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The Last Resort


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About The Book

From the bestselling author of Reese’s Book Club Pick Lucky comes a gripping novel about marriage, loyalty, and the deadly secrets that unravel over the course of a two-week couples’ therapy retreat in Mexico.

We all have thirteen secrets. Five stay buried forever, but the rest will be revealed.

Miles Markell is missing, and everyone is a suspect.

To the guests at The Harmony Resort, Doctors Miles and Grace Markell appear to be a perfect power couple. They run a couples’ therapy retreat in a luxurious resort in the Mayan Riviera where they help spouses deal with their marriage struggles.

Johanna and Ben’s relationship looks great on the surface, but in reality, they don’t know each other at all. Shell and Colin fight constantly—Colin is a workaholic, and Shell always comes second—but what has really torn them apart is too devastating to talk about. When both couples begin Harmony’s intensive therapy program, it becomes clear that Harmony is not all that it seems—and neither are Miles and Grace. What are they hiding, and what price will these couples pay for finding out their secrets?

As a powerful hurricane descends on the coast, trapping both the hosts and their guests, confidences are revealed, loyalties are tested, and not one single person—or marriage—will ever be the same.

A gripping exploration of relationships and trust, The Last Resort is a propulsive read about all the big truths we hide, even from ourselves.


The Last Resort
From: Miles and Grace Markell

To: Undisclosed recipients


Subject: Welcome email!

Welcome, friends! Barring any unforeseen circumstances, you should all have arrived by 4:00 p.m. and we’ll meet on the Oceanside Terrace shortly afterward for Opening Night. We understand you may be tired from a day of travel, but the inaugural exercise isn’t optional (in fact, none of the scheduled activities are). Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to relax and settle in tomorrow. But please do use some of the time in your “settle in” day to catch up on your reading. The books you’ll need are on your bedside tables.

After Opening Night, you are invited to retire to your luxury bungalow, where a personalized multicourse room service meal will be delivered. Our staff is at your service with just the press of a button; use them when and as needed. You won’t need an orientation. Everything about Harmony at La Hacienda is intuitive. We promise.

We can’t wait to meet you!

In solidarity,

Drs. Miles and Grace Markell

PS: No cell phones/laptops/devices! ?The lockboxes are in the lobby. Ruth Abrams, our clinician, will help you schedule approved check-ins with your families. From now on, all communication will happen on resort property only. There is also a strict no-alcohol policy, so ditch the duty-free. See you soon!

About The Author

Photograph © Philippa Croft

Marissa Stapley is the New York Times bestselling author of Lucky, a Reese’s Book Club pick, and several other internationally bestselling novels, many of which have been optioned for television and translated into several languages. She has worked as a journalist, magazine editor, and creative writing teacher, and currently resides in Toronto with her family. 

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 18, 2019)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781501188046

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Raves and Reviews

Praise for The Last Resort

Shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award

“Featuring vivid, heart-pounding storytelling and a compelling depiction of the heartbreaking ways that long-term abuse can destroy your will, Stapley's latest is an excellent beach read for anyone who loves romantic suspense.”

The Last Resort harnesses women’s anger. . . . The story’s emotional core is wrapped in a taut thriller.”
Toronto Star

“Gripping. . . . Stapley shows a real knack for suspense.”
Publishers Weekly

“Atmospheric and evocative, Marissa Stapley’s The Last Resort brings together a cast of characters with secrets as destructive as the hurricane threatening the island, and explores how far we’ll go to keep the truth buried. Fast-paced, expertly plotted, and highly entertaining, this novel is perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty!”
KARMA BROWN, bestselling author of Come Away with Me

“Stapley pulls off a tale that’s both spine-chilling and heartwarming. How she does it is as intricate a mystery as The Last Resort’s plot. You won’t be needing a bookmark.”
CHRISTINA DALCHER, bestselling author of Vox

“A cult-like couples’ retreat is an alluring backdrop for a cast of complex and damaged characters navigating their way through marital strife. The secrets, lies, and psychoses revealed will keep readers rapt as they hurtle toward a climax of biblical proportions. A rollicking thrill-ride!”
ROBYN HARDING, internationally bestselling author of The Party and The Arrangement

“With artfully creative storytelling, The Last Resort leads us down the dark rabbit warren of other people’s marriages and asks the best question of all: How well do you really know the person you’re living with? This novel is an exciting addition to the psych thriller world—with an emotionally complex twist.”
ROZ NAY, bestselling author of Our Little Secret

The Last Resort has all the ingredients for an impossible-to-put-down thrill ride of a read—but it’s also got something more: well-developed characters who feel intensely real, polished prose that never descends into the trite or predictable, and authentic emotional heft. It will fascinate you, enlighten you, break your heart and mend it again. Read this book!”
JENNIFER ROBSON, internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France and The Gown

“Stapley's writing is fast-paced while still cutting deep. I burned through the book, but it will stay with me. The Last Resort is all of these things: a nail-biter, a page-turner, a thoughtful, powerful exploration into who we are in relationships and on our own. It's like literary fiction and killer suspense were left on an island together and the outcome was an incredible book."
LAURIE PETROU, author of Sister of Mine

"Nothing is as it seems in Marissa Stapley’s tense and tightly paced thriller, The Last Resort. Fans of Agatha Christie will surely love this modern whodunit from the first to the very last page. One to add to your “to read” list now.”
HANNAH MARY McKINNON, author of The Neighbors and Her Secret Son

“A gripping and compelling story that explores the dark secrets buried within three marriages. Deeply addictive and simmering with tension, The Last Resort had me breathlessly turning the pages all the way through to its explosive conclusion.”
LUCY CLARKE, author of The Blue

“Deeply unsettling and emotionally resonant, The Last Resort is psychological suspense at its best, from the damaged couples seeking to repair their broken marriages, to the captivating backdrop of an island resort in the midst of a hurricane. Marissa Stapley delivers a twisty, expertly written mystery you can sink your teeth into.”
KAREN KATCHUR, author of River Bodies

Praise for Things to Do When It’s Raining

“A story worth savoring.”
Hello Magazine

“Commercial fiction at its best. Compelling, heartfelt and well-crafted. A gem of a page-turner.”
Toronto Star

“The intensity of the lasting love and friendship between Gabe and Mae is emotionally powerful and finely wrought, and Stapley complements this story about the difficult choices family members make for those they love with an evocative setting.”
Publishers Weekly

“A charming tale with an enchanting setting, Stapley’s latest (after Mating for Life, 2014) is an engaging read about keeping secrets, starting over, and loving the family you choose.”

“Evocative, wise and infused with heart. A deeply moving story about family, love and loss, the novel shows how secrets can either haunt us or set us free, depending on who we trust them with. One of my favorite books this year!”
KARMA BROWN, bestselling author of Come Away with Me

“Has heart and soul and guts, and it has achingly beautiful prose and characters so dear and real I couldn’t bear to say goodbye when I reached its final page. It’s a book about friendship and secrets, grief and regret, the peculiar shape of families and the redemptive nature of love. And it is, quite frankly, one of the best books I have read in a very long time.”
JENNIFER ROBSON, bestselling author of Moonlight over Paris

“Fans of Nicholas Sparks will adore Things to Do When It’s Raining, an irresistible tribute to first love, second chances and the powerful legacy of the past. Elegant and heartfelt, Marissa Stapley’s writing is a gift.”
PAM JENOFF, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan's Tale

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