Last Seen Leaving

( 7 )

Overview

Twenty-something drifter Miranda crashes her car late at night on a lonely highway and is picked up by a passing stranger who soon reveals himself to be more sinister than at first glance. No one knows Miranda is missing: her father died in a plane crash over Central America and her estranged mother, Anne, sought comfort in a New
Age lifestyle in the Arizona desert.
When Anne reaches out to her daughter, no one has heard from Miranda for two ...

See more details below
Audiobook (CD - Unabridged)
$53.97
BN.com price
(Save 10%)$59.97 List Price
Other sellers (Audiobook)
  • All (1) from $40.57   
  • New (1) from $40.57   
Last Seen Leaving

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.49
BN.com price
(Save 17%)$13.95 List Price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.

Overview

Twenty-something drifter Miranda crashes her car late at night on a lonely highway and is picked up by a passing stranger who soon reveals himself to be more sinister than at first glance. No one knows Miranda is missing: her father died in a plane crash over Central America and her estranged mother, Anne, sought comfort in a New
Age lifestyle in the Arizona desert.
When Anne reaches out to her daughter, no one has heard from Miranda for two months. All signs seem to point to Miranda’s death, but she’s actually living under an assumed name in a Virginia beach town and may not want to be found.
Maybe George, her highway rescuer, means nothing by his unexpected appearances and is unconnected to rumors of a serial killer stalking young women. Maybe her mother will find her in time. Maybe not.
Last Seen Leaving explores the often ambiguous nature of danger and the dark secrets we keep in order to protect those we love.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Two women in crisis learn important lessons about "life and death and the nature of love" in Braffet's brilliant second novel (after 2005's Jack and Josie). Anne Cassidy, a 48-year-old New Age devotee living in Sedona, Ariz., knows something major has gone wrong when her daughter, Miranda, a college dropout and aimless drifter currently in Pittsburgh, Pa., doesn't answer her calls and Randa's phone is later disconnected. After two months, Anne must face a mother's worst fear--that her daughter has vanished. Meanwhile, Randa has crashed her car and left it to start a new life after accepting a ride from "George," an odd stranger who's either a serial killer or a covert CIA operative. George drops her off in Lawrence Beach, Va., where she takes a chambermaid job at a cheap motel. At the end of the tourist season, Randa's reduced to living in a friend's van while female bodies continue to surface in the seaside community. In Pittsburgh, Anne hunts for clues to her daughter's disappearance and revisits the equally disturbing disappearance of Nick, her pilot husband, in 1984. Fluid prose, vivid characters and suspenseful twists lead to a hopeful denouement. Author tour. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Anne Cassidy and her twentysomething daughter, Miranda, are struggling to cope with the sudden death of husband and father Nick, a hotshot pilot for a questionable private aviation company. Anne has become a New Age spiritualist in Sedona while Miranda has turned into a promiscuous and rootless dropout. After a three-year estrangement, Anne sets off to find Miranda and repair their broken lives. No one has heard from Miranda for two months, and Anne fears the worst. But Miranda is actually living under an assumed name in a seedy Virginia beach town, after having survived a drunken car wreck and been rescued by a passing motorist. As Anne gathers clues to Miranda's whereabouts, Miranda's life begins a perilous downward spiral. Her rescuer's interest in her seems questionable in light of rumors of a local serial killer, and her sources of money, booze, and food are drying up as the tourists leave the beach at summer's end. This story could have been a real downer, but Braffet (Josie and Jack) deftly teases readers with the appearance of Nick's flying buddy and some hopeful clues to Nick's tragic death. Her skillful portrayal of unresolved grief and shattered relationships lends sensitivity to this solidly crafted and compelling sophomore effort, which will secure the author's place as a novelist of note. Recommended for all fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/06.] Susan Clifford Braun, Aerospace Corp. Lib., El Segundo, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A suspenseful, emotionally resonant story about a mother and her daughter caught in the mystery of her husband's disappearance. Braffet's lean prose, taut pacing and subtle characterizations here live up to the promise of her debut (Josie and Jack¸ 2005). Anne's husband Nick was a pilot, a charming thrill-seeker and Vietnam vet who went from flying combat in Laos to flying cargo in undisclosed Central American locations. Then the shadowy Western Mountain Aviation called to say Nick's plane had gone down, though they never did find it or him. Distraught, the young widow took her daughter Miranda and fled Pittsburgh for Sedona and the comforts of New Age spiritualism. Twenty years later, Miranda has grown into an angry, isolated 28-year-old dropout, drifting between bad jobs and poor relationships. An unnamed woman has walked away from a car crash and is picked up by a middle-aged man in a sedan. Anne suddenly can't reach her daughter, and sets off to find her. As Anne collects heartrending, baffling clues, we watch Miranda move closer to the dark undertow of her unhappy life. The author's carefully drawn characters and incisive observations on human nature form the heart of her novel. Miranda and Anne are flawed, highly sympathetic beings who struggle to face life in the face of unresolved grief and an impossible web of deceit. Braffet teases the reader with the possibility that all will be revealed about Nick's disappearance, plus a barely-there subplot about a serial killer, but brilliantly plays against genre expectations by placing the real suspense in Miranda's ability to care for herself enough to allow Anne to find her. A keen, heartfelt thrill.
From the Publisher
“Deft . . . Braffet has a gift for creating an atmosphere of suspicion—and suspense.”—Francine Prose People Magazine

