Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The Last to Vanish

The Last to Vanish by Megan Miranda
7/26/22; 336 pages
Scribner/Marysue Rucci Books

The Last to Vanish by Megan Miranda is a very highly recommended excellent thriller. Miranda is one of my favorite authors and she delivers the goods again!

Abby (Abigail) Lovett arrived in Cutter's Pass, North Carolina, ten years ago and is now managing The Passage Inn. Cutter's Pass, an access point to the Appalachian trail, is known as the most dangerous town in North Carolina based on the several unsolved disappearances tied to the city. The disappearances include the Fraternity Four, a group of students in 1997; Alice Kelly in 2012; Farrah Jordan in 2019; and Landon West in 2022.

Landon West was a journalist who was investigating the disappearances before he became a statistic. Now four months later his brother, Trey, has arrived at the Inn and he has some questions. Abby, who often feels like an outsider, notices all the reactions Trey is getting while looking into his brother's disappearance, which causes her to start looking a bit closer into Landon's disappearance as well as that of the others.

Cutter's Pass may be a picturesque tourist destination but it is also the most dangerous town in North Carolina and that moniker helps draw some tourists. It also seems that it might be true, but Abby can't get any answers and has to search for them. Then she finds some incriminating evidence and must look closely at everyone she knows

The writing is exceptional in this suspenseful thriller and mystery. The narrative is told through five parts of the novel. Each carefully plotted part focuses on a disappearance, starting with the most recent. The tension and apprehension build slowly at first but then it begins to multiply, and accumulate, as Abby uncovers more information and begins to question everyone around her. How well does she know her neighbors and friends? The sense of menace and dread will begin to start immediately. There are several shocking twists I didn't see coming at all.

Abby is a great character who will immediately garner your trust and you will care about her. All the secondary characters are equally interesting, realistic, and bring different dimensions to the unique plot. Even the setting, the mountains, hiking trails, and town, bring something unique to the narrative.

Once you start reading, The Last to Vanish becomes un-put-downable and it exceeded all my expectations. Another winning novel by Megan Miranda!

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Scribner.

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