“A mesmerizing debut psychological thriller full of delicious twists about a coolly manipulative woman who worms her way into the lives of a wealthy “golden couple” from Connecticut to achieve the privileged life she wants.
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 and her husband, Jackson—the beautiful philanthropist and the confident real estate mogul—are a golden couple straight out of a fairytale, blessed with two lovely young daughters.
Amber’s envy could eat her alive . . . if she didn’t have a plan. Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring 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 Parrish family, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces.”
Written by sisters under the pen name of Liv Constantine, The Last Mrs Parrish is a book of 3 parts.
The first part of this novel is focused around Amber Patterson, a young woman who becomes obsessed with the life of Daphne Parrish, the rich wife of millionaire businessman Jackson Parrish. Amber, with a whole closet full of skeletons behind her, becomes increasingly envious of the woman who has everything she wants in life, and begins to insinuate herself into her world – with the end goal of infiltrating Jackson’s marriage and taking Daphne’s place in it. Home-wrecker doesn’t even cover it. Neither does Psycho.
Following an orchestrated ‘chance’ meeting at the gym (these introductions always seem to happen at gyms – beware!) big hearted Daphne takes a big-sisterly shine to Amber after discovering that they apparently have something very sad in common – the tragic death of their respective sisters due to Cystic Fibrosis. Daphne set up a foundation in memory of her sister, and Amber very quickly gets a place on the committee, much to the concern of some of Daphne’s friends. The two become close very quickly, and after pretending that she has to leave her job as her boss has sexually harassed her, Daphne finds Amber a new job as – you guessed it – her husband Jackson’s new assistant.
Amber’s plan goes into full swing and she lets us in on when she’s planning. If she gets her way, Daphne will be out on her ear and Amber will be the new Mrs Parrish, beaming on Jackson’s arm. Set up for life.
It’s around this point that we switch to part 2 – Daphne’s story, where the scene has been cleverly set and it’s no surprise to discover that all may not be exactly as it seems. After all, who has the perfect life?
Finally, we get to part 3, which switches between Amber and Daphne, where they are now, as events take over and there is a real sense of being careful what you wish for in case you get what you deserve.
There are only 3 characters in this book, apart from a few bit players, but they are all that are needed to convey the all encompassing envy that pours from Amber, and the claustrophobic closeness of Daphne and Jackson. There are some scenes of graphic physical and psychological violence, and in my opinion, a few too many explicit scenes – we already know Amber is using her sexuality to get to Jackson, and I feel this was a little overplayed, but perhaps that is to make us understand the baseness of her character – less love and emotion involved, more ruthless ambition.
The very last chapter felt a bit Scooby-Doo for me. Would work in a film where everything has to be shown in visuals, but in a book, you just wouldn’t do what Daphne did. If you burn a house down, you go away and wait to hear that it’s happened, rather than stand on the sidelines ,watching, with a can of gasoline in your hand.
Apart from that I found this to be quite a riveting read. Amber is just a horrid creature, but manages to stay on the realistic side of nasty and narcissistic, rather than Disney villain evil. Daphne is a very cleverly written character that you can’t help but root for, whether or not you see her as a downtrodden victim of a homewrecker, or something different. If you like a really good psychological thriller that at times makes you want to scream in frustration to warn characters what’s about to happen, then this book is for you!