“Brainy, quirky, and bold, this is anything but your grandma’s cozy mystery novel.” Elle

"Dno't read [it] before bed, or else you'll never fall asleep."—Jane Magazine

“[A] compelling tale of mother-daughter estrangement." Esquire

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781743190203
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/23/2012
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 7.12 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kelly Braffet's first novel, Josie and Jack, was published in 2005. It was praised as 'wicked fun . . . a gothic tour of hell' (Los Angeles Times) and 'a compelling study of love, hate, and psychopathic jealousy' (New York Post). Braffet was born in Long Beach, California, in 1976, and has lived in Arizona, rural Pennsylvania and Oxford, England. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University, and has taught novel writing at the Sackett Street Writing Workshop. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, the writer Owen King.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Prologue: Crash It had been a bad night, anyway. He’d had too much to drink, she hadn’t had enough, and they’d ended up in the parked car, having sex while fat summer raindrops spattered against the windows. He was fast and grunting and she felt that she may as well have been alone in the car, in the parking lot, in the state; impatience had welled up inside her like bad food, the same feeling she had in tight spaces. She’d wondered how he didn’t notice.
Then they’d argued, and now she was on the highway, driving the twenty miles it would take her to be home. And the car was hers, the music coming through the speakers was hers, loud and aggressive, and the highway felt wonderful under her tires. She was on the new bypass, which cost a dollar, but it was worth it because the road was empty. The cops stuck to highways with more traffic, where they’d be more likely to fill their ticket quotas, and so she gunned it, cutting through the empty darkness and pressing the accelerator closer and closer to the Nova’s dirty floor mats. Singing along with the music and pounding the steering wheel in time to the beat, with all of that frustrated energy to burn. Raindrops smacked hard off the asphalt, back up into the air, and that suited her, too.
When she drove, she liked to think she was plugged into a huge, powerful machine. Like science fiction: the car’s nervous system joined with her own through the sole of her right foot. That was where the car told her to add more gas or take it away, when she had a low tire and was driving soft, when she was on ice and when she was on dry pavement. That was where she felt it when the car hydroplaned. She just had time to think Oh, shit before time unlocked and she saw the guardrail racing toward her. Her headlights lit the grass with surreal stripes of daylight as the car hurtled down the high, artificial embankment and then the grass was in the sky and the sky was in the grass, and inside her head there was only a high-pitched wail of impossibility. She was rolling her car. People died when they rolled their cars. She could die.
The wail intensified. She knew nothing else until it was over.

