A huge thanks to Tracy Fenton from https://www.compulsivereaders.com/ for organising this tour and to A. L. Grayling, and Orion for a copy of this audio book in return for a fair and unbiased review.
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When website columnist Robin Diamond is contacted by true crime podcast producer Quentin Garrison, she assumes it’s a business matter. It’s not. Quentin’s podcast, Closure, focuses on a series of murders in the 1970s, committed by teen couple April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy. It seems that Quentin has reason to believe Robin’s own mother may be intimately connected with the killings.
Robin thinks Quentin’s claim is absolutely absurd. But is it? The more she researches the Cooper/LeRoy murders herself, the more disturbed she becomes by what she finds. Living just a few blocks from her, Robin’s beloved parents are the one absolute she’s always been able to rely upon, especially now amid rising doubts about her husband and frequent threats from internet trolls. She knows her mother better than anyone—or so she believes. But all that changes when, in an apparent home invasion, Robin’s father is killed and her mother’s life hangs in the balance.
Told through the eyes of Robin, podcaster Quentin, and a series of letters written by fifteen-year-old April Cooper at the time of the killings, Never Look Back asks the question:
How well do we really know our parents, our partners—and ourselves?
This is my first experience of Ms Grayling and it certainly won’t be my last. Never Look Back is a tale of mystery and chilling revelations and is so captivating from start to finish.
Told from a variety of perspectives over a dual time, this is an insightful, and at times terrifying, story of an event that sends ripples through time, effecting people in so many ways. Each character viewpoint brings a unique and thought provoking perspective to the narrative and it doesn’t take long to develop an empathy for all the characters involved. Robyn gets the shock of her life when she realise she may just be related to a serial killer and Quentin has his own family demons to battle whilst trying to unravel a story.
My favourite chapters were the ones where April herself narrates letters written to her future child. In these I found a strange level of empathy with a narrative where there is more than meets the eye. They were so emotive and sincere that this was the character I became most intrigued and invested in.
As a plot, I became so immersed in the story that it completely felt like a true crime novel, so real! Intense from the beginning and full of twists this is a story that will keep you on your toes (and in your reading place of choice).
Despite the fact that I usually show a preference for English accents in my audio books, I found the narration of of Never Look Back really well done. I’m not sure which area of the U.S. this narrator is from but I loved her voice. Despite the heavy content of April’s letters I found her voice soothing and in Robyn the anguish was clear. The different characters were easy to recognise from their voices and the pace of the reading was spot on.
An excellent and fascinating thriller.
Author Bio – A. L. Grayling
USA Today and international bestselling author Alison Gaylin has won the Edgar and Shamus awards, and has been nominated for many more, including the ITW Thriller, the Strand Book Award, the Anthony and the Macavity. She is currently at work on her 12th novel.