BOOK CLUB: Last Known Contact

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Author: Phillipa Nefri Clark
ISBN: 9780648865292
Copy courtesy of Phillipa Nefri Clark

Last Known Contact is the latest release from Phillipa Nefri Clark, best-selling, self-published author of the River’s End series, Charlotte Dean’s mysteries, and Simple Words for Troubled Times, a non-fiction book of messages of hope written under the alias Ronen Groves.

When Ellie Conner (nee Bannerman) steps off the plane in Australia after a business trip to London she is greeted with the news that her father, Jack Bannerman, founder and CEO of Bannerman Wealth Group (BWG) has disappeared.

 Her, soon to be ex, husband Dennis Conner has stepped into the role of CEO although as the last known contact he is high on the list of suspects in Jack’s disappearance.

 Jack’s second wife, Meredith, Ellie’s step mum seems remarkably unconcerned about her husband’s disappearance, if you can pry the brandy glass away from her for long enough to get her to speak, but she and Dennis seem to be getting awfully cosy.

 When a fisherman disappears, and a gun is found under a mattress on Jack’s boat Sea Angel the mystery deepens. Then when Jack’s closest friend is found unconscious at the base of the stairs in the office stairwell Ellie really starts to panic about what has happened to her dad.

 Through it all, the only person who seems to want to support her is the head of Security Paul Dekkles who has worked with her dad forever.

 As Ellie tries to get to the bottom of what has happened to her dad she will find herself and her brother Michael under threat; and find herself wondering what and who she can trust, as her world seems to be unravelling around her.

 And if that isn’t enough, the detective assigned to the case is Ben Rossi, an ex-boyfriend, previous best friend of her brother’s, and the man she blames for the condition her brother is now in.

 This is a fantastic suspense novel leading you through the search for Jack with clues and red herrings a-plenty, and just when you think you have worked it out, there’s another twist.  A book that will captivate you right to the very end.

Many thanks to Phillipa Nefri Clark and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review this book.

 I am committed to exposing readers to our amazing Australian self-published (Indie) authors.  If you enjoyed this book you can access more of Phillipa’s work at her online bookstore www.phillipaclark.com/books, and where all good books are sold.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Last Known Contact by Phillipa Nefri Clark. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

35 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Last Known Contact

  1. Beauty & Lace Bookclub. 1st September, 2020
    Thank-you Beauty & Lace for giving me the chance to read & review ‘Last Known Contact’ a wonderful mystery suspense e-novel by Phillipa Nefri Clark.
    The story begins with Ellie arriving back to Melbourne from a month-long trip to London. While she was gone her husband has left her, her father is missing, a step-mother is disinterested and mostly drunk and the family business empire is in jeopardy. While trying to find her dad Ellie comes up with questions rather than answers as she grapples with looking for her missing dad. As time goes on Ellie is offered support from the company managers and lead security guard which only leads to more questions. An old flame Detective Ben arrives to assist when there is further foul play of death, assault and mismanagement.
    The real question is ‘who can Ellie trust?’ which is only revealed after a twisted plot, which has the finger pointed at a number of suspects. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and am very happy to recommend it.
    Thank-you ‘Beauty & Lace Bookclub’ and Phillipa Nefri Clark for allowing me to read & review ‘Last Known Contact’.

  2. LOVED IT!. This is the first book I have read from Phillipa Nefri Clark, and won’t be my last. It has everything that make a great page turner.
    Romance, intrigue, murder, deception and greed, all rolled into one thrilling story.
    If my tablet hadn’t gone flat, I would have read it in one night!
    Great characters, some easy to love, others to be so cautious of, and kept you wondering.
    A thrilling ending that I didn’t see coming, made for a fabulous read.
    I can’t wait to read more of Phillipa’s work.
    Thank you so much Beauty & Lace, and Phillipa Nefri Clark, for allowing me to read and review, and now recommend!.

      1. Thank you Phillipa. Yes, I was cursing it for going flat, but the minute there was enough charge, straight back into it lol.
        I am about to start ‘Taming the Wind’. Thank you so much for the link to that one.