A man crouched next to her on the grass, rain spotting his glasses. “Are you all right?” he said. “Are you hurt?” She was sitting halfway up the steep slope. The crumpled Nova lay at the base of the embankment, twisted into sculpture. She had no memory of unbuckling her seatbelt and pulling herself from the wreckage, of climbing this hill, of sitting down on the wet earth.
The man said, “You don’t look hurt. You’re not bleeding.” She was too busy taking stock of herself to answer. Her shoulder burned where the seatbelt had dug into it, and her knees ached from bracing her legs against the floor mat. Her jaw felt stiff and sore. But the man was right. None of her hurts seemed serious.
“Did you see me go over?” she asked. Her voice cracked.
He nodded. “I was behind you. We should get out of the rain,” he added, pushing his dripping hair back from his forehead. “Do you have a mobile phone?” She shook her head.
“Neither do I. But I can give you a ride to the nearest pay phone.” He helped her to her feet. The world was finding its place around her, but her legs still felt weak and disconnected from the rest of her body. She stumbled, almost fell, and he caught her without hesitation.
“I’m not drunk,” she said.
“I know you’re not,” he said, his hand cool on her bare elbow. Together they made their way up the rain-slick hill to his car, a silver Mercedes. He helped her into the passenger’s seat, making sure her seatbelt was buckled before carefully checking two lanes’ worth of empty blacktop and pulling onto the highway. Only then did all the advice she’d been given about how to behave when you were a stranded female motorist come back to her. She realized that she had done everything wrong. She had not stayed in her car with the doors locked. She had not asked a passing motorist to send help. A stranger had offered her a ride and she had taken it.
Then she thought, Fuck that, I’m alive. And her rescuer didn’t seem interesting enough to be dangerous. He wore a button- down shirt, khakis, and loafers, all slightly soggy from the rain, and wire-rimmed glasses that he’d carefully wiped dry with a handkerchief before starting the engine. He was about ten years older than she was, and he needed a haircut.
Her hands still shook with the aftereffects of the crash, and her heart was loud and dire inside her chest, like the backbeat from music playing too loudly in another apartment. The world felt foggy and surreal, and she decided that she couldn’t be paranoid, not now. It was too hard.
For a time they drove withoutt speaking, watching the flat gray ribbon of road unfurling in front of the headlights. The Mercedes seemed to glide above it without touching the asphalt. Even the rain was hushed. She leaned back and rested her head against the soft leather seat. Gradually, she relaxed. Her hands stopped trembling, and her heart quieted. She felt as if she’d been crying, fiercely and for a long time.
A slow scowl spread across her face. Finally she said, “I can’t believe I wrecked my goddamned car. What the fuck am I going to do? How am I supposed to get to work tomorrow?” She lifted her hands and dropped them hopelessly. “They’ll fire me. They’ll completely fucking fire me.” He said nothing, and she saw that he was smiling. It was a simple smile, as if he’d just seen something small and pleasant, like a butterfly. Suddenly she was angry. “Yeah, funny, isn’t it?” she said. “My car’s a piece of modern art next to the bypass, by this time tomorrow I’ll be unemployed, and by this time next month I’ll probably be living in my boyfriend’s mother’s basement. I could die laughing.” The smile vanished. “I’m sorry,” he said quickly. “It’s the way you talk, like die laughing. You sound like someone in a crime novel.” “Oh.” Her anger vanished as quickly as it had come, but it left a strange taste in her mouth. Was that a compliment? she wondered. She watched him carefully now, looking for—she didn’t know exactly what she was looking for. Some sign that would tip things one way or another, into hazardous territory or out of it. “I swear like a goddamned sailor, is what you mean.” “I think it’s quite wonderful,” he said, and that was strange, but was it dangerous? It sounded like the kind of thing some flake New Age friend of her mother’s would say, didn’t it? Affirmation for affirmation’s sake. You hated your job so you quit, and now you live in your car? How wonderful for you.
“Wonderful. Right,” she said, and then, deliberately changing the subject, “This is a nice car.” She meant it; the seats felt like real leather, and the soft glow from the dashboard was all digital. She’d never been in a Mercedes before.
He shrugged. “I travel a lot for work. I used to fly; now I drive. The economy,” he said, as if he expected her to commiserate.
“My economy always sucks,” she said. “What do you do?” “I work for the government. It’s not that interesting.” She tried to smile. “You want to hear not interesting, I’ll tell you about my job.” The smile disappeared. “Although I guess it won’t be a problem after I get fired.” He nodded, not unsympathetically. “You’re lucky I came along, you know. There’s not a lot of traffic on this road.” “I can take care of myself. A few months ago I had a fan belt break not far from here. No big deal. I just fixed it with my bra.” “That’s very resourceful,” he said, with enough sudden interest to make her regret mentioning her underwear. “I always thought that was an urban legend. Like giving somebody a tracheotomy with a ballpoint pen if they’re choking. How are you supposed to keep the person from bleeding to death while they’re breathing through your pen?” It was hard to tell if he expected an answer. “Duct tape,” she said.
He took her seriously. “If you have some. I guess it’s the sort of thing that you never think you can do until you actually do it. It’s a common phenomenon. Where do you live?” “What?” she said, instantly tense.
“Where do you live? Where am I taking you?” She moved uneasily in the seat. “There’s a truck stop off the next exit. You can drop me there.” “I can take you all the way home if you’d like. The company is nice. I spend a lot of time alone.” “The truck stop is fine.” “I actually enjoy driving,” he said. “I find it meditative. I think about things I’ve never done, things I’d like to do.” “Like what?” she said, thinking that if he said anything else about tracheotomies she would jump out of the moving car, which was something that she had never done.
But instead he said, “I don’t know. The standard things, I guess. Haven’t you ever failed yourself?” “You know, for a guy who spends all his time alone, you talk a lot,” she said.
“I’m surprising myself. I don’t really like people, as a rule.” “Great.” “Why?” “Because I’m locked in a car with a strange man who doesn’t like people.” “Oh,” he said, and then, for the first time, he laughed. His laugh was all in his throat. “You’re funny.” She turned and looked out the window just in time to see the truck stop fly past in a blur of yellow lights. “Hey,” she said. “That was the exit. You just missed it.” “Did I?” he said.
Copyright © 2006 by Kelly Braffet. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2013

