Thursday, July 4, 2019

Never Look Back

Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin
HarperCollins; 7/2/19
eBook review copy; 368 pages
ISBN-13: 9780062844545 

Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin is a highly recommended mystery/thriller that begs the question, "How well do you know your parents?"

In 1976 teenage murderers April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy terrorized Southern California. Now forty years later true-crime podcaster Quentin Garrison is looking into the pair for a show he has named "Closure" because that is what he is hoping to find. The pair killed his mother's little sister and he blames them for his mother's drug abuse and tearing his family apart. Now he has a tip that April didn't die in 1976, but is still alive under the name Renee Bloom. He contacts her daughter, New York City film columnist Robin Diamond, and asks her how well does she know her mother's background and if her mother could be April Cooper.

The narrative is told through events in the past and present by alternating between current day events and fifteen-year-old April Cooper's diary of letters to her future daughter. The twists and new information abound between the present day investigation and action in juxtaposition to the story of what really happened in 1976. The suspense builds in both time periods as the question of trust and honesty comes into play. As events unfold, Gaylin keeps the action moving quickly forward.

The quality of writing is excellent. The duel points-of-view work well in this novel and Gaylin does an excellent job keeping the voices of the different characters distinct and unique. The plot moves quickly and directly without any sidetracks or superfluous facts thrown in for distraction. She keeps her characters distinct and unique while allowing them to provide the clues and information needed to tell the story and solve the mystery. Some parts will be easy for readers to predict the outcome, but all in all this was a very good mystery.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins

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