  3. Thank you to Phillipa Nefri Clark through Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review Last Known Contact. It is a while since I participated in a review read and was pleased to receive it to read on my Kindle. My hard copy pile to read has grown to unmanageable proportions. Right from the start, I was engaged. I found it fast paced and was reminded of a script. My imagination jumped from one to another likelihood. The Book Chapter titles delighted me, so much better than just Chapter 1 and so on. Another device that appealed to me was the italicized thoughts that enabled a story to be presented from more than one character’s point of view. I hope Phillipa intended me to have suspicions of Paul. His actions and attitudes made my skin prickle. This did not mean that I saw him as a perpetrator, he simply was creepy. Maybe I was quickly and wholly taken with Ben Rossi? I am a sucker for first lover reunions. It was so intriguing that a missing note could result in so much drama and this was a truly clever central plot. The final chapter brought me quickly to tears. It is a heartfelt conclusion that is hopeful and realistic. I will be examining Phillipa’s back list. I rate this title with 4 stars.

    1. Thank you so much, Judi. I’m so pleased you enjoyed so much about Last Known Contact. Without giving too much away – you are spot on with what I was doing about Paul. The ending still makes me cry and I wrote it. <3

      Again, my sincere thanks.

      Phillipa

  4. Thanks for the opportunity to read ‘Last Known Contact’ by Phillipa Nefri Clark. Thanks also to Phillipa for the personalised note with my copy!

    What a great story and a ripping read – it is absolutely un-put-downable! The characters are well fleshed out and totally believable, even when that aren’t that likeable. The main character, Ellie Connor shows herself to a strong-willed and loyal person character facing an unthinkable situation. The interactions of the characters, the secrets revealed and the gripping action make for a book that I HAD to read in two days! I would have read it in one day if I could have!

    If you are looking for a fast paced thriller that is going to have you guessing all the way thru I highly recommend ‘Last Known Contact’.

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Deborah and thank you! I’m so happy Last Known Contact was a great read for you. I adore Ellie but when writing was never quite sure if I nailed her character so this makes me smile. Your recommendation is deeply appreciated. Phillipa

  5. Last Known Contact. By Phillipa Nefri Clark. 15/9/2020

    When Ellie Connor arrives home to Melbourne from a year in England, she is met at the airport by a barrage of reporters thrusting microphones in her face asking how is she coping with her fathers disappearance. The Head of security of Bannerman Wealth Group, her family’s business, shields her as they make their way out to the company car. As they leave Tullamarine airport Ellie cannot believe what she has just experienced – she had no idea her father Jack was missing.

    So begins Ellie’s nightmare, as she follows every lead to try to find her dad. He went missing between the office, and a planned sailing outing with Ellie’s husband Dennis, who was the last known contact. The police have questioned Dennis, who says Jack never showed up at the jetty.

    Ellie must force herself to ask if Dennis could have had a hand in Jack’s disappearance. If not Dennis, then who? Someone at Bannerman Wealth, a multi- million dollar business? When no ransom demand occurs, Ellie struggles to believe that those closest to her may be involved. And is Jack dead? How can she keep the business running until his return? What if he is never found?

    This is a fast paced, can’t put it down, page turning mystery thriller which really kept me guessing. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Thanks to Beauty & Lace Bookclub, and author Phillipa Nefri Clark, for the chance to read a personally signed edition of Last Known Contact. The handwritten note with the included notepad was a lovely touch, and greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  6. I really appreciate the author, Phillips Neri Clark signing the book and adding a personal touch. From the very first page I was hooked and the story had twists and turns that had me guessing. I would highly recommend this book for everybody to read who loves a well written thriller mystery. It was great and refreshing to read a book that was based in Melbourne. I’d like to thank you for the fantastic read.

