Last Girl Ghosted
“Last Girl Ghosted is yet another spine-tingling, whirlwind of a journey for the characters and the reader. No one does psychological thrillers better than Lisa Unger.”
Wren Greenwood has a complicated past. She doesn’t trust easily, and keeps most of her life a secret, even from the few people she calls friends.
But she’s human, and lonely, a combination that leads her to Torch, a dating app, for a quick and easy hookup. “Modern dating. Let’s be honest. It sucks.”
A hookup that soon becomes something else.
Unger shifts into a different voice, and second person, to introduce the date. “Your smile deepens, and you lift an easy hand. The bartender rushes to do your bidding, coming quickly from the other end of the bar; you’re that kind of guy, I think.”
Though Wren remains in first person, she speaks of Adam Harper, the antagonist, in the second person, creating an intimate portrait of the man who grabs her heart in his talons. As if we’re inside her head as she carries on a conversation with him, a compelling and dynamic literary device.
It’s also then that Wren makes her first real mistake, she decides to let the handsome stranger in, not in a physical sense—an emotional one.
Part of what makes Unger such a terrific storyteller is her ability to put characters in danger physically, emotionally, and psychologically. She is also adept at playing with time and character points of view in ways that build suspense.
In the hands of a lesser writer, jumps in time and character points of view can jar or confuse the reader, but Unger’s skillful layering of the past and the present alongside the viewpoints of different characters only makes the tension on the page that much greater.
Echoing the title, Wren is ghosted. Her too-much-too-soon love affair vanishes, without leaving even a digital footprint behind.
As Wren tells her best friend, “So, I give her the abridged version—that your profiles have disappeared, that a detective is looking for you. That you might not have been who I think you were.”
Wren begins her search for the man who ghosted her, and Unger continues to show us more and more of Wren, who is also not who we thought she was.
Throughout the narrative, Wren continues her day job, including her podcast “Dear Birdie,” where she dispenses advice to listeners. “Come here, I tell my readers, and bring the thing you can’t bring anyplace else. I have seen it all, walked unimaginably dark passages, and I will use what I’ve learned there to help you navigate the horrors of being a human on this planet.”
And she has endured much in her life, but that doesn’t mean she has all the answers, especially for herself.
Locked in a complex funhouse, where the world is off-kilter and the characters present multiple faces, Wren journeys into something very dark again, and faces her difficult past and her dangerous present.
Last Girl Ghosted is yet another spine-tingling, whirlwind of a journey for the characters and the reader. No one does psychological thrillers better than Lisa Unger.