hannah begins to reflect on what she really knows about Owen and what clues to his and Bailey's past there might be. The ensuing investigation by Hannah and Bailey takes up a good chunk of the book and was excellent. There are chapters interspersed showing Hannah and Owen's past, which not only provide clues, but cause us to believe that Owen is a good man. However, the further back in time these went the less interesting and relevant they were.

Then suddenly there is an information dump about a family we have not previously heard of and the plot takes a huge shift to the side. It is difficult to discuss this without spoiling the plot, but Hannah makes some bold and (I thought) arrogant decisions which were not necessarily the ones I would have made, all the mystery was cleared up instantly, and I think we were supposed to believe she and Bailey lived happily ever after. (I do not believe this!)

I felt really let down - there were so many more interesting ways the plot could have gone.
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LibraryThing member dawnlovesbooks
Not as great as I thought it was going to be, but still a good read. Owen Michaels disappears and his wife is left to put the pieces together of why he left and where he might be. Meanwhile, her step-daughter is left in her care and their relationship has never been a close one. Owen's
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disappearance can either bring them together or force them further apart. Will they find him?
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LibraryThing member tinkerbellkk
I enjoyed this story of a woman left in an impossible situation by her husband who goes missing. After having no idea as to why her husband disappears suddenly she must unravel the truth behind a man she thought she knew while forging a bond with his reluctant 16 year old daughter. Good story with
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an interesting outcome - very easy and relaxed read. I would recommend.
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LibraryThing member Dianekeenoy
Wow, I read this straight through in a morning! Definitely kept my interest and a book I would recommend.


Audie Award (Finalist — Thriller/Suspense — 2022)
Iowa High School Book Award (Nominee — 2024)
Reese's Book Club (2021-05 — 2021)
Indie Next List (May 2021)




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