  7. Thank you BeautyandLace and Phillipa Nefri Clark for providing me my personalized copy of Last Known Contact to read and review.
    Wow! What a great face paced book for me to really sink my teeth into. I don’t usually read mystery books but this thriller had my attention from the very beginning until the very last page!
    Ellie Connor rushes back from London when she hears the news of about her dad, Jack, he has suddenly vanished without a trace. Jack is at the helm of Bannerman Wealth Group, a successful Melbourne entrepreneur and his sudden disappearance is both puzzling and concerning. Dennis, Ellie’s ex doesn’t seemed to be too phased with Jack’s absence. Could Dennis after the family empire, what are his motives?

    Jack has always surrounded himself with people he could trust but now Ellie is faced with the dilemma of who she could trust to help her find out the truth! It appears everyone has their own agendas.

    Ellie’s old flame is also back on the scene and you eventually discover the answer to a family secret that has haunted Ellie.
    At the end of the day Ellie has to trust her instincts to find out what happened to her father and trusting the wrong person could prove fatal!
    I love that this story interweaves a bit of everything, a murder/mystery, romance, intrigue and betrayal.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading Last Known Contact and highly recommend it!

  8. Last known Contact is a real page turner! What a great book and I would love to read more from Phillipa Nefri Clark in the future. I love a fast paced story with well developed characters and this one proved itself quickly. I read it over a few days.

    The story centres around Ellie Connor who arrives back in Melbourne to find out that her father has disappeared. Ellie’s father Jack is a successful Melbourne entrepreneur and his sudden disappearance is unusual. As Ellie tries to find her father she begins to question everyone’s loyalty and is unsure who to trust. Dennis, her husband is the last known contact.

    This is a must read book that will keep you drawn in. Thank you to Phillipa Nefri Clark and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review Last Known Contact.

  9. Thank you for the opportunity to review Last Known Contact by Phillipa Nefri Clark. It is an e-novel full of mystery, romance, murder, suspense, intrigue, greed, lies and deception.
    It begins with Ellie returning to Melbourne from London after a month long trip for her fathers business, Bannerman Wealth Group.
    At the airport she is greeted by reporters and microphones in her face asking about her fathers (Jack’s) disappearance.
    Unfortunately that’s how Ellie finds out her Dad is missing.
    Not only that but while Ellie was in London her husband left her, her stepmother is a drunk and is not interested in the fact that the family business empire is in jeopardy.
    Ellie begins her search for her dad and in turn, finds more questions than answers. Who was Jack’s last known contact?
    Ellie is offered support from company management and their head security what’s which just leads to more questions.
    Detective Ben is brought in to assist in finding out what happened. The only complication being that Ben is Ellie’s ex. He is asked to help when there is further foul play of death, assault and mismanagement.
    Poor Ellie doesn’t know who to trust and fingers are pointed at a lot of suspects.
    The book was a real page turner for me. It was easy to get into and I liked learning about the different characters who were very well written.
    I wanted to keep reading the minute I had read the first page to be honest.
    I am so glad I found another author to add to my list of favourites.
    Thank you so much.

    1. It should say ‘Ellie is offered support from company management and their head security which just leads to more questions’

      I’m so sorry. The word what’s is in there for some reason and I cannot edit it.

  10. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Phillipa for giving me the opportunity to read this amazing book. Also thank you to Phillipa for signing the book and writing a personalised note!
    The book was a really good read, I couldn’t put the book down once I started reading it.

    Like a thrilling netflix series I would think about what’s going to happen next, who would be the culprit, who is behind the disappearance of Ellie’s dad.
    So many suspects, heaps of twists to make you think. The main character Elle is very relatable and you start to think what you would do if you are in her position.
    Overall its a great read and perfect for a reader who loves a suspenseful read!

