The Last House Guest

The Last House Guest

by Megan Miranda

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Overview

REESE’S BOOK CLUB x HELLO SUNSHINE AUGUST 2019 PICK!

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Once again, Megan Miranda has crafted the perfect summer thriller. The Last House Guest is twisty and tense, with a pace that made my heart race. An edge-of-your-seat, up-all-night read.” —Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Time I Lied

“Dizzying plot twists and multiple surprise endings are this author's stock in trade, but she warms them up by establishing the close friendship between Sadie Loman...and Avery Greer...And, oh boy, does she ever know how to write a twisty-turny ending (or two, or more).” —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

“No one can be trusted in the latest chilling thriller from master of suspense, Megan Miranda. The Last House Guest is a lightning-fast mystery, full of menace and unexpected twists and turns that will have readers on the edge of their seats. A riveting read!” —Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl

Littleport, Maine, has always felt like two separate towns: an ideal vacation enclave for the wealthy, whose summer homes line the coastline; and a simple harbor community for the year-round residents whose livelihoods rely on service to the visitors.

Typically, fierce friendships never develop between a local and a summer girl—but that’s just what happens with visitor Sadie Loman and Littleport resident Avery Greer. Each summer for almost a decade, the girls are inseparable—until Sadie is found dead. While the police rule the death a suicide, Avery can’t help but feel there are those in the community, including a local detective and Sadie’s brother, Parker, who blame her. Someone knows more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name, before the facts get twisted against her.

Another thrilling novel from the bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger, Megan Miranda’s The Last House Guest is a smart, twisty read with a strong female protagonist determined to make her own way in the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501165399
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 06/18/2019
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 641
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Megan Miranda is the New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing GirlsThe Perfect Stranger, and The Last House Guest, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick. She has also written several books for young adults, including Come Find MeFragments of the Lost, and The Safest Lies. She grew up in New Jersey, graduated from MIT, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children. Follow @MeganLMiranda on Twitter and Instagram, or visit MeganMiranda.com.

Read an Excerpt

The Last House Guest


  • There was a storm offshore at dusk. I could see it coming in the shelf of darker clouds looming near the horizon. Feel it in the wind blowing in from the north, colder than the evening air. I hadn’t heard anything in the forecast, but that meant nothing for a summer night in Littleport.

    I stepped back from the bluffs, imagined Sadie standing here instead, as I often did. Her blue dress trailing behind her in the wind, her blond hair blowing across her face, her eyes drifting shut. Her toes curled on the edge, a slow shift in weight. The moment—the fulcrum on which her life balanced.

    I often imagined the last thing she was writing to me, standing on the edge: There are things even you don’t know.

    I can’t do this anymore.

    Remember me.

    But in the end, the silence was perfectly, tragically Sadie Loman, leaving everyone wanting more.

    THE LOMANS’ SPRAWLING ESTATE had once felt like home, warm and comforting—the stone base, the blue-gray clapboard siding, doors and glass panes trimmed in white, and every window lit up on summer nights, like the house was alive. Reduced now to a dark and hollow shell.

    In the winter, it had been easier to pretend: handling the maintenance of the properties around town, coordinating the future bookings, overseeing the new construction. I was accustomed to the stillness of the off-season, the lingering quiet. But the summer bustle, the visitors, the way I was always on call, smile in place, voice accommodating—the house was a stark contrast. An absence you could feel; ghosts in the corner of your vision.

    Now each evening I’d walk by on my way to the guest cottage and catch sight of something that made me look twice—a blur of movement. Thinking for an awful, beautiful moment: Sadie. But the only thing I ever saw in the darkened windows was my distorted reflection watching back. My own personal haunting.

    IN THE DAYS AFTER Sadie’s death, I remained on the outskirts, coming only when summoned, speaking only when called upon. Everything mattered, and nothing did.

    I gave my stilted statement about that night to the two men who knocked on my door the next morning. The detective in charge was the same man who’d found me on the cliffs the night before. His name was Detective Collins, and every pointed question came from him. He wanted to know when I’d last seen Sadie (here in the guesthouse, around noon), whether she’d told me her plans for that night (she hadn’t), how she’d been acting that day (like Sadie).

    But my answers lagged unnaturally behind, as if some connection had been severed. I could hear myself from a remove as the interview was happening.

    You, Luciana, and Parker each arrived at the party separately. How did that go again?

