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The Last Mrs. Parrish: A Novel Hardcover – October 17, 2017
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“[A] wicked debut thriller… you’ll relish every diabolical turn.” (People)
“‘The Last Mrs. Parrish’ by Liv Constantine will keep you up. In a ‘can’t put it down’ way. It’s ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ with XX chromosomes.” (The Skimm)
“[A] haunting psychological thriller. . . . Engrossing.” (Real Simple)
“Utterly irresistible. . . . The Last Mrs. Parrish pivots on an enormous and satisfying twist. . . . the pages keep flying, flying, flying by.” (USA Today)
“If you like your thrillers with an unexpected twist, this one’s for you.” (New York Post)
“‘The Last Mrs. Parrish’ Should Be the Very Next Book You Read.” (Huffington Post)
“Fabulous. . . . I read this book in a flash, devouring every twisty delicious detail.” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
“This deliciously naughty novel of psychological suspense is perfect for fans of Daphne du Maurier, L.S. Hinton and Jessica Knoll.” (LitHub, “5 Crime Must-Reads Coming in October”)
“One compulsive read. . . . It’s a terrific debut, and I look forward to seeing what the Constantine sisters do next!” (Book Reporter)
“Think: a female Tom Ripley. . . . sisters Lynne and Valerie Constantine, writing as Liv Constantine, build momentum with short, cliffhanger chapters racing toward a satisfying denouement.” (Shelf Awareness)
“The Last Mrs. Parrish is an addictive and twisty debut.” (Karin Slaughter, New York Times and international bestselling author)
“Captivating. . . a deliciously duplicitous psychological thriller that will lure readers until the wee hours and beyond. With a plot equally as twisty, spellbinding, and addictive as Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl or Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train, this is sure to be a hit with suspense fans.” (Library Journal (starred review))
“Constantine’s debut novel is the work of two sisters in collaboration, and these ladies definitely know the formula. A Gone Girl-esque confection with villainy and melodrama galore.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“To the pantheon of Gone Girl–type bad girls you can now add Amber Patterson, the heroine of this devilishly ingenious debut thriller. . . . The reader watches with shock and delight as Amber cold-bloodedly manipulates Daphne and Jackson and lays waste to anyone else who stands in her way. . . . To say any more would spoil all the twists that Constantine (the pseudonym of sisters Lynne and Valerie Constantine) has in store along the way to a surprising and entirely satisfying ending. Suffice it to say that readers would have to go back to the likes of Ira Levin’s A Kiss Before Dying or Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley to find as entertaining a depiction of a sociopathic monster.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“The twists keep coming in this psychological roller coaster from debut author Constantine, the pen name of sisters Lynne and Valerie Constantine…this is a satisfying thriller that offers a window into the darker side of glamorous lives and powerful men.”
“Wonderfully plausible, hypnotically compelling, and deliciously chilling and creepy—some of the best psychological suspense you’ll read this year.” (Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author)
“A wonderfully clever story, filled with suspense and a shocking twist, that kept me turning the pages.” (Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author of The Sunshine Sisters)
“The Last Mrs. Parrish is an extraordinary debut and gripping psychological thriller that is full of unexpected twists. Readers will become obsessed with these chilling characters who pull you in and refuse to let go.” (Sara Blaedel, Denmark's award-winning internationally bestselling "Queen of Crime")
“Liv Constantine’s The Last Mrs. Parrish is a beautifully constructed set piece, an intricate narrative that doubles back and folds in on itself like a Mobius strip, revealing secret upon secret, and layer upon layer, with a seductive ‘just one more chapter’ urgency that will keep readers up all night. Giving new meaning to the adage ‘be careful what you wish for,’ The Last Mrs. Parrish proves that the worst that can happen just might be when you get what you want. Addictive!” (Karen Dionne, author of The Marsh King’s Daughter)
“Gillian Flynn meets Joy Fielding in Liv Constantine’s The Last Mrs. Parrish. In an age of great anti-heroines, comes the most unlikeable one yet, the coldly devilish Amber Patterson. This thriller delivers the most satisfying ending since B.A. Paris’ smash hit Behind Closed Doors—and a victorious romp of revenge.” (Jenny Milchman, USA Today bestselling author of Cover of Snow, Ruin Falls, and As Night Falls)
From the Back Cover
The mesmerizing debut about a coolly manipulative woman and a wealthy “golden couple,” from a stunning new voice in psychological suspense
Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more—a life of money and power, like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted.
