Her Last Goodbye Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 62 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Her Last Goodbye.
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Her Last Goodbye Summary & Study Guide Description

Her Last Goodbye Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Her Last Goodbye by .

The following version of the novel was used to create this study guide: Leigh, Melinda, Her Last Goodbye. Montlake Romance, Sept. 26, 2017. Kindle.

In Her Last Goodbye by Melinda Leigh, Randolph County Sheriff King did not take the disappearance and alleged kidnapping of a young mother, Chelsea Clark, seriously until a body was found in a nearby state park. Private investigators Morgan Dane and Lance Kruger stayed one step ahead of the sheriff as they suspected Harold Burns, a registered sex offender who lived in their county, might be responsible for Chelsea’s disappearance. Even after Harold’s arrest, Morgan’s gut told her the case was not finished yet.

Leigh opens her novel with a scene in which a man buried a body. He regretted his mistake but believed he had been careful enough that he would not be caught. He intended to find a replacement for the woman who had died.

Tim Clark, Chelsea’s husband, hired Sharp Investigations, the company for which Lance and Morgan worked, to find Chelsea because he believed Sheriff King was too focused on him as a suspect. He told Lance and Morgan that even though Chelsea was not happy because he did not do enough to help out with their two children, Bella and William, that Chelsea would not have willingly abandoned her children.

Meanwhile, Chelsea woke in the storage container in which she was being held captive. She searched her surroundings, looking for a way to escape. She had just managed to remove the cap from a barrel to which she was manacled when he captor entered the container. He beat her severely when he saw she was trying to escape. A few days later, the man branded Chelsea with an infinity symbol. He said that it showed that she belonged to him. After the branding, Chelsea managed to escape through a hole in the ceiling of the shipping container. Because she was fit and strong from her daily routine of running, Chelsea was able to get away from her captor. She was found walking on the side of the road and taken to the hospital.

Tim, with the help of Lance and Morgan, was preparing for a press conference in which he was going to announce the details of a reward being offered for her safe return when he saw a clip on the news showing Chelsea being found. In the hospital, Chelsea told the sheriff as much as she could about the man who kidnapped her and held her captive. Lance and Morgan questioned Chelsea later after she was released to go home but she was not able to remember much more about what had happened to her.

Lance and Morgan focused their investigation on two different suspects. Harold was a sex offender who confronted Morgan when she went to Burns’ Auto Shop, the shop where Harold worked with his brother, Jerry, to see if Harold remembered working on Chelsea’s car. Harold told Morgan that he knew the only reason she was interested in him was because he was on the sex offender list. He threatened to charge her with harassment if she did not leave him alone. Later that day, Harold arranged to run into Morgan and her three-year-old daughter in the grocery store. He accused her of following him. Though it was clear Morgan had not sought Harold out, Morgan still got orders from the sheriff to stay away from Harold. The second suspect was Derek Pagano, the brother of Elliot Pagano, Tim’s boss. Elliot neglected to include Derek on the list of employees he submitted to both Sharp Investigations and the sheriff. Some research determined that Derek was a sexual offender as well.

Meanwhile, another woman went missing. Even though Harold had threatened both the city and county police with lawsuits if they kept him under surveillance, Morgan sensed someone needed to see what Harold was doing. She and Lance sneaked onto Harold’s property and discovered that the missing woman was being held in a trailer. Morgan made an anonymous phone call to 911 saying she had heard a woman screaming. Minutes later, Harold attacked Lance with a two-by-four. Lance managed to subdue Harold. Then, Jerry appeared and threatened to shoot Morgan. Even though there had not been enough time for the sheriff and his deputies to respond to Morgan’s call, Sheriff King stepped up behind Jerry and shot him.

It was discovered that Harold and Jerry had kidnapped and raped multiple women over the years. Morgan felt uneasy because there was no branding iron found near the auto business. The trailer also did not match the container in which Chelsea said she had been held. Fearing that Chelsea’s real kidnapper would come back for her because the sheriff believed the case was closed, Morgan convinced Lance to help her set up surveillance in Tim and Chelsea’s house.

The first night they were there, Derek broke into the house intending to kidnap Chelsea. Instead, he was arrested by Lance and Morgan. He admitted not only to abducting Chelsea but also to taking part in his sister-in-law’s death. When Lance and Morgan questioned Elliot he was also arrested because he knew that Derek had kidnapped Chelsea but did not tell law enforcement. Sheriff’s deputies located the shipping container as well as the branding iron used on Chelsea on Derek’s property.

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