Last Seen Alive by Claire Douglas
eBook review copy; 336 pages
Last Seen Alive by Claire Douglas is a recommended psychological thriller.
Libby Hall and her husband Jamie both need a vacation. When there is an
offer to swap houses with a couple, the Haywoods, they decide to take a
chance on it. Libby and Jamie can't believe their luck when instead of a
seaside cottage, they have swapped staying in their flat in Bath to
stay at a lovely seaside estate in Cornwall. Soon, though, some
disquieting discoveries are made and disconcerting events seem to be
happening. When Jamie falls ill and then is rushed to the hospital, it
marks the beginning of a change in their plans.
After they return to Bath, odd things begin to happen. It seems the
Haywoods may have wished them harm. Libby is becoming paranoid,
wondering if Jamie is keeping a secret from her, but Libby has some
secrets she has been keeping from Jamie. This is just the beginning of
the twists and turns that await you.
On the positive side for those who like psychological thrillers there
are plenty of revelations and secrets to be revealed in this novel. It
opens with a woman killing her husband, so you know something is going
to go wrong. The writing is good; Douglas takes care to explore the
psychological aspects of her characters, especially Libby's paranoia.
She helps the reader gain some sympathy for Libby, as she is still
privately grieving over her lost child after a miscarriage, which was
caused by a very public heroic act.
Last Seen Alive started out interesting, but then it started to
become a bit too unbelievable. And, again, when Libby wouldn't talk
about and hadn't told Jamie what happened in Thailand (the novel will
tell you) I already sussed out what was going to be the big reveal. What
I really wondered was why would anyone leave personal information out
and accessible to people they have never met when doing a house swap,
especially if you are already generally suspicious and paranoid about
people? Any why wouldn't you met these people first? This sort of marked
the beginning of some rather forced revelations/twists.
In my final evaluation, Last Seen Alive would be a satisfying
vacation read. Certainly it is a decent airplane book that will hold
your attention, but you won't cry if you misplace it along the way.
My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.