Book Review: Her Last Affair by John Searles

Posted March 17, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 27 Comments

Her Last Affair
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by John Searles
Publication Date March 22, 2022
Published by HarperCollins
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Genres: Fiction / Literary, Fiction / Psychological, Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
Pages: 336
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

"A winner: tense and terrifying with a twist you’ll never see coming. You won’t soon forget these characters and the shocking ways their lives intersect." -- Laura Dave, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Last Thing He Told Me

Every marriage has its secrets….

Skyla lives alone in the shadow of the defunct drive-in movie theater that she and her husband ran for nearly fifty years. Ever since Hollis’s death in a freak accident the year before, Skyla spends her nights ruminating about the regrets and deceptions in her long marriage. That is, until she rents a cottage on the property to a charming British man, Teddy Cornwell….

A thousand miles away, Linelle is about to turn fifty. Bored by her spouse and fired from her job when a questionable photo from her youth surfaces on social media, her only source of joy is an on-line affair with her very first love, a man she’s not seen in nearly thirty years, Teddy Cornwell…

While in New York City, Jeremy, a failed and bitter writer, accepts an assignment to review a new restaurant in Providence. Years ago, Providence was the site of his first great love and first great heartbreak—and maybe, just maybe, he’ll look her up when he’s back in town…

Part page-turning thriller, part homage to film noir, and dazzling in its insight into the often desperate desires of the human heart, Her Last Affair is a tense and atmospheric novel of love lost and found again. 

Her Last Affair by John Searls is a psychological thriller that had me guessing until the very end.  This compelling story was a bit confusing at times, but the ending tied up everything in a very satisfactory way. 

Skylar’s husband Hollis died about a year ago in a tragic and mysterious accident.  She now resides in a small home on the premises of an old, decrepit drive-in movie theater.  She decides to rent out the house next door that is identical to the house she lives in, because her eyesight is almost gone, and she likes the thought of someone living close by.  She finds Teddy, a nice British man, who wants to rent the house and they form a friendship.  

Teddy decides to look up an old girlfriend Linell, who lives in Florida with her husband.  After getting fired from her job, and her marriage starts to disintegrate, Linell corresponds with Teddy and they start to reignite their old relationship.  

Jeremy is an old friend of Teddy’s and is trying to write the great American Novel in New York City.  One day, Jeremy decides to look up his old girlfriend, Maryanne who now lives in Providence, RI.  

All these characters have a past, and when they collide, it’s a twisty, gripping story of lies, loves, and miscommunications.  

This story started off a bit slow as we get to know these characters and their pasts.  Then everything gets quite confusing as the twists in the story don’t seem to make any sense at all.  But, I suggest you hang on, as I did because the ending is surprising and very satisfactory.  

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a character-driven thriller.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About John Searles

John Searles is the best-selling author of the novels Her Last Affair, Help for the Haunted, Strange but True and Boy Still Missing.

Hailed as “riveting” by The New York Times and “hypnotic” by Entertainment Weekly, Boy Still Missing, inspired Time magazine to name him a “Person to Watch,” and the New York Daily News to name him a “New Yorker to Watch.” His second novel, Strange but True was praised as “sinister and complex” by Janet Maslin of The New York Times, “extraordinary” by Publishers Weekly, and was named best novel of the year by Salon. John’s most recent novel, Help for the Haunted, was named a Boston Globe Best Crime Novel of the Year, an Entertainment Weekly Top 10 Must List, and won the American Library Association’s Alex Award.

In 2019, Strange But True was adapted for film by the producers of La La Land and released in theaters nationwide by Lionsgate. Now streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime, the film stars the award-winning ensemble cast of Amy Ryan, Greg Kinnear, Brian Cox, Blythe Danner, Nick Robinson and Margaret Qualley. The movie was praised as “suspenseful and haunting” by The Hollywood Reporter and “a twisty tale of tragic secrets” by the Los Angeles Times.

John has appeared regularly on morning programs like NBC’s Today Show, CBS This Morning, Live! With Regis & Kelly, NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and CNN to discuss his books.

The longtime books editor of Cosmopolitan, John also served as the magazine’s brand director, executive editor, and editor-at-large. His personal and travel essays, book and restaurant reviews have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post and numerous other magazines, newspapers and websites. He has a master's degree in creative writing from New York University and lives in New York.

27 responses to “Book Review: Her Last Affair by John Searles

  1. I’m glad that you enjoyed this one and it all came together in the end. Sometimes character driven is wonderful, other times I can’t get into it. Nice review, Wendy.

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  3. Sounds like an extremely twisty tale. Glad the ending was satisfactory and always a bonus if there’s a surprise.

  4. This sounds like unrelated stories, so I’m curious to know how they all intersect. I do like it when a mystery/thriller ends satisfactorily because there’s a lot that don’t and the ending can make a break a story for me. I’ll see if they have a library audio of this one.

  5. Some twists in a thriller are good, but too many of them can be bad. But it sounds like they worked in this one. 🙂

  6. I love a good thriller. the ruined drive in, the charatcer studies, and even a Laura dave blurb ha ha… sounds awesome!

  7. Jenny+McClinton

    It always drives me crazy when everything gets really confusing, but it usually all makes sense in the end. Great review 💕

  8. Oh, my, it does seem the characters get themselves all twisted around. It’s so good you stuck around long enough to help them straighten themselves out.

  9. I love psychological thrillers, especially character-driven ones. This sounds really interesting. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

  10. Sounds exciting, though I can get a hint of where all the confusion might come from given so many characters. Glad you enjoyed this. Great review🙂