    I was there first. Luciana arrived next. Parker arrived last.

    Here, a pause. And Connor Harlow? We heard he was at the party.

    A nod. A gap. Connor was there, too.

    I told them about the message, showed them my phone, promised she’d been writing to me when all of us were already at the party together. How many drinks had you had by then? Detective Collins had asked. And I’d said two, meaning three.

    He tore a sheet of lined paper off his notepad, wrote out a list of our names, asked me to fill in the arrival times as well as I could. I estimated Luce’s arrival based on the time I’d called Sadie and Parker’s on the time I’d sent the text, asking where she was.

    Avery Greer—6:40 p.m.

    Luciana Suarez—8 p.m.

    Parker Loman—8:30 p.m.

    Connor Harlow—

    I hadn’t seen Connor come in, and I’d frowned at the page. Connor got there before Parker. I’m not sure when, I’d said.

    Detective Collins had twisted the paper back his way, eyes skimming the list. That’s a big gap between you and the next person.

    I told him I was setting up. Told him the first-timers always came early.

    The investigation that followed was tight and to the point, which the Lomans must’ve appreciated, all things considered. The house had remained dark, since Grant and Bianca were called back in the middle of the night with word of Sadie’s death. When the cleaning company and the pool van showed up before Memorial Day—dusting out the cobwebs, shining the counters, opening up the pool—I’d watched from behind the curtains of the guesthouse, thinking maybe the Lomans would be back. They were not ones to linger in sentimentality or uncertainty. They were the type who favored commitment and facts, regardless of which way they bent.

    So, the facts, then: There were no signs of foul play. No drugs or alcohol in her system. No inconsistencies in the interviews. It seemed no one had motive to hurt Sadie Loman, nor opportunity. Anyone who had a relationship with her was accounted for at the Plus-One party.

    It was hard to simultaneously grieve and reconstruct your own alibi. It was tempting to accuse someone else just to give yourself some space. It would have been so easy. But none of us had done it, and I thought that was a testament to Sadie herself. That none of us could imagine wanting her dead.

    The official cause of death was drowning, but there would have been no surviving the fall—the rocks and the current, the force and the cold.

    She could’ve slipped, I told the detectives. This, I had wanted so badly to believe. That there wasn’t something I had missed. Some sign that I could trace back, some moment when I could’ve intervened. But it was the shoes at first that made them think otherwise. A deliberate move. The gold sandals left behind. Like she’d stopped to unstrap them on her way to the edge. A moment of pause before she continued on.

    I fought it even as her family accepted it. Sadie was my anchor, my coconspirator, the force that had grounded my life for so many years. If I imagined her jumping, then everything tilted precariously, just as it had that night.

    But later that evening, after the interviews, they found the note inside the kitchen garbage can. Possibly swept up in the mess of an emptied pantry, everything laid out on the counters—the result of Luce trying to clean, to bring some order, before Grant and Bianca arrived in the middle of the night. But knowing Sadie, more likely a draft that she had decided against; a commitment to the fact that no words would do.

    I hadn’t seen the warnings. The cause and effect that had brought Sadie to this moment. But I knew how fast a spiral could grab you, how far the surface could seem from below.

    I knew exactly what Littleport could do.

    I WAS ALONE UP here now.

    Still living and working out of the guesthouse.

    The inside of the one-bedroom apartment was decorated like a dollhouse version of the main residence, with the same wainscoting and dark wood floors. But the walls were tighter, the ceilings lower, the windows thin enough that you could hear the wind rattle the edges at night. The ocean view was partially obstructed through the trees.

    I sat at the desk in the living room, finishing up the last of the paperwork before bed. There had been damage at one of the rentals earlier in the week—a broken flat-screen television, the surface fractured, the whole thing hanging crookedly from the wall; and one shattered ceramic vase below the television. The renters swore it hadn’t been them, claiming an intruder while they were out, though nothing was taken, and there was no sign of forced entry.

    I’d driven straight over after they called in a panic. Surveyed the scene as they pointed out the damage with trembling hands. A narrow weatherworn house we called Trail’s End located on the fringes of downtown, its faded siding and overgrown path to the coastline only adding to its charm. Now the renters pointed to the unlit path and the distance from the neighbors as a lapse in security, the potential for danger.

    They promised they had locked up before leaving for the day. They were sure, implying that the fault lay on my end somehow. The way they kept mentioning this fact—We locked the doors, we always do—was enough to keep me from believing them. Or wonder whether they were trying to cover up for something more sinister: an argument, someone throwing the vase, end over end, until it connected with the television.

