Cover Image: The Last to Vanish

The Last to Vanish

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Member Reviews

Review published on Goodreads, 25 June 2022:

If Megan Miranda writes it, I'm going to read it. That's just a given. I love her thrillers! Her newest, THE LAST TO VANISH, isn't my favorite of Miranda's books, but it still kept me buzzing through the pages. I enjoyed the atmospheric setting especially, since it is so perfect for this kind of read. Neither Abby nor her fellow cast members are super original or memorable. In fact, Abby's fairly dull as far as leading ladies go. She's likable, just not that exciting. The same could be said for the first 2/3 or so of this book. It's quite slow, without any edge-of-your-seat action. Once it amps up, it moves along at a fair pace. I didn't ever want to put the book down, but I did want more tension and conflict to keep the story interesting. Miranda did surprise me with the killer's identity, which is always nice. All in all, then, I liked this book but didn't love it. If I could, I would give it 3 1/2 stars; since I can't, I'm rounding up.

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I loved everything about this book. I loved the mystery of cutters pass and the history that loomed over the small town. So many characters were a mystery that you really didn’t have any idea who/what made all these people vanish. It had me guessing till the very end. Miranda created such a page turned. I was super invested in the past and present and couldn’t wait to unwrap all the Easter eggs she dropped. I never saw the end coming and I love that about a book when it’s not predictable. I can’t wait to read more from her!
Thanks NetGalley for this ARC.

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This is my 3rd book from Megan Miranda and they're always hit or miss. This one was fine, but it could've been quicker.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book! This is the story of a woman who has found a home in a small mountain town, where she helps run an inn that has been the last-stop of several people who seemed to have vanished on the Appalachian Trail without a trace. Abby feels as though she belongs in her new home, but the appearance of a stranger at the inn causes her to doubt herself, her friends, and the town she has called home for several years. How and why did all these people vanish over the years, and could it all be connected?
The author does an amazing job of creating a feeling of sinister dread throughout the book. The town has a sense of otherness, and being almost without time or existing in a slightly different place than anywhere else. It's almost like as soon as someone drives into the town they have stepped into an alternate reality, or the Twilight Zone or something. The creepy strangeness of the atmosphere totally drew me in and I could not put this book down.
I would absolutely recommend this book if you are looking for a great mystery or are headed on a vacation to a mountain cabin!

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This mystery follows Abby, a manager of The Passage Inn located in Cutter's Pass, North Carolina. The town is close to the Appalachian Trail and is a destination for hiking and other outdoor activities. Abby has lived in this small town for the past 10 years and has integrated herself into the town especially after the latest disappearance. Cutter's Pass has a handful of unsolved disappearances that has made the town notorious for more than just the gorgeous waterfall. The latest was journalist Landon who was researching the previous disappearances. When Landon's brother Trey shows up at the Inn looking for clues or answers about what happened to his brother, Abby starts to notice the cracks in the facade of this idyllic mountain town. And when the life-long townsfolk start to close rank and see Abby as an outsider, she has no choice but to push on and find the truth.

I loved the premise for this story and the way the different disappearances were integrated into the current plot line. This story is separated into parts with the focus of each part being a specific one of the disappearances. This way, we get the details of each case spaced out nicely throughout the story. Of course, we get some details early on so we can understand the town and the set-up for the plot, but the details aren't all info-dumped onto the reader at the beginning. There also isn't much downtime at the beginning of the story for the reader to slowly be introduced to the town or the people here - we get Trey showing up very early on and that starts the rumors/memories/investigation to start early on as well. I do think that, initially, there isn't much of a mystery vibe because it does feel more like Trey is just grieving and trying to connect with his missing brother in some way. However, once the plot points start developing and certain information is unearthed, the mystery investigation starts in earnest.

The setting of this small mountain town was absolutely perfect. I really enjoyed the line in the sand between the tourists and the people who live there all year. I also enjoyed the different members of the town reacted to these disappearances in their own way - some folks don't want to talk about it at all and others are integrating them into their businesses. I also thought the choice to have these be disappearances and not other crimes was really interesting because it allowed multiple characters to sort of shrug off the implications or heavy reality by reminding other characters (and the reader) that these people might have continued hiking on the trail and gotten hurt elsewhere or maybe they wanted to start a new life and they're completely fine. The disappearing gave just enough wiggleroom that these sorts of theories couldn't be 100% discounted. I was expecting the town setting to become a bit more sinister as the book went along and it did get a bit darker but far from what I was expecting. I was hoping for a Hot Fuzz type twist in this small town setting but it didn't hit that level of twist in my opinion.

The characters in this story were interesting and I liked how Miranda played with the idea of how much we actually know the people around us. There's a great mix of people in this town who have grown up together as well as a mix of new people coming in. The new folks are also a mix of seasonal workers and people who end up staying for a long time (like Abby, our main character). It is mentioned multiple times that between the Trail and the town, there are many people who find something their looking for in their lives here and then decide to stay for a bit. However, many people are very private about their pasts or their personal history so the other characters (and the reader) don't know much about their pasts. The main example of this is Abby's co-worker. Miranda does a fantastic job of giving the reader just enough character details that the people in this town feel real but also holds back enough details to really deepen that sense of mystery. This is highlighted even more as the investigation picks up toward the end where Abby starts to question these people around her that she's known for 10 years because that might not actually be enough time to know someone (and they start to push her out using the same logic).