    A must read!

    Read this for a class and I really fell in love with it. Braffet is an up and coming author with wonderful prose and great insight.

    A mashup of mystery, literature, and a road narative, combined with great execution.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2013

    T

    This is not about the novel..this is about the ridiculous postings that appear on these pages. How childish and worthless they are...please take the time to report them when they appear. Maybe something will be done to stop this waste of space.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2013

    Excellent Story

    I loved the back and forth between mother and daughter's story. Excellent writing and a good plot but story finished up too fast with lots of questions about fathers ending.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2013

    Boring

    Slow paced and boring

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2013

    RP some kits or apprentises!

    I, Bluestar, have 12 kits that need rpers. Some are already apprentises. Here's the entire list of apprentises that need rpers:<>
    • Shadowpaw<br>
    • Silverpaw<br>
    • Firepaw<br>
    • Stripepaw<br>
    • Duskpaw<br>
    • Mosspaw<p>
    Here is the list of kits that need rpers:<br>
    • Talonkit<br>
    • Opalkit<br>
    • Forestkit<br>
    • Everkit<br>
    • Skykit<br>
    • Winterkit<br>
    • Swirlingkit<p>
    Only Mosspaw is not mine. Ask Wingdust or Thornfall about him. Not me. And for my kits, as long as you are active, just start rping. No need to ask unless they are taken. Read their corresponding bios please first. The rest will be out within a couple days. This is a message from Lightclan (located at 'help me' results one and three). Thank you for your time. Bluestar.

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    Pyrokit

    Yawned went to sleep.

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 7 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)