What’s it all about?:
Libby Hall never really wanted to be noticed. But after she saves the children in her care from a fire, she finds herself headline news. And horrified by the attention. It all reminds her of what happened nine years ago. The last time she saw her best friend alive.
Which is why the house swap is such a godsend. Libby and her husband Jamie exchange their flat in Bath for a beautiful, secluded house in Cornwall. It’s a chance to heal their marriage – to stop its secrets tearing them apart.
But this stylish Cornish home isn’t the getaway they’d hoped for. They make odd, even disturbing, discoveries in the house. It’s so isolated-yet Libby doesn’t feel entirely alone. As if she’s being watched.
Is Libby being paranoid? What is her husband hiding? And. As the secrets and lies come tumbling out, is the past about to catch up with them?
What did I think?:
First of all, a huge thank you to Sarah Harwood and the team at Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of this wonderful novel in return for an honest review after I had seen some glowing opinions of it on Twitter. Well, I am so glad I asked because Last Seen Alive was everything I could want from a thriller. Intrigue, shocks galore, an action-packed plot combined with fascinating characters made this novel such a delight to read. So much so in fact that as soon as I had finished, I immediately went and purchased the author’s previous two novels, The Sisters and Local Girl Missing – both of which I had seen around and been interested but hadn’t got round to getting yet. Rest assured I shall be making time for them as soon as is practically possible!
There are a number of different threads to this plot (which was one of the reasons why I loved it so much) but let me give you the main gist of the story. Libby Hall and her husband, Jamie have recently undergone a terrible loss in their lives but are determined not to let it affect or change their relationship in any way. When they are given an opportunity to do a house swap for a few days, giving up their flat in Bath and taking over another couple’s house in Cornwall, they jump at the chance. The house is stunning, the location picturesque and the couple seem to be finally putting their tragedy behind them. However, someone connected to the couple has other ideas. For Libby has huge secrets in her past, things Jamie is completely unaware of and if a certain person has their way and the past is revealed in its full horrific detail they just might not survive it with their marriage intact.
I was seriously not expecting how much I was going to enjoy this novel. At the beginning, I was curious for sure and definitely compelled to keep reading but it is only with the addition of more perspectives and a journey into the past that provide the real twists and turns in the narrative. I’m hesitant to say any more, you really have to read it for yourself to experience the excitement, chills and at times pure confusion which was the effect this novel had on me as a reader. I was actually reading this book on a bookish holiday to Oxford with my sister and fellow blogger, Chrissi Reads and she kept laughing at me as at points when I was reading, I kept making little noises and gasps – I was that invested in the story and the characters. Please believe me when I say that the word “cliffhanger,” is not even big enough or accurate enough to describe the immense thrills I had when reaching the end of certain chapters. Personally, I now just want to eat up everything Claire Douglas has written and will write in the future.
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):