Review By Karly

Disappearances. Secrets. Cutter’s Pass. Megan Miranda’s latest mystery thriller, The Last to Vanish, is like a mountain path with many twists and turns, it will keep you guessing where the path leads and where it will end!

Favourite Quote:

He must’ve gotten too close.
The truth is he’d written, frustratingly unfinished.
The truth is, I wanted to finish that sentence for him now.
The truth is, you can’t make too much noise when you come to Cutter’s Pass.
You can’t let it know what you’re looking for. What you know.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Ten years ago, Abigail Lovett fell into a job she loves, managing The Passage Inn, a cozy, upscale resort nestled in the North Carolina mountain town of Cutter’s Pass. Cutter’s Pass is best known for its outdoor offerings—rafting and hiking, with access to the Appalachian trail by way of a gorgeous waterfall—and its mysterious history. As the book begins, the string of unsolved disappearances that has haunted the town is once again thrust into the spotlight when journalist Landon West, who was staying at the inn to investigate the story of the vanishing trail, then disappears himself.

Abby has sometimes felt like an outsider within the community, but she’s come to view Cutter’s Pass as her home. When Landon’s brother Trey shows up looking for answers, Abby can’t help but feel the town closing ranks. And she’s still on the outside. When she finds incriminating evidence that may bring them closer to the truth, Abby soon discovers how little she knows about her coworkers, neighbours, and even those closest to her.

Up in the mountains of North Carolina lies Cutter’s Pass, a small tourist town with a big secret. Starting with the Fraternity Four, people have a habit of occasionally disappearing in Cutter’s Pass. Are these disappearances simply accidents related to the dangers of mountaineering and hiking or is it something else, or someone else who is responsible? A new visitor in town means the case of Landon West, the last to vanish in Cutter’s Pass, is brought to the focus once again, making residents ill-at-east. Enter inn manger Abby, a resident of Cutter’s Pass for 10 years, who hovers between being a local or an out-of-towner depending on who you ask. With the arrival of the new visitor and against everyone’s advice Abby starts to investigate: Landon, Farrah, Alice, and the Fraternity Four trying to find what no one else could find. As she looks at each case and gets closer to the truth she will have to choose, once and for all if she an insider or an outsider. 

Just enough thrills without too many chills. Megan Miranda’s latest kept me turning the page, following along with Abby as she pieced together the mystery of Cutter’s Pass. Abby is a likeable heroine and the sole narrator of the story. While many in Cutter’s Pass don’t trust her entirely, she seems to be a reliable narrator but one who has as many secrets as the rest of the characters in The Last to Vanish. With Abby as our guide, the book progresses with each disappearance starting with Landon West and working backwards 25 years to the first of the disappearances, the Fraternity Four. What I really liked is how Cutter’s Pass is not just a setting in a book, but is another main character in the story, witnessing everything, but revealing nothing. The pacing of the book is on the slower side, but I found this to be a positive because it matched the moody atmosphere and tension, adding to the overall mystery. 

Thank you, Simon and Schuster Canada for the ARC in return for an honest review.