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Review: The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine

The Last Time I Saw You Review - Book Club Chat

Editorial note: I received a copy of The Last Time I Saw You in exchange for a review. 

The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine is an addicting tale about the aftermath of a high-society murder.

Whenever I read thrillers, I always try to play detective and solve the mystery. I look for clues and hints that will foreshadow the big reveal. Sometimes I’m completely off and shocked at the end. And other times, I figure it all out. With The Last Time I Saw You, there were some elements I predicted but let me tell you, there were many that I didn’t! It’s not just simply a whodunit; there’s much to unravel with this one.

The story begins with a prologue with a woman in grave danger: her house is on fire and there’s no one to help her. We don’t know who the woman is and what caused the fire. But we eventually will. After that, we meet Dr. Kate English, a wealthy woman who is grieving over the sudden and tragic loss of her mother who was found brutally murdered in her home. Heartbroken and distraught, Kate reaches out to her estranged best friend, Blaire Barrington, who rushes to her side for the funeral, where the years of distance between them are forgotten in a moment.

The evening of her mother’s funeral, Kate receives an anonymous text: You think you’re sad now, just wait. By the time I’m finished with you, you’ll wish you had been buried today. More than ever, Kate needs her old friend’s help. While Blaire was once looked down upon by her peers, she’s now the coauthor of a successful mystery series. She considered herself part of Kate’s family so she also feels like she’s lost a mother. She taps into her professional expertise to try and help solve the murder. The murderer could be anyone—friend, neighbor, loved one. But whoever it is, it’s clear that Kate is next on their list. . .

Alternating perspectives

The chapters alternate between the perspectives of Kate and Blaire. We witness Kate’s spiral toward paranoia and fear while Blaire is determined to find out who the murderer is—and she has her suspicions. We also learn about their friendship and what broke them apart for so long. While Kate grew up in a life of privilege and was very much loved; Blaire’s mother left the family when she was a child and when her dad remarried, Blaire was somewhat pushed to the side. She was eventually sent to an elite boarding school where Kate and Blaire will become as close as sisters. However, years later when Kate is about to marry Simon, Blaire voices her disapproval of him resulting in an argument that leaves the two estranged. Until Kate’s mother passes.

I thought the story of the friendship was strong and compelling. And there’s more to the story than meets the eye when it comes the two of them. Prior to their huge fight, they both experienced a tragedy that especially changed Kate for good. But once again reunited, the two quickly establish their bond, which Simon doesn’t approve of at all.

As much as this is a mystery and such, it’s also a study about the complexities of friendship. And of hiding secrets from those closest to you.

There’s plenty of twists and turns in this stylish and clever thriller. Definitely worth your time!