by David J. Bell
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Mystery, Suspense thriller
Elizabeth Hampton is consumed by grief when her mother dies unexpectedly. Leslie Hampton cared for Elizabeth’s troubled brother Ronnie’s special needs, assuming Elizabeth would take him in when the time came. But Leslie’s sudden death propels Elizabeth into a world of danger and double lives that undoes everything she thought she knew.... When police discover that Leslie was strangled, they immediately suspect that one of Ronnie’s outbursts took a tragic turn. Elizabeth can’t believe that her brother is capable of murder, but who else could have had a motive to kill their quiet, retired mother? More questions arise when a stranger is named in Leslie’s will: a woman also named Elizabeth. As the family’s secrets unravel, a man from Leslie’s past who claims to have all the answers shows up, but those answers might put Elizabeth and those she loves the most in mortal danger.
Never Come Back by David Bell delivered a fascinating story with fleshed out characters that I could not put down. I consumed this in a single sitting, and it was a welcome addition to this author’s shelf. Murder, secrets, confessions, danger all ensue as Elizabeth searches for answers and uncovers truths about her mother. Three word review: suspenseful, mystery, and a real page-turner.
From the first pages of Never Come Back,you will find yourself hooked, as protagonist Elizabeth Hampton arrives at the home of her mother and older brother Ronnie, a high-function man with Down-syndrome. She arrives out of breath to their home after being summoned by the local police department. Her mother Leslie is dead, and the police think Ronnie is their number one suspect. Elizabeth’s world is turned upside down, as she tries to protect her brother, and uncover secrets as an unknown woman is named in her mother’s will. The tale that unfolds is riveting as we search for answers along with Elizabeth.
All of the characters have a unique voice in Never Come Back which totally added to my enjoyment. Elizabeth has issues, guilt and tends to close people off when they get to close, but she is well liked by those around her. Despite being thrust into being her brother’s protector and having all of these secrets and lies pop up, she is a surprising level headed. Even when she leans on others she takes the time to appreciate them and I connected with her. Ronnie is quiet, trusting and concerned for Elizabeth and while he was the least fleshed out of the characters, I found him endearing. Leslie’s brother steps in to shoulder some of the weight for Elizabeth as did her ex-boyfriend. The mysterious older woman named Elizabeth and a man from Leslie’s past kept me on the edge of my seat as we learned about them.
David Bell can weave a mystery thriller, and he continues to amaze me. Usually I can figure things out before the big reveal in the end, and Bell surprised me. As things were revealed, I found myself completely immersed in the tale as the story increased in intensity. Never Come Back had such a believable storyline. I loved how Bell had command of all of the threads and that nothing felt forced as we gathered clues, questioned motives and worried about our protagonist. This is an excellent story for someone who wants a character driven mystery filled with suspense that won’t make you afraid to turn out the lights.
Fans of mystery, thrillers and suspense,will enjoy reading Never Come Back. David Bell is an auto-buy for me. I love his skillfully crafted mysteries, and unique, fleshed out characters.
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