I enjoyed the mystery aspect and thought it was well plotted but it ended up falling a little flat for me. There were numerous times where the mystery plot would come to a sort of fork in the road where it could go one way and get darker and more sinister or it could go the other way and sort of stay the same. I felt like every time there was one of these turning points, Miranda took the safer option. Which, of course, is her right as the author. However, I was expecting a story about a string of missing hikers and a town closing ranks on outsiders to be more sinister than what we end up getting. I was fine with what the mystery solution ended up being, but I wanted the tone and path getting there to be much darker. I also think having the lead up to the ending reveals be darker would then make the ending a bit more impactful. As it stands, there's a little bit of a disconnect for me because the investigation ramps up super quickly and the pieces fall together pretty much all at once and a bunch of town secrets get revealed at the same time. It was just a lot all squeezed in at the end and I wish those points were spaced out a bit more and also having the build up to the reveal be darker in tone.

Overall, this was an entertaining read with a solid mystery. I do wish the town was darker, but that is a personal preference that I know not everyone shares. I loved the setting and premise of the book and thought Miranda was able to balance characterization and the plot implications of those characters really well.

Thanks to NetGalley and Scribner for the ARC. Publication date was July 26, 2022

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Megan Miranda writes some of my favorite mystery/thrillers - she once shared that she alternates settings between water and mountains, causing me to realize how important these locations are to her plotlines - Cutter's Pass and the surrounding town/businesses add to the thrill as her descriptions are so vividly moody and dark that the reader can walk Main Street or the trail with the characters, looking over their own shoulders. While I liked the characters, I didn't really connect with any of them this go 'round - there were some unexpected twists, even though I knew whodunnit early on. Thanks to #NetGalley for the opportunity to preview #TheLastToVanish by Megan Miranda - I really enjoyed this thriller and can't wait for her next one!

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Another page turner from Miranda. This one had me guessing right to the last chapters. The setting while a small town was a perfect choice for this book, I felt like I was there as Abby tries to solve the mystery of what happened to the missing visitors.

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The Last to Vanish is the story of The Passage Inn... and the strange fate of those who come to stay there... and simply disappear. A destination for hikers, the town has become a bit of an urban legend with its tragic tales of missing persons. The manager, Abigail, becomes rattled when some of the stories seem to strike too close to home and starts doing some digging of her own...

This book initially worked for me. The writing is so atmospheric that I could picture Cutter's Pass and its locals. I felt deeply for Trey West, trying to find answers for his missing brother. However, somewhere along the way the story just lost me. To be frank, none of the characters truly resonated, even though they were all well written. I also think this one is more of a mystery than a thriller so I possibly went in with mixed expectations. I would love to read some more of Miranda's backlist as I did enjoy her writing, just not this particular story.

3.5 stars rounded up!

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This book was a very slow paced thriller with a setting that was unique and creepy all in its own right. I loved the isolated feel of a hotel in the Appalachian trail where 7 people have gone missing over the years. This is one of those books where you just have to trust that it will pick up- because there isn't much action until towards the end of the book, so if you are looking for a fast paced book that will make you sit at the edge of your seat from page one- this is not for you!

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This is my favorite Megan Miranda book to date! I literally could not put it down and felt like I was on the hiking trail with all the characters.

We follow the story of Abby and the very close knit town of Cutter’s Pass that’s known for all the people who have gone missing or disappeared after last being seen near the town. You know there’s something more going on but Miranda’s writing keeps hanging on, trying to figure out what the heck is going on.

I saved this for a fall read and I’m so glad I did because it was perfect for this time of year.

Thanks to Scribner and NetGalley for my ARC of this book.

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I really enjoy Megan Miranda's writing, but this one was a bit too slow of a burn for me. It did pick up, and then I was really interested in the story. I just wish it would have picked up earlier in the story. I enjoyed the mystery, and I liked the ending. Overall, this is a good mystery/thriller!

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Abby moves to Cutter's Pass to start a new life. The community starts to accept her, but she will never truly be one of them. When hikers start to go missing, Abby begins to investigate. Surely no one from this close-knit community could be a killer. The story was filled with suspense and twists and turns that were really a surprise. Another great one from Megan Miranda.

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This book was like a circular road around a cliff, going nowhere with lots of dead end exits!

Welcome to Cutter's Pass where no one knows anything and people act weird and probably guilty of something. Into this came Abagail Lovett, who acquires a dream job as a manager of the Passage Inn, where beauty exits and also a very ugly truth. People, starting with the Fraternity Four, keep on disappearing over the years. The community, plus law enforcement seem to turn a blind eye to these weird occurrences. When Landon West, a journalist, comes to town, the turmoil existing on a low level begins to churn and the why of the disappearances comes to the surface.

Sounds good right?, only it wasn't. The many directions the author sets us upon are at times ridiculous, and then these directions ended, just ended with no explanations no reason why. There was also a plethora of characters who also wind up at that same dead end and then seem to "disappear, with no explanation for the why once again.

