Last Seen Alive by Claire Douglas Book Review


She can run

Libby Hall needs to hide, to escape from everything for a while. Which is why the house swap is a godsend. The chance for Libby and her husband Jamie to exchange their tiny flat in Bath for a beautiful haven on the wild Cornish coast.

But she can’t hide

But before they can begin to heal their fragile marriage, Libby makes some disturbing discoveries about the house. And soon the peace and isolation begin to feel threatening. How alone are they? Why does she feel watched?

Because someone knows her secret

What is Jamie hiding? Is Libby being paranoid? And why does the house bring back such terrible memories? Memories Libby’s worked hard to bury. Memories of the night she last saw her best friend alive . . . and what she did.


Claire Douglas has done it again with her latest novel Last Seen Alive. She is an expert at creating unexpected twists, and I always have that confidence, when I start one of her books, that I am in for a good read.

When Libby sees an advert for a house swap, she is drawn to the idea of spending a few days away from home. The person who created the advert is offering their luxury holiday retreat in Cornwall as they need to be near a hospital in Libby and Jamie’s hometown where their sick daughter is being cared for. Libby and her husband, Jamie accept the offer. But things begin to go mysteriously wrong for them once they are there, Libby is terrified of staying in the house, and when the holiday ends with a call to the police, Libby begins to wonder if her past is about to catch up with her.

This book deals with some very current issues that are being discussed in the media today. I think this is what made the book all the more frightening and realistic, that this could easily happen to any one of us. I for one would never agree to a house swap with people who I didn’t know; I think I would still feel uncomfortable with the idea of allowing people who I am familiar with to stay in my house while I wasn’t there.

There were plenty of twists and turns in this book, Claire really is a master at delivering her twists and misdirections. There were times when I did find myself feeling sorry for Libby, particularly when it concerned her relationship with Jamie. I always felt as though she was viewed as an outsider by the rest of Jamie’s family and that they thought she was intruding on their perfect lives. She made for a great protagonist.

Another outstanding book from Claire, fans of psychological thrillers will not want to miss this. Thank you to Sarah Harwood at Penguin for sending me a copy to review.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 13th July 2017

Print length: 400 pages