Book Review Of “The Last Thing I Told You” By Emily Arsenault @WmMorrowBooks

From the acclaimed author of The Evening Spider and The Broken Teaglass comes this psychological thriller about the murder of a psychologist in a quiet New England town and his former patient whose unreliable thread will keep readers guessing until the shocking end.

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. (From Goodreads)

Thank you to William Morrow Books #Partner for gifting me this copy. All opinions are my own.

I rate this book a 3 out of 5 Stars.

This book started at a blazing speed for me, I blew through the first 100 pages the first night I picked it up, but sadly it slowed down for me quite a bit. This is a very long book, and there is a lot of info dump and backstory. It almost feels like this was two separate books mashed together. I think just a book focused on Nadine, and what she did to her teacher and why, would have been an amazing story on its own. However, the Author added an extra layer into this book, and a whole extra plot, granted she did tie it up nicely at the end, and brought the story to a close.  I appreciate the touch on the stigma that is placed on mental health, and I appreciate mental health being the focus of this book. I wanted clarification, on a few things, I do not want to be too specific on what, but if you’ve read this book, you probably know what I am talking about.

Now, I’d like to point out what I did like. I liked the character development, it does kind of read like a character study, Also Nadine’s chapters were written in a way like she was talking to Fabian (The Therapist) like she was telling him her story, and Henry’s chapters were told in third person, so it made for an interesting read. I think this would be the perfect book for someone who wants to start getting into the thriller genre, but has an aversion to psychological and domestic thrillers. This one comes across more soft, and more so like a police procedural/mystery. Nothing overly graphic or disturbing. So I think it’s a good beginner book.

Overall, this was not a favorite for me, but I do appreciate the good qualities of this book. I do believe a lot of readers will enjoy this one. The cover is very pretty, so if “Cover Buys” are your thing, you’re going to want this one!

If you’ve read it, what are your thoughts? Share in the comments so we can chat!

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