The main character, Abbie even though she was a young adult , makes the most stunning decisions, some of them so dumb it left me shaking my head. She's depicted like an overwrought drama queen, with coincidences piling up one upon another.

Overall, even though this was a bit of a closed door mystery, it was dull, many times going nowhere that was frustrating and wearisome.(in other words BORING) The characters were also annoying and it didn't help that I didn't like a one of them. After finishing, I truly felt I was the one driving that car round and round with no escape button.

Certainly, no recommendation for this one. It was tedious, and as Jan and I made our dreary journey through this story, we knew we had once again chosen a book that had absolutely no appeal even though we had enjoyed the author's former books. Sad to assign two stars but I feel it is exactly what I felt about this wearisome story.

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this story, published in July.

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A solid mystery that details the cases of vanishing tourists in a North Carolina town. This is a dark, moody thriller told from the perspective of Abby, still considered an outsider even though she has lived in Cutter’s pass for 10 years. The townies, the missing tourists, the sheriff, the staff at the inn, everyone is a suspect. There is a surprise twist at the end that brought all the disparate pieces together.

**I received an electronic ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review of this book.

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This book drew me in from the beginning. I love the way that Megan Miranda organized the stories of the missing hikers and weaved everything together. The Passage Inn was a very interesting place with deep history. I really enjoyed this book.

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This story was really difficult to get into. It had really long chapters that seemed to go on and on about not much of anything. I love the atmosphere of this book but there were such long paragraphs that I almost dnf’d this about 70 pages in. However, I was intrigued to know what was happening. However, that didn’t seem too interesting either. Overall, I think this could be a hit with some but, unfortunately, it was a miss.

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I really enjoyed this book. The storyline was great. The book had a great intersection of stories all with the same theme in common. The ending was not a huge shocker, but everything came together very nicely and it felt like all the characters got what they had coming.

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I enjoyed this book. It was a page turner from the start. Eve tune was a suspect and I was surprised by the ending. I did end the book wondering a little more though. I almost want a follow up book! I definitely recommend this as a book to go in your TBR list.

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The novel follows the story of Abby Lovett, who works at the Passage Inn in a remote town in North Carolina. However, there is a dark secret surrounding Cutter's Pass. It all started with the disappearance of the Fraternity Four, and over the past years, more disappearances have happened with no suspect in sight. When a reporter, Landon West, comes to investigate the recent disappearances, he is soon added to another missing person from Cutter's Pass. When Landon's brother, Trey, comes to Cutter's Pass to try to find his brother, he enlists Abigail's help. As they search for answers, they uncover long-buried secrets about the town and the inn that could hold the key to solving the disappearances.

Megan Miranda is one of my favorite authors when it comes to thriller or suspense novels. However, this novel was difficult for me to get through. I felt that almost all of the characters were unreliable, sometimes that works, but unfortunately, it did not work here. The pace of the book was plodding. It would have been better if the characters were more fleshed out over the setting. There was so much focus on the surrounding area that the characters really lacked.

As for the positives, Meghan Miranda once again writes a book that does keep you on the edge of your seat, trying to figure out different clues to different suspects before you get to the end. I never saw the ending coming, which is always one of my favorite aspects of her writing.

Overall, I found the book to be slow and with unreliable characters. However, the author's writing kept me engaged and guessing until the end. The Last To Vanish is worth reading if you are looking for a suspenseful novel. However, if you want some of MM's best work, I would recommend All The Missing Girls or The Girl from Widow Hills.

Thank you, NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Abby Lovett has been working at an inn in Cutters Pass, NC for over 10 years, but she is still considered an outsider by townies. Tourists visit for hiking adventures even though 6 have vanished without a trace. When the brother of a missing guest makes a surprise visit to the inn, Abby’s desire to learn the truth behind the mystery of the vanished tourists is fueled, further ostracizing her from the locals while also putting her life in danger.

The best thing about this book is the atmosphere. Cutter’s Pass is portrayed as dark, isolated, moody, and cold, and the atmosphere comes through in almost every chapter. It plays a central role in the plot and the characters, as it adds a layer of deceitfulness and distrust that permeates the town.

Abby is the sole narrator. I never love MM’s heroines, but I found Abby the most likable of them all. Even though the plot is focused on events from the past, the narrative takes place in the present, which worked well to stoke the tension and suspense as the reader isn’t quite sure what is going on in Cutter’s Pass, as the town exists in a history built of myth, rumors, and reality.

There is one surprising twist that I didn’t see coming, but I probably should have. The reveal of the killer was a bit anti-climactic, but because I identified them early on.

The pacing is slow, and the plot focuses as much on Abby’s character as it does on the vanished tourists. The tone is muted, which I have come to associate with MM’s writing. The pacing and the plot worked for me, but I found the last 10% to be a little bland and boring when it should have been quite the opposite. I also wanted to know more about some of the characters.

I wish the characters were a little more fleshed out, especially the townies, but, overall, I enjoyed the mystery, Abby, and, most of all, the pervasive atmosphere of Cutler's Pass.

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