Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Review: The Last Thing I Told You by Emily Arsenault


Title: The Last Thing I Told You
Author: Emily Arsenault
Published: July 2018, William Morrow Paperbacks
Format: ARC Paperback, 416 pages
Source: Publisher


Summary:
I hear myself whispering. Not again. Not again. Why did I ever come back here? Surely because of you. Because I thought of something I'd always meant to tell you. Because you were the only one I ever really wanted to tell it to.

Therapist Dr. Mark Fabian is dead, bludgeoned in his office. But that doesn't stop former patient Nadine Raines from talking to him -- in her head. Why did she come back to her hometown after so many years away? Everyone here thinks she's crazy. And she has to admit, they might have good reason to think so. She committed a shockingly violent act when she was sixteen and has never really been able to explain that dark impulse, even to Fabian. Now that Fabian's dead, why is she still trying?

Meanwhile, as Detective Henry Peacher investigates Fabian's death, he discovers that shortly before he died Fabian pulled the files of two former patients. One was of Nadine Raines, one of Henry's former high school classmates. Henry still remembers the disturbing attack on a teacher that marked Nadine as a deeply troubled teen. More shockingly, the other file was of Johnny Streeter who is now serving a life sentence for a mass shooting five years ago. The shooting devastated the town and everyone -- including Henry who is uncomfortable with the "hero" status the tragedy afforded him -- is ready to move on. But the appearance of his file brings up new questions.

Maybe there is a decades-old connection between Nadine and Streeter. And maybe that somehow explains what Nadine is doing in Fabian's office nearly twenty years after being his patient. Or how Fabian ended up dead two days after her return. Or why Nadine has fled town once again. But as Nadine and Henry head toward a confrontation, both will discover that the secrets of people's hearts are rarely simple and even in the hidden depths of a psychologist's files, rarely as they appear.



My thoughts: This has been the summer of psychological thrillers and has introduced me to some great new authors, to boot! I have never read anything by Emily Arsenault prior to picking this one up, but I will certainly be adding her name to my list to check out.

This book has a fantastic opening chapter - it quickly pulls you in and keeps you engaged all along. The story moves along and slowly builds up the tension and suspense all the way to the final chapter.

The story alternates between two viewpoints: Henry, the detective investigating the death of the therapist, and Nadine, who was a former patient of the therapist. I liked that it also goes back and forth in time, giving us snippets of Nadine's sessions with the therapist.  Both these characters are well-developed and flawed. They are realistically portrayed, giving us two very different, distinct characters. He was the stable to her unstableness, not that they were together, but it just evened out the narration if you will.

This story is tightly-woven and it is really not until the very end that the guilty party is finally revealed with quite the twist. There are plenty of misdirects and red-herrings given to us throughout that will have you thinking you have solved the case only to be foiled again and again. This was a great mystery that kept me on my toes from start to finish!


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1 comment

  1. I'm looking forward to reading this one soon. I listened to The Evening Spider by this author earlier this summer and also have read one that has 'Rose Notes' in the title. Can't remember right now. Liked both of them. Still have a few in her backlist to check out.

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