Ms. Arsenault, in her earlier books, displayed impressive abilities and great charm. With this new work—its diverse supporting cast and mix of wry wit and psychological dread—she vaults to an even higher plateau of achievement. Intertwining strands of police-procedural and personal-confessional details set the reader up for one of the most surprising plot twists in recent memory.
There is something beautiful about a talented author working at the top of her game—an author who can deliver a multilayered narrative from different points of view and switch between past and present without a hitch ... The Last Thing I Told You cements Arsenault as a top voice in thrillers and proves that she gets better with each book ... The Last Thing I Told You is a great tale of psychological suspense that explores the interstitial spaces between sanity and insanity, thoughts and violence, and facts and memories. It’s also a novel by a very talented author flexing her muscles unapologetically while at the top of her game.
Nadine is a richly imagined character, and her notes made as a teenager and internal monologues retrospectively addressing her unresolved issues about adult men feel creepily authentic. But Henry’s pursuit of the explanation for Fabian’s death—and eventually of Nadine—is unevenly paced, plodding at first but too fast as the pieces fall together into an unsatisfying twist ending. Hopefully, Arsenault will return to form next time.
The multiple, intertwined points of view cleverly reveal how a horrific crime isn’t a day in the making, nor is it quick to recover from, and the story will leave readers looking anew at events they thought they had figured out. Readers who enjoy a police procedural with a sturdy lawmaker at the helm are the audience for this slow-burning but thoroughly satisfying mystery.
There’s very little about the novel that truly thrills or that feels original, except maybe the forthright Henry Peacher, who is not a hero but is all the more human for it. Nadine remains shadowy throughout, and Fabian, in the end, doesn’t seem to have been a particularly effective therapist—or a particularly intriguing victim. A few interesting character intersections but, overall, a fairly derivative thriller.