Monday, July 23, 2018

Review: The Last Thing I Told You by Emily Arsenault

The Last Thing I Told You
by Emily Arsenault

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 416
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  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.

Kritters Thoughts:  Told through multiple perspectives and weaving time and place, this mystery/thriller was interesting but missed the mark for me a bit.  

The main reason that this one didn't work for me was the book came to a climax and then fell very flat.  I was on Nadine's ride and ready for her story to really explode and it just kind of fizzled.  I wanted more for her and was very dissatisfied in her storyline.  

At the same time, I enjoyed the storyline that had Nadine and Johnny together in the past.  It was interesting to see them weave in and out of each other and wonder how they impacted each other.  

I also really liked Detective Henry Peacher.  I liked that he had obvious flaws and issues and wasn't anywhere near perfection.  There were times where he made me think of my husband as a detective and how each person has their past influence their jobs in positive and negative ways.

I read reviews after finishing the book and agreed with other reviewers when they said that there were some happenings in this book that could have been omitted and felt as though they junked up the story.  There were moments after reading where I reflected on the book and the parts and thought some could have been trimmed to make the story move a little faster and where all the pieces are completely connected.  

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from HarperCollins.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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