Quick Thoughts: THE LAST HOUSE GUEST by Megan Miranda

Publisher: Corvus
Release Date: May 2, 2019
Source: Borrowed from the Library
Rating: ★★★¼

Littleport, Maine is like two separate towns: a vacation paradise for wealthy holidaymakers and a simple harbour community for the residents who serve them. Friendships between locals and visitors are unheard of – but that’s just what happened with Avery Greer and Sadie Loman.

Each summer for a decade the girls are inseparable – until Sadie is found dead. When the police rule the death a suicide, Avery can’t help but feel there are those in the community, including a local detective and Sadie’s brother Parker, who blame her. Someone known more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name before the facts get twisted against her.

Sadie and Avery are unlikely best friends, the former a girl from a rich family who summers in Littleport, Maine, and the latter a lonely local girl with a tragic past. Avery’s world is upset once again when Sadie dies of an apparent suicide, though Avery has her doubts. A year later odd occurrences and new clues make Avery want to figure out what really happened the night Sadie died.

I was drawn in by the premise of this book, and coastal Maine is one of my favorite settings. While there were a few interesting surprises & twists, the characters and suspense felt a bit flat — nothing quite grabbed me. I liked & was curious about the mystery, though the pace was slowish. Excellent location! Borrowed from the library.

ALL THE MISSING GIRLS by Megan Miranda (Audiobook)

All the Missing Girls
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

ALL THE MISSING GIRLS shakes up the suspense genre with a unique way of telling the story: backward. At first, I wasn’t sure how this set up would work considering it’s a mystery, but in the end I have to say that it worked very well and added to my enjoyment of the book. I listened to this on audio, narrated by the talented Rebekkah Ross.

It begins with Nic (Nicolette) returning to her childhood home of Cooley Ridge because of her ailing father. Nic left Cooley Ridge ten years earlier, just after her best friend Corinne disappeared. Then suddenly, a decade later, another young woman goes missing – Annaleise, the girlfriend of Nic’s high school boyfriend, Tyler.

Could the two cases be related? Nic is frantic to find out the truth. The story is then told from Day 15 (after Nic’s arrival in Cooley Ridge) to Day 1. The details of the women’s disappearances are slowly revealed, as well as the major players in the mystery. Going backward, you’re never quite sure what’s already happened, what the characters already know, and who’s reliable or not. It was a genius way to add to the suspense. Sure, it’s more of a challenge to read a book this way, but well worth it. It all wrapped up with a completely surprising ending. 4.5 stars!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.