Book: Last Seen
Author: Lucy Clarke
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Published: Harper, June 29, 2017
Two boys missing. A seaside community with a dark secret at its heart…
Two little boys go missing out at sea – and only one is brought to shore.
For the boys’ mothers, best friends Sarah and Isla, the tragedy splinters a friendship. And The Sandbank – once an idyllic seaside haven – becomes a place of ghosts.
On the anniversary of the drowning, the other boy is missing. Parents Nick and Sarah try to quell their panic, but the Sandbank hums with tension as decade-old memories rise to the surface.
The truth lies in the past, like broken glass buried in the sand. Someone is hiding something – the question is, what did they see?
As I settle better in my spot where I’ve only just finished this book, I find it hard to describe what it made feel. Anguish? Yes. Thrill of a good mystery? Certainly. And..that’s kinda it. I mean, there are a whole lot of other stops between the two, but mainly-and most honestly- this story sort of unsettled me. Took the balance I imagined of family life, and twisted it into something hurtful. It left a bitter taste on my mind. But is all that bad? No. Not at all.
As a twisted and darker-if that is possible- telling of a psychological thriller, this book was gripping. From the start till the end. It was also gut wrenching, heart breaking because you are faced with a mother’s worst nightmare. No spoilers, from the start we know one of the storytellers, Isla, has lost her son at sea. Her pain was a physical blow every time she took control of the pages. I felt awful, my heart broke for her when she spoke.
While one half of the main voices tear at my heart, the other, Sarah, the mother of the surviving child, tells me of the mystery of the story. I looked forward to both of them, but also dreaded knowing the truth. I kept guessing possible outcomes, reasons for what’s happened, but also was not in a hurry to know. It was a scary tumble into the human psyche, it showed what’s it’s like to be a family and then shattered it with what it’s like to be human.
There isn’t much I can say without giving anything away. Everything is connected in such a way, I can’t talk about one detail without the other. And besides, I honestly think that the book itself-and Isla and Sarah- should tell its story anyway. It’s the best way.
I’m adding five spoonfuls of this story into my hodgepodge, and wonder in what other ways Lucy Clarke can rattle my mind with her stories. I’ll be looking forward to them.
Other titles by Lucy Clarke:
- The Blue
- Swimming At Night
- A Single Breath