Small towns always seem so nice and quaint—I know, I grew up in one—but sometimes, the more time you spend in one, the more you realize how some things just don’t seem right. This is exactly true for Littleport, the coastal town where Megan Miranda’s latest thriller, The Last House Guest, takes place.
I’ve read and loved both of Megan Miranda’s previous adult thrillers, and was ecstatic when I got my hands on an early copy of The Last House Guest. From the title and cover I assumed that it would be the perfect summer read, and after finishing it, am convinced it is. If you only read one book this summer, make it this one.
Why? I’m glad you asked.
The town of Littleport sits on the coast, and sees a large population increase during the summer due to tourists opening up their seasonal homes, and renting out bed and breakfasts, as well as other properties. The town has a notable split between year-round locals and summer visitors, but each group relies on the other: the locals need the influx of money, and the visitors want the hospitality and simple comforts.
Our main character, Avery, was born and raised in Littleport. After losing her parents and grandmother, she befriends a girl named Sadie Loman. Why does this matter? Well, the Loman family owns a substantial amount of property in Littleport. They spend their summers in their mansion overlooking the bluffs, and rent out all their other homes. Eventually, Avery becomes their property manager. It’s a pretty solid set-up, until something goes terribly wrong.
Don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler: the book begins by explaining that Sadie dies, quite suddenly, the night of a party at the end of the summer season. The book then flips forward a year, as Avery, Parker (Sadie’s brother), and others in the community are planning a one-year memorial of Sadie’s death. Avery, however, isn’t convinced that her friend died by an apparent suicide. From there the story continues to go back and forth, from present day to the night of Sadie’s death.
However, clues start to surface that show something more sinister might have happened a year ago. Avery isn’t buying the official police report, especially when creepy things start happening. Break-ins at rental properties, unexplained power outages, and mysteriously lit candles are reported in houses that the Loman family owns.
Is someone sending a message? Has the killer returned? Is there a ghost? You’ll have to read to find out!
I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thrillers (Megan Miranda is by far my favourite thriller author!), or anyone looking for a fast, summer-themed read. The twists in the plot will keep you hooked, and even though the ending is a bit abrupt, it’s still satisfying.
The Last House Guest will be available on June 18, 2019, and can be bought wherever books are sold. Thank you to the publisher for an electronic copy of this book via NetGalley.