The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
Publishing Date: 20th June 2019
Source: Received from the publisher via Pigeon Hole, thank you!
Number of pages: 352
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Her best friend is dead.
Now everyone thinks she’s a killer.
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 knows more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name before she’s branded a killer.
Avery’s and Sadie’s friendship seems impossible to be real: Avery comes from one of middle class families living in the resort town of Littleport in Maine, while Sadie is one of “the Lomans'”, who basically own everything in Littleport and are being treated like royals. Their relationship stayed strong until one day, during the Plus – One Party, Sadie has been found dead. The police believe that she has committed suicide, but Avery can’t believe that her carefree, strong – willed and confident best friend could do such a thing. A year later, Avery starts to ask more questions, to dig more into Sadie’s death and she begins to uncover secrets that someone doesn’t want to see the light of the day. Is Avery’s life in danger as well?
I must admit, I’ve heard brilliant things about Megan Miranda, though haven’t been lucky enough to read her previous books, so when the opportunity to read “The Last House Guest” came my way, I didn’t hesitate. I was hoping for a mind – blowing read and I am really, really sad to tell you that this book didn’t work for me. I can’t even blame reading it in staves on Pigeon Hole this time, because I found myself putting the book down somewhere during reading – it simply wasn’t this what I was expecting. The book started well, with something really bad happening and so we were thrown into the heart of the story, and now it was all in the hands of execution. The more pages I turned, the more my interest seemed to leave me.
The story felt flat and repetitive, there wasn’t anything significant, shocking, surprising, the characters were uninspired and I had a feeling that author’s heart wasn’t in her writing. There was no tension in the mystery and coming back to the characters, well, I’ve missed qualities in them that make the characters special and interesting and let’s be honest, I simply didn’t care about them and what can happen to them, I didn’t buy the whole poor but reformed bad girl Avery.
The part I liked most was the setting, a very picturesque town along the coast of Maine, and the scenic beauty of the town, that is not only a fishing/boating place to live for the middle class but also a holiday resort for the other half, was beautifully captured and brought vividly to life.
So I am extremely sad to say that I needed much more from this book. It simply lacked in tension and suspense, relatable characters and depth. The idea was there but it somehow felt incomplete, as if the potential hasn’t been made use of. The quite few and surprising reveals at the end were not bad but they simply came too late to save the book for me. But I am still looking forward to reading the author’s previous and future novels.