A writing team composed of two sisters, Liv Constantine, burst onto the crime fiction landscape with their debut novel, The Last Mrs. Parrish – garnering critical acclaim, a loyal following among fellow authors, and most recently, a development deal with Amazon. Naturally, expectations are high for their second stand-alone, The Last Time I Saw You. The good news is that it is at least as good as their debut, managing to capitalize on what made the first book work so well, while ironing out the few bumps inherent in most debuts.
The Last Time I Saw You unfolds against the backdrop of Baltimore’s glamorous high society. This elusive world is brought to life as readers get to know the characters who populate it – those that were born to it, those that managed to negotiate their way in, and those for whom it will always remain a distant aspiration.
The last person Kate English expected to see at her mother’s funeral was her estranged college friend, Blaire Barrington. And yet, somehow, Lily’s murder makes those petty squabbles of yesteryear seem ever so insignificant. And Kate really could use a shoulder to cry on. To say that Kate’s husband, Simon, and Blaire have a challenging history would be putting it mildly, but he senses that Kate needs the support of her old friend during this difficult time. Even more so once the letters threatening Kate and other members of her family start to turn up randomly wherever Kate looks.
Blaire, now a celebrated author of mystery novels, feels bad that she and Kate were never able to resolve their problems and immediately wants to investigate these mysterious threats to these people she once thought of as family. When news that Lily might have requested a change to her last will and testament just days before her death is revealed, Blaire must convince Kate that the true danger may lie closer than she ever suspected.
Liv Constantine uses the viewpoints of these two very different women to increase the tension while expanding the pool of suspects. By it’s very nature and definition, psychological suspense relies on the inner workings of the mind and when readers doubt the sanity of those telling the tale, the stakes are raised. Who is manipulating whom? This is a novel filled with deceptions on top of secrets buried under lies in a precariously-constructed plot that grows ever more addictive as readers near the satisfying conclusion.
Sure to please Liv Constantine’s current fans, The Last Time I Saw You will also bring new readers to this duo’s fold. They have tackled marriage and friendship, so there is no telling what the focus of their next novel will be.
Disclaimer: A print galley of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.