Love may be blind, but obsession’s a real killer.
From the title, I got the idea that this was going to be someone’s final affair. And it was.
Nora is married to a distant alcoholic and is miserable. She is sick and tired of her husband.
Josh is married to a psychopath. And he has had enough. So when he meets Nora and sparks fly, they both will begin an affair that will have deadly consequences.
So what separates this domestic suspense tale from all of the others I’ve read this year? Nothing. I figured out who was just plain crazy and who was obsessed very quickly. And the ending felt flat.
I’m not sure there was one redeeming character here. And there doesn’t always have to be, but for me, it was just okay.
NetGalley/ November 26th, 2019 by MIRA
THE LAST AFFAIR
Author: Margot Hunt
Publication Date: November 26, 2019
Publisher: MIRA BOOKS
BIO: Margot Hunt is a critically acclaimed author of psychological suspense. Her work has been praised
by Publisher's Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews.
Gwen Landon—poster woman for the perfect wife, mother, and suburban bliss—is found brutally
bludgeoned to death behind her Floridian McMansion. Beautiful and beloved by her community, Gwen
makes an unlikely victim. But just a scratch below the surface of her perfectly curated world reveals one
far more sinister. When looking back over the six months leading up to her death, the question of, “who
would do this?” quickly shifts to, “who wouldn’t?”
Commercially successful food blogger and mother of three, Nora Holliday never imagined she would
have the nerve, let alone time, to get involved in an affair. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she does
whatever it takes to keep it all together. But when Nora runs into Gwen Landon's husband at a hotel in
Orlando, his easy kindness and warmth prove too tempting to resist. As their affair spirals dangerously
out of control, it seems things can’t get more complicated—until Gwen turns up dead.
The Last Affair, Margot Hunt
Other than the woman’s blood-covered body splayed facedown in the grass, it could
have been any typical upscale Floridian backyard.
There was the ubiquitous pool with a water fountain feature, a patio furnished with
both a dining set and an outdoor sectional couch, and an enormous gas grill capable of
cooking hamburgers by the dozen. A large pergola with a tropical vine trained over it
covered part of the patio. The dining area was shaded by a black-and-white-striped
awning. It was the very picture of suburban domestic bliss. It could have been the set
for a commercial advertising anything from laundry detergent to allergy medicine.
Again, except for the dead body.
The area had already been taped off. The first officers on the scene appeared with an
ambulance in response to a frantic 911 call placed by the woman’s daughter. The
paramedics had assessed the situation and quickly determined that the woman was
dead. The fact that the back of her head had been bashed in with what looked like a
paving stone, conveniently dropped next to her prone body, made it immediately clear
that it had not been a natural death. The responding officers called the sheriff, who
responded by sending in a full investigative team. The medical examiner was now doing
a preliminary examination of the body, while police officers combed the area for
additional evidence. Two detectives, Mike Monroe and Gavin Reddick—separated by
twenty years and sixty pounds—were overseeing the operation, standing at the edge of
the patio under the shade of the pergola. It was the third week in April, but this was
South Florida and the temperature had already climbed into the low nineties.
“The paving stone came from the stack out in the front yard. They were delivered last
week by the company who’s installing the driveway,” Detective Reddick said. He was
the younger of the two men and had a wiry frame and angular face.
“Weapon of convenience. Suggests it wasn’t premeditated,” Detective Monroe said.
He had a ruddy complexion and a full head of thick dark hair, swept back off his face. A
strand never moved out of place, even in a strong wind.
“Plus he dropped the weapon, rather than taking it with him. Probably panicked.”
“Could be a she,” Monroe said mildly.
Reddick shrugged. “Blunt force trauma to the back of the head? You know the stats.
The overwhelming likelihood that it’s a man, and probably someone the victim was
intimately involved with. Husband, maybe a boyfriend.”
“The husband was with the daughter when she called it in.”
“Doesn’t mean he didn’t do it, and then had her place the call.”
“No, it doesn’t.”
The family had been sequestered indoors, both to keep them out of the way, and so
that the officers waiting in the house with them could observe anything they did or said.
Other than the husband, there was a daughter in her early twenties and a teenage son.
The daughter was reportedly distraught, while the husband and son had both been
eerily quiet. It was possible they were in shock.
“Do we have an ID on the victim?” Reddick asked.
“It’s her house,” Monroe grunted.
“Yeah, but I like doing things the official way, you know? I’s dotted, t’s crossed, all of
that. Building a case, basic detective work.”
Despite the chilling scene in front of them—the woman’s body still sprawled on the
grass, the back of her head a pulpy, bloody mess—the corner of Monroe’s mouth
quirked up in a half-smile. “Sure, kid, tell me all about basic detective work. I’ve only
been doing this for, what…thirty-two years now? The husband ID’d her. Victim is Gwen
Landon, age forty-nine. Married, mother of two. The husband said she hasn’t had any recent
conflict with anyone.”
“Other than the person who caved in the back of her head with a paving stone,”
Reddick pointed out.
“Wouldn’t be the first time a husband didn’t know his wife as well as he thought he
“Possible. But there’s another possibility, too.”
Reddick turned to look at his partner. His eyes were small and dark, and he had a
habit of squinting when he concentrated intently on something.
“The husband is a liar,” Reddick said.