I chose to read The Last House Guest because I love Megan Miranda's books - and this is my favourite so far! I think it's because her stories take me into a completely different world and lifestyle - in this case, the fictional harbour town of Littleport in Maine, USA.
Littleport is a popular holiday destination for the wealthy, some of whom stay for the entire summer. Once such family are the Lomans, who have also been buying houses to rent out, causing resentment amongst the locals. Friendships between these two very diverse communities are unheard of, yet Avery Greer and Sadie Loman have been friends for over a decade, fascinated by each other's life. Is there something more sinister behind their friendship? When Sadie is found dead, Avery is determined to find out the truth.
The clever thing about this story is that nothing is quite as it seems. The more Avery investigates, the more she discovers that her assumptions about people and events are quite wrong. And why, exactly did Sadie chose her for a friend?
I loved the contrast between the powerful Loman family, who employ Avery to manage their rentals, and the local families who are slowly being driven out of business - and understandably feel resentful. There are lots of young, attractive characters, all of whom seem to have something to hide. I think this was another reason I really enjoyed the book. Each clue is hiding in plain sight but it still drove me crazy trying to work out 'whodunit'. Even though I read lots of crime fiction, I didn't guess who it was! And I loved the epilogue!
This won't appeal to anyone looking for a gritty psychological thriller. It's more of a suspense/mystery and the tone is almost YA/New Adult in places - which is exactly what I liked about it! So if you're looking for a slice of holiday escapism, dished up with a fiendishly clever puzzle, this is the book for you. Thoroughly recommended!
Thank you to Megan Miranda and Corvus for my copy of this book, which I requested from NetGalley and reviewed voluntarily.