New Mystery Novel, “The Night We Lost Him,” Promises Twisty Thrills — And We've Got a Sneak Peak (Exclusive)

Laura Dave, author of 'The Last Thing He Told Me,' gave PEOPLE an exclusive excerpt to tide us over.

<p>Katherine Eskovitz; Simon & Schuster</p> Laura Dave and her book,

Katherine Eskovitz; Simon & Schuster

Laura Dave and her book, 'The Night We Lost Him'

Fans of The Last Thing He Told Me won't have much longer to wait for author Laura Dave's newest suspenseful mystery — and PEOPLE has an exclusive excerpt to tide us all over.

The Last Thing He Told Me sold over 3 million copies and became a limited series on Apple TV+, starring Jennifer Garner. Dave's first book since that runaway success, The Night We Lost Him, promises "jaw-dropping plot twists, a decades-long forbidden romance and a tear-jerker of an ending," according to the publisher. It comes out this October from Marysue Rucci Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

apple tv+ Jennifer Garner in 'The Last Thing He Told Me' on Apple TV+
apple tv+ Jennifer Garner in 'The Last Thing He Told Me' on Apple TV+

Related: Jennifer Garner Runs Down Clues About Her Missing Husband in Twisty Trailer for 'The Last Thing He Told Me'

Much like her last hit, The Night We Lost Him promises to serve up Dave's signature blend of pulse-pounding suspense and moving family drama.

The Night We Lost Him opens with the death of a wealthy hotel magnate, who leaves behind three loving but carefully siloed families, and a recently amended will. Eldest daughter Nora has no intention of fighting with her family about the stewardship of her father’s business. That is, until her estranged half-brother shows up and declares their father’s death was no accident. The siblings dig into their family’s past and along the way, realize how little they knew about the man they both loved.

<p>Simon & Schuster</p> 'The Night We Lost Him' by Laura Dave

Simon & Schuster

'The Night We Lost Him' by Laura Dave

“I’m so excited to share The Night We Lost Him, which is close to my heart," Dave tells PEOPLE. "It’s a mystery and a love story and ultimately asks the question: What does it mean to be the witness to someone’s life?”

Read an exclusive excerpt of The Night We Lost Him, below.

Related: Watch Jennifer Garner Game-Plan the Search for Her Missing Husband in 'The Last Thing He Told Me' Premiere

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Liam digs his feet into the white rock. When exactly did this place become a referendum on what he’d failed to do? The irony of that! Instead of the escape he assumed it would be, a reprieve from the childhood home that he’d run from, this place has turned out to be the opposite. It is his time capsule.

He turns and looks at Windbreak, the small Craftsman. A house, a cottage, that is smaller than the guest houses on any of the neighboring properties, let alone the eight-thousand-square-foot main houses. Everyone assumed he’d knock the small house down eventually, build anew.

This bungalow, perfect and misplaced, wasn’t nearly big enough to house a large family. It wasn’t big enough for his families, certainly.

But it wasn’t as simple as building a larger home. He was always nervous to bring his daughter here when she was small, and then the boys when they were. The Palisades were no security from the drastic edges. That cliffside was too precipitous, 80 feet down to the ocean and the rock and the California coast. What if they fell? What if any one of them, with their small quick legs and ready elbows, went over the edge before he could catch them?

That’s what he told himself, at least. Is it even the truth? Or is the truth simpler? He always liked to be here alone. Alone or with her.

He peers out over the edge, the waves lapping 80 feet below, the bluffs jagged and beautiful and strong. And he knows that, no, it isn’t just selfishness. He’s certain of that. He’s certain that he was trying, in his way, to protect his children. Even when he failed (and he doesn’t kid himself, he failed far more often as a father than he succeeded) he did want to protect them.

When, mere moments later, Liam Samuel Noone is pushed over that edge, airborne and pivoting, this is in fact his last thought. For all his faults, his very last thought.

Better me, than them.

 Excerpted from THE NIGHT WE LOST HIM. Copyright @ 2024 by Laura Dave. Reproduced by permission of Marysue Rucci Books. All rights reserved.

The Night We Lost Him by Laura Dave goes on sale October 1, 2024 and is available for pre-order now.

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