The Last to Vanish by Megan Miranda
Release Date: 28 July 2022
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Genre: Adult, Mystery
Ten years ago, Abigail Lovett fell into a job she loves, managing The Passage Inn, a cozy, upscale resort nestled in the North Carolina mountain town of Cutter’s Pass. Cutter’s Pass is best known for its outdoor offerings—rafting and hiking, with access to the Appalachian trail by way of a gorgeous waterfall—and its mysterious history. As the book begins, the string of unsolved disappearances that has haunted the town is once again thrust into the spotlight when journalist Landon West, who was staying at the inn to investigate the story of the vanishing trail, then disappears himself.
Abby has sometimes felt like an outsider within the community, but she’s come to view Cutter’s Pass as her home. When Landon’s brother Trey shows up looking for answers, Abby can’t help but feel the town closing ranks. And she’s still on the outside. When she finds incriminating evidence that may bring them closer to the truth, Abby soon discovers how little she knows about her coworkers, neighbors, and even those closest to her.
I haven’t read a Megan Miranda book in years; not since her first foray into YA thrillers. I really wasn’t a
fan back then, but ever since I have heard great things about her writing. The synopsis of The Last to
Vanish caught my eye because I read that it was about hikers who go missing. As an avid hiker myself, I
was immediately intrigued.
The most notable aspect of The Last to Vanish is the overall atmosphere of the book. It’s set in a small,
dreary town along the Appalachian Trail, which has a small and tight knit community. While reading I
really felt like I was there, staying in one of the cabins and prepping for a hike into the mountains.
Reading The Last to Vanish felt like being in nature, which was a feeling I loved.
The main character feels like a complete outsider, and being from a small village myself I have met
people who have felt like that before. She’s trying desperately to feel like part of the community that she
has lived alongside for the past decade. I really enjoyed her journey, as she slowly came to realise that
she was being accepted.
I have to say, though, that the main character has absolutely no personality. I couldn’t tell you a thing
about her other than she had some worries about where her place was in the town. The author mostly
keeps her background a secret, and I think that contributed to her being the blandest thriller character.
But you know what? I didn’t care, because I was too invested in the setting and the atmosphere to give a
The revelations and resolutions of the plot were good enough. I had called one part of it, but the others
bits of the story surprised me. I don’t think these “other bits” were particularly well fleshed out, but they
didn’t come out of left field or anything.
I’m mainly just here to gush about the atmosphere and the concept of hikers going missing in the
mountains. More thrillers should cover this topic! Give me all of them! I’ve realised that this is perhaps my
ideal niche, and now I can’t get enough.