Title: Last Seen Alive
Author: Claire Douglas
Publisher: Penguin – Michael Joseph
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?
I really loved this tense, eerie story of a house-swap gone wrong. The characters are great to read about, with Libby herself seeming a reliable narrator but there are points in the story where I wondered if everything she was saying was true, and the same with her husband Jamie. Everyone seems to be hiding something, but does it have anything to do with the strange occurrences at the house in Cornwall?
The novel had me feeling a bit ‘creeped out’ at times – something I don’t often feel whilst reading books – and I could imagine being in their situation and how it might make me feel, especially if my partner thought I was being a little highly strung about it.
The tension builds as the story continues, and I don’t want to give too much away but there are some serious ‘Oh my god’ moments that I did NOT see coming – at all! It left me reeling and I finished the book feeling really impressed with the writing, the depth and intricacies of the storyline, and the surprises along the way!
Many thanks to Penguin (Michael Joseph) and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write and honest and unbiased review.