In Claire Douglas’ gripping new thriller, secrets and lies begin to tear up the lives of Libby Hall and her husband, Jamie. Following a fire and a tragic miscarriage, Libby and Jamie receive a note asking for them to do a house swap by a couple needing to be near a hospital for the sake of their daughter. The timing couldn’t be better, so Libby and Jamie agree to exchange their flat in Bath for a secluded house in Cornwall. But when they reach their temporary home, Libby can’t shake the feeling that they’re not entirely alone. Their marriage is about to put through the wringer as Jamie learns that some secrets are better shared, and Libby’s past threatens to catch up with her.
Last Seen Alive drew me in on the very first page. I’d previously read and loved Douglas’ Local Girl Missing, so had high hopes and was not at all disappointed. The story progresses slowly but, instead of being boring, this gently builds up the tension to unbearable levels. You know something is coming, but it is impossible to guess what.
I liked Libby. She clearly has problems, but these are revealed quite slowly which allows time to develop a connection with her, which stops her paranoia and insecurities from becoming annoying. It is obvious that there problems have stemmed from something in her past – even if we don’t know what – rather than her just being a wimpy character.
Every aspect of the story is engaging and intriguing. There’s a big twist (which I totally did not see coming) and it’s a good’un. Shocking and unpredictable, but makes complete sense. And that ending! (Read it and you’ll understand).
Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy to review!