    Well, damage done, either way. It wasn’t enough for the company to pursue, especially from a family who’d been coming for the entire month of August the last three years, despite what might be happening within those walls.

    I stretched out on the couch, reaching for the remote before heading to my bedroom. I’d gotten into the habit of falling asleep with the television on. The low hum of voices in the next room, beneath the sound of the gently rattling window frame.

    I’ve known enough of loss to accept that grief may lose its sharpness with time, but memory only tightens. Moments replay.

    In the silence, all I could hear was Sadie’s voice, calling my name as she walked inside. The last time I saw her.

    Sometimes, in my memory, she lingers there, in the entrance of my room, like she’s waiting for me to notice something.

    I WOKE TO SILENCE.

    It was still dark, but the noise from the television was gone. Nothing but the window rattling as a strong gust blew in from somewhere offshore. I flipped the switch on the bedside table lamp, but nothing happened. The electricity was out again.

    It’d been happening more often, always at night, always when I’d have to find a flashlight to reset the fuse in the box beside the garage. It was a concession for living in a town like this. Exclusive, yes. But too far from the city and too susceptible to the surroundings. The infrastructure out on the coast hadn’t caught up to the demand, money or not. Most places had backup generators for the winter, just in case; a good storm could knock us off the grid for a week or more. Summer blackouts were the other extreme—too many people, the population tripled in size. Everything stretched too thin. Grid overload.

    But as far as I could tell, this was localized—just me. Something an electrician should take a look at, probably.

    The sound of the wind outside almost made me decide to wait it out until morning, except the charge on my cell was in the red, and I didn’t like the idea of being up here alone, with no power and no phone.

    The night was colder than I’d expected as I raced down the path toward the garage, flashlight in hand. The metal door to the fuse box was cold to the touch and slightly ajar. There was a keyhole at the base, but I’d wedged it open myself earlier this month, the first time this happened.

    I flipped the master switch and slammed the metal door closed again, making sure it latched this time.

    Another gust of wind blew as I turned back, and the sound of a door slamming shut cut through the night, made me freeze. The noise had come from the main residence, on the other side of the garage.

    I cycled through the possibilities: a pool chair caught in the wind, a piece of debris colliding with the side of the house. Or something I forgot to secure myself—the back doors left unlatched, maybe.

    The lockbox for the spare key was hidden just under the stone overhang of the porch, and my fingers fumbled the code in the dark twice before the lid popped open.

    Another gust of wind, another noise, closer this time—the hinges of a gate echoing through the night as I jogged up the steps of the front porch.

    I knew something was wrong as soon as I slid the key into the lock—it was already unlocked. The door creaked open, and my hand brushed the wall just inside, connecting with the foyer switch, illuminating the empty space from the chandelier above.

    It was then that I saw it. Through the foyer, down the hall at the back of the house. The shadow of a man standing before the glass patio doors, silhouetted in the moonlight.

    “Oh,” I said, taking a step back just as he took a step closer.

    I would know the shape of him anywhere. Parker Loman.