  11. Phillipa Nefri Clark you sure have written one hell of a book, from start to finish will keep the reader wondering what is going to happen next.
    Ellie Conner comes back from England only to discover her father is missing she is a great character
    This is a thrilling story has it all murder lies romance secrets
    ( no spoilers from me I want readers to enjoy this book as much as I did )
    And an ending I never saw coming

  12. Just finished Last Known Contact today (great way to spend a long weekend). I won’t rehash the description of the book but will go into the things I really liked about the book. First that it was set in Melbourne (I’ve recently enjoyed a few books set in Australia [eg Bruny and a few of the Jane Harper books]). It’s nice to read about familiar places and it sets the scene for the book nicely. Secondly, I loved how Phillipa Nefri Clark actually addresses things that I thought about as I was reading it. Eg why nobody had hired a PI to do some investigating seeing as Jack Bannerman is quite rich and the company or his family can easily afford it. And thirdly, I love that the book isn’t so full of characters that the reader is just trying to make sense of who is who rather than what is going on. This book has just the right number of people to keep track of and allowed me to focus on the where and how.

    This would make a great holiday read and like others have said, a real page turner.

  13. This was a really good mystery/crime/suspense with some romance on the side. I found myself fully engaged in the mystery of the disappearance and probable murder of Ellie’s father Jack. There were plenty of twists in this novel, red herrings, and some very unlikeable and untrustworthy characters.

    I really liked Ellie who was strong but vulnerable and determined to find out what had happened to her father despite any risk to herself. I also really liked Ben, the detective in charge of the investigation who had a relationship with Ellie in the past and still has feelings for her, If I was ever in Ellie’s situation, I’d want someone like him on my side. I found Paul, the companies security expert and Ellie’s supposed friend to be downright creepy in his attention to her and there was something that just didn’t sit right with me. Ellie’s husband was a piece of work as was her step-mother and I hoped that somewhere along the way they would both get what they deserved.

    This was a great read and I really need to get to this author’s other novels which have been sitting on my shelf for far too long.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Phillipa Nefri Clark for a digital copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

  14. Thank you to the Beauty and Lace book club for sending me this book personally signed by the author for me to review.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the book which has many twists and unexpected turns with a touch of romance.

    I will be looking to read some other books by this fantastic author again soon.

  15. This is the first book I’ve read from Phillipa Clark and I really enjoyed it.
    Last Known Contact is about Ellie who returns to Australia after being overseas to find her whole world has been turned upside down including the disappearance of her father. It is a well written mystery that had me absorbed from start to finish as we try to figure out what really happened.
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Phillipa Clark for the opportunity to read this book

  16. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read Last Known Contact. I must admit that it’s a book I would not have picked up ordinarily but I am so glad I had this chance.
    I found Ellie to be headstrong and focused in trying to find out what happened to her father, despite others in the story, trying to steer her the wrong way into danger.
    I thought her father seemed rather selfish and not that concerned about Ellie.
    This was a well written mystery which kept me in thrall all through. I have since read a couple of other stories by Phillipa and have really enjoyed them

  17. Wow, this was an awesome read which grabs you from the first couple of pages and takes you on a wild roller coaster ride of who can Ellie trust. This book has it all, love, betrayal, murder, misdirection, deception, lies and at the center, a girl who simply wants to know the Truth.

    I particularly liked the character development of Ellie who was relatable however surrounded by some truly unfavourable types I did wonder how Ellie could be so normal. There was certainly scope for the author to give some of the other characters their just deserts however appreciate that this was Ellie’s story and not theirs.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would highly recommend it.

  18. I was so happy to receive ‘Last known contact’ by Phillipa Nefri Clark. It was everything I had hoped for. Ellie returns from overseas and finds her dad, Jack is missing. Her estranged husband is playing up and her ex boyfriend is assigned to help look for her dad. All of these characters intertwine and the story is fabulous to follow. I love the flow of this book and was turning pages quicker than I thought was possible. Absolutely loved it!!!! Look forward to reading more from this talented writer!! Well done.

  19. This book grabbed hold of me from the first sentence, churned me up, twisted me around so many times I was dizzy and finally let me go at the very end. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book this good!
    There are many twists and turns in this book, you think you know who’s behind it all then begin to suspect someone else, revisit your initial suspicion then second guess yourself until you have no idea who it is and just hold on for the ride. Thanks Beauty & Lace Book Club and Phillipa Nefri Clark for a copy of this book in return for an honest review, I can’t wait to read more by this author

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