To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne—a socialite and philanthropist—and her real-estate mogul husband, Jackson, are a couple straight out of a fairy tale. Amber’s envy could eat her alive... if she didn’t have a plan.
Amber uses Daphne’s compassion to insinuate herself into the family’s life—the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrishes and their lovely young daughters, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may destroy everything that Amber has worked toward, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces.
With shocking turns and dark secrets that will keep you guessing until the very end, The Last Mrs. Parrish is a fresh, juicy, and utterly addictive thriller from a diabolically imaginative talent.
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"The Last Mrs. Parrish", is what I like to call "Wealth Porn". Part of its appeal derives from the meticulously detailed descriptions of the lives and luxuries of the Very Very Wealthy: private jets, opulent homes, designer clothes/shoes/handbags/lingerie, jewelry, et. Now, this might not appeal to every reader, but I'm happy with my Never-in-Business-Class lot in life, so I'm not crushed with envy, instead it's fun to imagine how the other 1% lives while eating my home-made lunch at my desk. Throw in a suspenseful and just-complicated-enough plot, plus a dash of twists, and I'm having a grand ole time.
Amber Patterson is a completely amoral young woman who has designed a detailed and diabolical plan to acquire wealthy entrepreneur, Jackson Parrish, via a fake-friendship with his wife, Daphne. You don't really need to know more than that! Who need Major Themes, Symbolism, and Life Lessons? Is the villain TOO villainous? Yep. Will you anticipate some of the twists? Sure! So what?! Just jump in and enjoy!
Amber Patterson has never been satisfied with the life she has. She is poor and seemingly mousy. She has always wanted more for herself - including money and power and she will have it.
Daphne Parrish is beautiful, rich and sophisticated. She is kind, caring and the mother of two young girls who she would do anything for. Daphne is married to handsome, successful Jackson Parrish. Amber is beyond envious - they have the life that she wants and she has as plan. Daphne is friendly, helpful and unassuming. Little does she know.
Will Amber get what she wants? If she does, where does that leave Daphne? Oh the wicked web they weave!
This novel starts as a slow burn suspense novel that takes off around the mid point. It is also a study of these characters who are truly stunning. These characters make you FEEL, they make your stomach feel like it is going to BURST WIDE OPEN. I want to say more about them but I just cannot - I will not. You must READ this. What else can I say - well, the ending? Just BAM! FRAKKING AWESOME!!
So this was a Traveling Sister Read. It included: Brenda, Kaceey, Lindsay, Jan B., Nikki, Marialyce and Berit. I so loved reading this with my sisters - we had a great time together. “The Last Mrs. Parrish” was one of my favorite thrillers of 2018! I absolutely loved it! (Can’t you tell? Ha!).
Published on Goodreads, Amazon and Twitter on 1.28.18.
I don’t often choose novels with characters of this type; i.e., the super-rich society people. I’m not very interested in celebrities or people who live that lifestyle, however, this element was essential to the plot and was masterfully employed.
The novel winds along following, from an omniscient point-of-view, Amber Patterson, a small-town “nobody,”who seeks to insinuate herself into the lives of Daphne and Jackson Parrish, super-rich society people. You will hate Amber almost from the first page as you see how deviously she plans her moves and how despicably she will go about getting what she wants.
But where the novel really blew my mind was in Part II, when we now see the story as it unfolded from Daphne’s point-of-view. Oh. My. Gosh! If an author can surprise me, they have me forever and that is just what happened from the first line of Part II. I already had some notions about how this book was going to go, but I WAS WRONG! The central twist of plot was not what I expected. Who is bad in this story and in what way they are bad DID surprise me! (Well, except for Amber; she is bad from the first word to the last.)
The authors do a superb job of describing the sociopathic behavior of a character. The acts are so wrong and yet ring utterly true. The turtles. The food. The journals. The initials. The gaslighting. It’s terrific.
My only mild complaint about the story, and why it gets 4 stars and not five, (Actually, I would give it 4.5 if I could, because this is minor) is that the pacing towards the end is very fast and some details are not resolved comprehensively. In other words, there was great story tension surrounding a couple of questions (i.e., is she pregnant with a boy?), but those questions are answered in an incidental way, which felt like a betrayal of the tension torqued up earlier. Perhaps the authors had more to say about those things, but they had to be shaved for length. It wasn’t a serious problem.
In summary, this book was a great page-turner that was hard to put down. It showed great insight into how people behave, especially where devious and manipulative people are concerned. If there’s a lesson in the book, it is that you never know what goes on behind closed doors, and money is clearly not everything.