  • Customer Reviews

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    The Last House Guest 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
    Anonymous 6 months ago
    I really enjoyed the depth of details and the ending was quite a twist.
    Anonymous 5 months ago
    which%2C+to+me%2C+is+the+highest+compliment+to+an+author.+It+gave+the+reader+a+great+sense+of+both+atmosphere+and+familiarity+of+the+characters.+I+loved+it...didn%27t+see+who+%22did+it%22%2C+until+it+was+the+end%21+Will+certainly+add+Ms.+Miranda+to+my+favorite+author+list.+I+bet+it+becomes+a+movie.
    Anonymous 8 months ago
    it+felt+like+it+went+on++forever.++I+plodded+through+and+was+relieved+when+it+was+over+.+
    JillJemmett 7 days ago
    This is a great new thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat until the end. I was so excited to read this book because I love Megan Miranda’s thrillers. Like in All the Missing Girls, this story flashes back to revisit a mysterious death of a young girl in town. Sadie’s death was ruled a suicide, but her friend Avery never felt comfortable with that conclusion. While searching for answers about Sadie’s death, Avery learned more about herself and her family. I couldn’t figure out the solution until the end. I love it when a book surprises me, and this one definitely did. There isn’t really enough evidence given until the end to figure it out, because the reader discovers the clues along with Avery. I loved the way that the new clues she found pointed at Avery as being Sadie’s murderer. It really kept up the suspense! Though she would be an unlikely suspect, since she’s the narrator, I couldn’t rule her out with all the evidence pointing to her. I loved this thriller! Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
    Anonymous 16 days ago
    Boring
    Anonymous 20 days ago
    I couldn't put this book down! I loved the plot and twists, never really able to guess the who or why, which made for such a fantastic ending.
    Philomath_in_Phila 7 months ago
    ‏I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review. I discovered Megan Miranda a few months after her 2016 novel, All the Missing Girls, was published. Her latest, The Last House Guest, is the 3rd novel I read by her. This slow-burn thriller is a story of a small, summer vacation town with a definite line dividing the haves and have nots with one exception, Avery Greer. Sadie Loman who only has to say who her family is and doors are opened and police look the other way befriends Avery. For a decade, they are inseparable each summer - until Sadie is found dead. While it took a long time for me to get into the book, I am glad I kept reading. Told from Avery's point of view, using flashbacks, we are shown the summer of and the summer following Sadie's death. Miranda is known for creating a small town with a lot of secrets. The Last House Guest is no exception. The characters are not what they first seem to be. She peppers her story with small details that can help you figure out secrets and the big reveal right before the characters. According to Goodreads, we can expect to see more from Megan Miranda. I cannot wait! This 200-word review was published on Philomathinphila.com on 7/22/19.
    liccyh 7 months ago
    This is a tale of a seaside paradise's dark side from Megan Miranda, the author of All the MIssing Girls. After her parents' death, Avery befriends Sadie. Sadie's family visit Avery's little coastal hometown of Littleport, Maine every year, where residents and holidaymakers worlds' rarely meet; the girls, though, become best friends. When Sadie's body is found at the bottom of cliff, Avery can't believe that she killed herself. Will she ever discover the truth and remove herself from suspicion? The setting is beautifully evoked, and the girls' friendship feels completely convincing. With some lovely humorous touches, this is one to take on the plane or sit with by the pool. It's definitely one you'll struggle to put down!!
    Twink 8 months ago
    Megan Miranda's latest novel is The Last House Guest. Avery is a townie, living the tourist town of Littleport, Main. Sadie's wealthy father owns many of the local rental properties. When their paths cross, the girls form an unlikely friendship. One that continues for a decade - until Sadie is found dead. It's ruled a suicide, but Avery has trouble believing that - as does a local cop. She feels like they're looking at her.... Miranda's timeline flips from present to past. We see the friendship from Avery's viewpoint. And as she seems to try to convince herself that they were friends and equals, the reader will see cracks and inconsistencies in Avery's memories. I looked forward to those cracks widening as the search for answers progressed. They did, but slowly. The present introduces us to Sadie's family. I found them cliched - the troubled brother, the parents that never saw Avery as one of them, but only as the employee she is. I thought I should be on Avery's side, but found her unlikable and difficult to connect with. Avery's seemingly selective memories are interesting as they do cast doubt on the suicide theory, as well as the reality of their relationship. And Miranda does give us a nice twist at the end. But.....there was something missing for me. The pacing perhaps - I found it to be a slow burner. Maybe I just went in expecting more as I loved her first two books. All The Missing Girls was a standout. That said, I will be curious to see what Miranda pens next. I did choose to listen to The Last House Guest. The reader was Rebekkah Ross. She did a great job interpreting the story line. Her voice is very pleasant to listen to. It has movement, rising and falling. The reading is well paced. She enunciates well and the words are sharp and clear. I did picture Avery with this voice and it suited.
