Friday, August 5, 2022

Never Go Home

Never Go Home by Christopher Swann
8/9/22; 288 pages
Crooked Lane Books
Faulkner Family #2

Never Go Home by Christopher Swann is a highly recommended thriller and the second book in the Faulkner Family series.

Susannah Faulkner, orphaned at ten, grew up learning how to take care of herself and her family. She usually uses her abilities against the bad guys for pay and to right wrongs. When she is contacted during her current job to go home because her brother Ethan needs help, she immediately ties up the loose ends and goes home to Atlanta. At the airport she discovers her Uncle Gavin has had a heart attack. He whispers one word to her, Peaches, and Suzie must figure out who or what that is and why her uncle would say this.

Ethan also needs help. An ex-soldier and ex-con named Finn has shown up and claims that their father stole millions of dollars fifteen years earlier while serving in Iraq. Finn wants to know where the money is and he wants his share of the missing millions. But right now, with Uncle Gavin hospitalized, a gang war threatens to explode as people fight to take over control in Atlanta.

After a heart-stopping opening, this is an excellent thriller that will hold your attention throughout. The action does come and go in explosive bursts of energy as Suzie has to deal with the denizens of Atlanta's underworld. Although Never Go Home is the second book in the series, following Never Turn Back, it can be read as a stand-alone, especially because this novel follows Susannah and the first follows her brother, Ethan.

The narrative follows two different story lines, which helps create tension but also allows for more exciting action scenes and clashes. There is also plenty of intimidation and posturing from characters. Readers will have to suspend disbelief for many of the action scenes, which is easily done because the action unfurls at a frantic pace and everyone, but especially Suzie, is using all these intense fighting skills.

Character development portrays both the positive and negative parts of the character's personalities as is clearly showcased in the plot. These characters have a proficiency and capacity for violence beyond the ordinary. Suzie is a damaged person, but the appeal is found in her fighting skills and intelligence. There was some incorrect information presented as facts in Suzie's comments which was a bit off-putting.

This is a good choice for escapism, especially for those who appreciate action packed thrillers.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley.

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