Last Seen by Lucy Clarke


Published: 29th June 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 448


Seven years ago, two boys went missing at sea – and only one was brought to shore. The Sandbank, a remote stretch of coast dotted with beach huts, was scarred forever. Sarah’s son survived, but on the anniversary of the accident, he disappears without trace. As new secrets begin to surface, The Sandbank hums with tension and unanswered questions. Sarah’s search grows more desperate and she starts to mistrust everyone she knows – and she’s right to. Someone saw everything on that fateful day seven years ago. And they’ll do anything to keep the truth buried.


The prologue begins with a woman who readers know nothing about apart from one fact: she was in the water, struggling until she was saved and now, people are on the shore waiting for her. They’re also waiting for someone else, but who? The narrative is split between Sarah and Isla, who were inseparable almost all their lives but now, something has changed and the two women aren’t as close as they once were. But why? I was rather intrigued to find out what had gone on between the pair. As well as the disruption between the life long friends, Sarah is having a spot of trouble with her seventeen year old son, Jacob who didn’t return home after an argument.

“Nick found us the next morning, curled together like a clasped shell around our secret pearls of grief.” 

The plot thickens relatively quickly around Jacob’s disappearance and I enjoyed how the disruptive friendship between Sarah and Isla spiraled into the mixture. Isla knew a lot more about Jacob than his own mother did, but why? What exactly has gone on between the three of them? In Isla’s chapters, Lucy cleverly used them to tell stories about the past; how the two women become pregnant around the same time, how Sarah fell in love with Isla’s ex-boyfriend and much more. I was really intrigued about their friendship from the opening chapter and really enjoyed reading about how everything had turned rocky.

“Just like I didn’t mention a lot of things that happened in the weeks after that conversation.”

With Jacob’s disappearance being revealed halfway through the book, a lot of secrets are unveiled; some which I had thought of and others which I was shocked about. Sarah’s and Isla’s difficult friendship seemed to go from bad to worse when a rather sickening act occurs but it added more depth to the plot and I liked it. It allowed me to feel more connected to the characters and truth be told, I didn’t know whose side I ought to be on.

“Nick’s voice is a boy’s now: scared, desperate, high.” 

As the plot drew to a close, the truth about how Marley drown all those years ago comes to light and it’s not what you’d expect. It was a brilliant, twist and in some sense, a true sacrifice. I absolutely loved this book and felt completely swept up in the natural of their lives. Lucy creates such a brilliant atmosphere amongst the mystery with her captivating plot, mesmerising characters and incredible ending.


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