    whatsbetterthanbooks 9 months ago
    3.5 Stars! Tempestuous, relentless, and tight. In this latest novel by Miranda, The Last House Guest, she transports us to the small coastal town of Littleport, Maine where secrets and gossip are rampant, class tensions run high, and the reopening of the investigation into the recent death of one of the wealthy seasonal residents will uncover more suspects and more skeletons than anyone could have imagined. The prose is tense and sharp. The characters are scarred, deceptive, and conflicted. And the plot, using a past/present, back-and-forth style is a suspenseful thrill ride filled with friendship, familial drama, collusion, manipulation, lies, scandals, revelations, and murder. Overall, The Last House Guest is a dark, twisty, compelling page-turner that delves into the intricate and dynamic bonds between friends and has just the right pace, mood, atmosphere, and surprises to keep you guessing until the very last page.
    Anonymous 9 months ago
    I+am+having+a+hard+time+getting+into+this+book%2C+I+will+stay+with+it+and+hope+it+gets+better.
    Anonymous 9 months ago
    Avery lives year-round in the beach town of Littleton, Maine and works for Grant Loman’s property management company. Avery manages all of the rental properties for Mr. Loman. After her parents passed away, she lived with her grandmother until she too passed away. Grant Loman bought her grandmother’s house and offered for her to live in the guesthouse of their family’s large home lovingly called the Breakers by the locals. Avery had met Sadie Loman some time back and they became good friends. Sadie, her brother, Parker, and parents would spend the summer there. Last year, at the end of the season, the locals all had what they call the Plus-One party where they get together, drink and have a good time. Avery had been waiting for Sadie to arrive and wondered why she hadn’t. Her brother, Parker, joined the group but no Sadie. Then two policemen came to the door asking for Parker. It appears that Sadie either fell or jumped off a cliff into the water and drowned. Avery was heartbroken at losing her friend. A year later, Parker is back in town to head up a memorial dedication to Sadie and has asked Avery to help with some of the planning. As various people come together again, Avery is intent to try and solve the mystery of Sadie’s death. I kept turning pages reading the same thing over and over: a repeat of the night of Sadie’s death and today’s events as Avery plays sleuth. This book pulled the last few things together at the very end of the story. Up until that time, it was boring repetition that didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I can honestly say that I do not recommend this book at all. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
    MeganLeprich 9 months ago
    Thank you so much to Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book for my review. I was pretty disappointed in this book as I’ve read everything else by Megan Miranda and enjoyed each of them immensely. This book fell a little short for me, I had a hard time getting into it. There was no “wow” factor for me and I honestly had to force myself to read the whole thing. It lacked suspense, drama, and thrills which is what I’ve come to expect from Megan Miranda and I feel like this storyline really could have used it. The foundation was there and you almost expect great thrills and suspense after reading the synopsis but it definitely fell short. I also really couldn’t connect with the character Avery. This book was told from her past point of view and the present and I just found myself not really liking her. I didn’t care enough to find out what really happened in her past and how that was greatly affecting her future. Overall not a terrible book but not what I was expecting.
    book_junkee 9 months ago
    Well, this was disappointing. I don’t think it’s a secret that I was {am} obsessed with All the Missing Girls, so now whenever I see that Megan has a new thriller coming out, I expect it to be as brilliant as that one. I didn’t really connect to Avery. Or anyone in this story. If not for the constant references to graduating college, I would have assumed these characters were all 16-17 years old. Additionally, there were loads of characters who graced the page for a brief second and left me wondering why they were there Plot wise, it was meh. The constant flip flop of time didn’t add the layers I expected it to and I found myself skimming most of it. When I finally got to the big reveal, instead of being shocked, I was mostly glad it was over. Overall, something kept me ready, but I think it was my fondness from ATMG more than anything. **Huge thanks to Simon & Schuster for providing the arc free of charge**
    Amanda_Dickens 9 months ago
    As far as thriller go this was okay. Middle of the road. Not bad by any means but nothing to call you reading buddies up to talk about. We follow multiple times lines which was a little confusing at times. I really liked the atmosphere of the coast of Maine. I've never read a book about managing properties for vacationers. I can imagine this as the scene of several thrillers. The character development was mostly factual developments and finding out clues about what happened. The writing style was a little annoying at times as it would repeat facts. I actually thought that my e-read messed up and jumped back because it felt like I already read this scene. I don't think this is plausible in reality for several spoilers reasons. I was intrigued at the beginning and the end and lost interest in the middle as the plot began to drag. Overall, I would recommend this book. I also think this could be a great book to introduce yourself into the thriller genre.
