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Her Last Summer, by Nina Manning

Her Last Summer book coverActress Rey has been out of work since her last public meltdown. Now she is offered a role to relaunch her career and she cannot refuse. The only problem is she needs to swim which she hasn’t done since her little sister vanished at the beach decades ago…
Her Last Summer is a psychological thriller set in the UK in the present and Corsica in the past.
Rey’s career is stalled after a series of unfavourable public incidents. Now she has a second chance and a brilliant opportunity. But she needs to get water confident again and quickly so enrols at a local pool. This instantly brings the past back to the forefront of her mind and she needs to deal with her hidden emotions.
I found Rey quite difficult to like despite her obvious emotional pain. The disappearance of her little sister has haunted her for years and she has tried to self medicate with drink and drugs. There is also generational pain as we find out about her mother’s drink issue and the unhappy family situation. This is revealed through Rey’s made up story which she uses to ditract herself in the present day, as well as big clues and a hugely uncomfortable atmosphere in the 2008 chapters.
I was quite intrigued at the beginning of the book but the pace slows in the middle before racing along at the end. There are lots of hints about Franny’s disappearance and Rey’s guilt. Her fear of water is a direct result of her past trauma and now she is also feeling threatened by journalists and paparazzi who want to expose the truth. I thought that the ending was very rushed and didn’t wrap up the plot threads or resolve the mystery to my satisfaction.
Her Last Summer is an emotional psychological thriller with an intriguing mystery.

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About the book
I had vowed I would never get back into the water, but of course, this was always going to be the outcome. I never really had a choice.
When out of work actress Rey Levine is offered her dream acting role, she knows she has to make it work. But there’s a catch: the film calls for Rey to swim, something she hasn’t done since her last fateful summer holiday fifteen years ago. The summer her sister disappeared … and everyone blamed Rey.
Rey will do anything to block out the painful memories, but it means her current life is in freefall – drink and men her drugs of choice.
With her first dip in the cool water, Rey thinks she’s found the perfect escape. But as the water holds her, old memories float to the surface, forcing Rey to remember the terrible summer she’d rather forget.
But someone doesn’t want the truth to surface. Not now, not ever… And they’re prepared to ruin Rey’s life all over again.

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About the author
Nina Manning studied psychology and was a restaurant-owner and private chef (including to members of the royal family). She is the founder and host of Sniffing The Pages, a book review podcast. The Daughter in Law is her debut psychological thriller and since then Nina has gone on to write 9 more books including: The Guilty Wife published in March 2020, The House Mate published in October 2020, The Bridesmaid published May 2021 and Queen Bee in January 2022. She has also written two ‘mum-lit’ fiction books: The 3am shattered mums’ club and the 6pm frazzled mums’ club. Her tenth book, Her Last Summer, another thriller, is published in May 2024.
Nina currently lives in The Highlands in Scotland with her family.

Social media links
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100083674816362
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ninamanninguk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ninamanningauthor/
Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/NinaManningNews
Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/nina-manning

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