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The Last House Guest


The Last House Guest

There is no question about it: Sadie Loman is dead. What is not clear is if she was murdered or if she killed herself. Her sandals were discovered at the edge of the cliff under which she was found. Her best friend, Avery Greer, keeps searching for clues to unravel what really happened. This mystery is at the heart of Megan Miranda’s latest suspenseful novel.

THE LAST HOUSE GUEST is set in the resort town of Littleport, Maine. Those who rent houses for the summer and the year-round residents live in two different worlds --- one in the luxury of great wealth and the other in the lives of everyday workers who take care of the visitors in order to make a living. The town attracts the same people who rent their summer homes year after year, with a new crop coming every week or so.

"The level of suspense rises to astounding heights, all making for an outstanding summer read."

Avery, who grew up in Littleport, works for the very rich and powerful Grant Loman, Sadie’s father and the developer of the rental properties. Grant has purchased the houses from the town’s residents for, in some cases, a hefty sum and then converted them into rental properties. Avery has access to Grant’s files and discovers a large unexplained payout to her grandmother, $100,00 to be exact. The only conclusion she reaches is that the money is somehow related to the death of her parents in a one-car accident. But why would Grant feel the need to do this?

As Avery explores this mysterious monetary exchange, she also investigates her friend’s death. She doesn't believe that Sadie wrote the suicide note that was found after her body washed up at the foot of the cliff. She finds Sadie’s phone hidden away in a blanket trunk in one of the properties and surmises that something just doesn’t add up. These events, combined with a trip to talk to police officer Ben Collins just before a town-wide memorial is planned for Sadie, do nothing to allay Avery’s suspicions. The cop suggests that she give up her search and move on with her life, but this advice falls on deaf ears.

As the narrative unfolds even further, readers will follow Avery through all of her machinations. They will find themselves turning pages to see what happens next in this fast-moving thriller and will be treated to a surprise ending. All of the characters are finely honed; the intricacies of the relationships among them are portrayed in tense prose and a tide of red herrings. The level of suspense rises to astounding heights, all making for an outstanding summer read.

Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum on June 21, 2019

The Last House Guest
by Megan Miranda