    Morgan_S 9 months ago
    Set in a small town in Maine, this book revolves around the suicide of a girl (Sadie) who visited the town every summer with her family, and her best local friend Avery. But it's been a year since Sadie's death, and as new evidence comes to light, Avery is no longer convinced it was suicide. Cue the race against the clock to find out what really happened that night before the police focus on her as the primary suspect. I liked the interspersion of the Plus One Party, showing what happened the year before in sections mixed in with the present narrative. But what was confusing was when Avery reminisced without the reader knowing when the events she is recalling happened. It sometimes made for a disorienting timeline that I couldn't quite grasp. Furthermore, I wasn't attached to any of the characters. That didn't keep me from compulsively reading to find out what was going to happen next, but I kept hoping for a connection between Connor and Avery that never came to fruition. It seemed like Avery hadn't kept up with any relationships besides Sadie since meeting her for the first time. There was another plot point going on with the rental properties that upon finding out the truth felt contrived and unnatural. I didn't really care because we hadn't learned much about the character up to that point. If you loved All the Missing Girls, then you'll like this; there were definitely some twists I was not expecting. All the Missing Girls will remain my favorite of the two, however.
    Anonymous 9 months ago
    I liked it but the ending wasn't very satisfying
    CLynnT 10 months ago
    I’m a huge fan of Megan Miranda. Her new release, “The Last House Guest”, continues to maintain her legacy as an artist who, with a pen instead of a paintbrush, can paint a landscape you will walk into and become a part of. This landscape is the picturesque coast of Maine where local girl Avery runs a rental agency for one of the richest property investors in town, the Loman family. The Lomans have a soft spot for Avery; she lost her parents then her grandmother, so the Lomans provide her with a cottage and income in return for keeping their rentals up to par and ready for each new tenant during the busy summer season. Ten years earlier, Sadie Loman seeks Avery out and they become instant best friends, spending their summers together whenever Sadie and her family stay at their beautiful beach house perched precariously on the cliffs with the best view in town. They grow up together, sharing adventures, laughs, secrets, clothes, everything important in a young teen’s life. Then out of the blue Sadie commits suicide by jumping off the cliff at the family home. A cloud hangs over Avery’s head. The general consensus is that Avery is a suspect. One year after Sadie’s suicide, the town holds a memorial, which opens old wounds and heightens the suspicion towards Avery. Determined to prove that her friend did not kill herself, Avery begins asking too many questions, opening too many closed doors and irritating the powerful people of the town who really want her to just be quiet and take the blame. Avery ‘s character is so real, you can’t help but struggle with her as she faces ridicule for being poor and hostility for being a suspect. You’re going to keep reading for the simple fact that you can’t leave her out there on her own. (I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks so much to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for making it available.)
    dawnphoenix 10 months ago
    I have just finished this book and thought that it was fantastic! The story is centred around Avery, a girl who lost her parents and her Grandmother in a horrific accident, Avery goes off the rails and makes a great deal of trouble for herself and also for others around her, that is until she meets Sadie who is the complete opposite of Avery, Sadie lives in a huge house and is very wealthy, she appears to have everything she wants. The girls form a friendship very quickly which is quite intense, Avery shares her life stories with Sadie and trusts her completely, Avery believes that Sadie feels the same about her but when suddenly and completely out of the blue Sadie commits suicide, Avery decides that there is much more to the Loman family than meets the eye.
    diane92345 10 months ago
    The Last House Guest is a deliciously fun guilty pleasure of a murder mystery. Avery and Sadie are summer best friends. Avery is a year-round resident of Littleport Maine in charge of maintaining the summer rentals owned by Sadie’s family. Sadie has spent many summers in Littleport on vacation with her family. It’s 2017. Before Sadie returns to her permanent home with her family, she usually attends the Plus-One, or summer’s end, Party. But not this year. This year Sadie never arrives after falling from a seaside cliff and drowning. The police rule the death a suicide. But is it? Could it have been murder? The suspects are numerous. Did her brother, Parker, or his girlfriend, Luce, have sufficient reason to kill Sadie? How about Avery or her ex-boyfriend, Connor? All have the party and each other as an alibi. But could one have snuck out and killed Sadie? The Last House Guest is an enjoyable beach read. Setting it on the Maine coast is innovative for a thriller. Unfortunately, neither the characters or the plot made it stand out from its crowded genre. It is an amusing, but soon forgotten, book. 3 stars. Thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
    Rhonda-Runner1 10 months ago
