Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Review: The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine

Kerry Hammond is here to give us her review of the second book by the writing duo known as Liv Constantine.

The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine was released on May 7, in Hardcover, by Harper. Liv Constantine is the pen name chosen by sisters Lynne and Valerie Constantine and this is the second book they’ve published using their combined names. The first, The Last Mrs. Parrish, was featured in a Drinks with Reads segment on Mystery Playground. You can read that post HERE.

The Last Time I Saw You centers around an affluent community in Maryland. Kate English is a wealthy heart surgeon whose mother, Lily, has been brutally murdered. The police are baffled and Kate is just trying to keep it together. She is surrounded by friends and family, including her father and her husband, Simon. But it’s Blaire Barrington’s appearance at Lily’s funeral that has Kate reeling. She and Blaire used to be the best of friends. They were inseparable throughout high school and into college; Lily even welcomed Blaire into the family and treated her like a second daughter.

Blaire and Kate had a falling out when Blaire disapproved of Kate’s marriage to Simon. Now, all these years later, after the loss of her mother, Kate welcomes Blaire back into her life. The women begin to recreate the bond they once had, something Simon is not at all pleased with. Blaire decides to help Kate figure out who killed Lily and why, but the closer they get to the truth, the more fragile Kate’s nerves become. When the killer begins to stalk her, she suspects everyone around her, finding it hard to decide who to trust.

I read The Last Mrs. Parrish and enjoyed it, so I was excited to see that the authors had another book in the works. I would categorize The Last Time I Saw You as a domestic thriller, a genre that has been quite popular of late. Kate’s grieving and history of anxiety make her an unreliable narrator, but Constantine manages to tell the story without the cliched alcohol and drug addiction that is so often a part of these stories. It was refreshing to see that  these elements don’t need to be present to make up an enjoyable read.

I was surprised to find out that the book was written by two authors. The sisters must be very in tune with each other’s writing because it is seamlessly written, without any awkward changes in voice. A great summer read.

This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review was fair and completely independent.

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