    I was disappointed in this book. It was a slow starter for me and then the story line fell flat as did the characters. Bad girl Avery Greer turned good girl was best friends with wealthy Sadie Loman. Sadie was found dead at the bottom of a cliff and her death was ruled a suicide. A year later, Avery decides to try and find out what really happened to her best friend. The story is told back and forth from the night of the Plus One Party when Sadie died to present day a year later which at times seemed to jump around a lot. Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
    mzglorybe 10 months ago
    Release date June 18, 2019 Simon & Schuster ARC provided by NetGalley Characters: Protagonist: Avery Greer lives in the guest house - manages properties for the Loman’s Sadie Loman - victim and her best friend Connor Harlow - friend Parker Loman - Sadie’s brother Luce Suárez- Parker’s girlfriend Detective Collins Grant & Bianca Loman- wealthy parents of Sadie & Parker A strange cast of characters. Sadie is found dead at a cliff by the seaside. Suicide? Accident? Murder? Avery sets out to find the truth and uncovers more than she bargained for. Personally, I didn't find any of the characters very relatable. It was difficult for me to care about any of them one way or the other with the exception of the detective trying to figure it all out, and then he's not developed well enough either. I expected more from Miranda as I've read two of her works which I liked, but this didn’t make par for me. For one thing, too many characters, some not necessary to the plot line. Also it took too long to get going and there was too much jumping around in timelines. I did like the twist at the end, and it brought everything to a satisfactory conclusion. I'm giving this a 3-star rating that I think most of Miranda’s fans may like better than I did. My thanks for the advance e-galley and the opportunity to voice my opinion.
    Reader4102 10 months ago
    Like many other coastal towns, Littleport, Maine is two separate towns. One is the busy destination of vacationers on their yearly sojourn to someplace other than their own hometowns. The second town is more laid back, more of a community of people who spend their summers catering to visitors and their winters recuperating from the summers. There are seldom friendships between the townspeople and the people who invade the town during the summer. But just such a friendship developed between Avery Greer, a resident of Littleport and Sadie Loman, an annual visitor. Their friendship lasted for a decade until Sadie is found dead on the beach. Sadie’s death is ruled a suicide. Avery believes that some of the locals and Sadie’s brother blame her for Sadie’s death. Sadie makes it her mission to clear her name before suppositions become set in concrete as truths. The story is told in the first person by Avery so the reader may not get a feel for the other characters because the author didn’t developed them for us. The pacing of the book was uneven, it started off sluggish, but picked up once Avery decided to investigate the death of Sadie. There were moments where the reader must suspend belief, i.e., when Avery decides to investigate Sadie’s death nearly a year has passed and is able to piece together the events leading to her death. If you like cozy mysteries to begin with a slow burn and then pick up blazing speed, this is the book for you. Thanks to Simon & Schuster and Edelweiss for an eARC.
    booklover- 10 months ago
    Avery Greer meets and forms an odd friendship with Sadie Loman. The teens become close over time and remain friends for years. At the end of one summer, Sadie is found dead ... an apparent suicide. Avery feels eyes on her .... Sadie's brother, for one and a local cop for another , both who wonder if Avery is to blame. A year later, Avery tries to make sense of Sadie's death ... but she finds more questions than answers. When she starts uncovering secrets that were never meant to be revealed, she doesn't know who to trust or what to believe. The books goes back and forth between 2017 .. when Sadie dies ... and 2018, present day. It's well written, full of twists, and a mystery that will keep the reader engaged and trying to make sense of this puzzle. Many thanks to the author / Simon & Schuster / Edelweiss for the digital copy of this psychological fiction. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
    SilversReviews 10 months ago
    Avery is left with her grandmother's house after she passes, a wealthy family buys it, and they hire Avery to manage this house and their entire neighborhood of exclusive, rented summer cottages. Avery is an excellent manager, becomes friends with the Lowman's daughter, Sadie, and is treated like family, and then is faced with Sadie's death that is being ruled as a suicide. Avery knows Sadie wouldn't kill herself and especially on the night of the annual Plus-One end-of-the-summer party. Avery stuck to her theory that Sadie didn't commit suicide, and she found a few things to prove the police investigation hadn't been thorough and that no one could be trusted. Her investigation made me nervous, though, because of the way she went about gathering evidence. We move from chapter to chapter telling the before and after of Avery and Sadie's friendship and of the goings on at the rental community. Was Sadie really Avery’s friend or did she think of Avery as the help and pretend to be her friend? Was anyone really Avery's friend? I was a bit confused at first about what was going, but once Avery found evidence and clues about what really happened and things were revealed, the interest kicked up. THE LAST HOUSE GUEST will be for you if you enjoy a beach setting, characters that have secrets, characters that are broken, and a mystery that keeps you guessing. The ending is definitely a surprise. 4/5 This book was given to me as ARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.