Audiobook Review: Never Look Back, by A. L. Gaylin

She was the most brutal killer of our time. And she may have been my mother…

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 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. Robin knows her mother better than anyone.

But then her parents are brutally attacked, and Robin realises she doesn’t know the truth at all…

My Review

Thanks to Tracy Fenton, of Compulsive Readers, and Orion for organising this blog tour and sending me a copy of this audiobook.

It took me a bit to get into this story but once I did, I listened for hours. The multiple perspectives help to drive the plot forward, as a complex story unfolds of murder, abuse and hidden identities.

Past murders are the triggers for the investigation of a pair of podcasters, one of whom, Quentin, is the son of a survivor of the original case. His need for closure is driving their investigation. A tip leads Quentin to Robin Diamond, née Bloom, a journalist. Robyn is the daughter of Renee and Mitchell Bloom. The tip tells Quentin that Renee is the murderer, April Cooper, back from the dead. Or more precisely, she never died in 1976.

The investigation leads to darker places than Quentin, his co-host Summer, and Robin expect as more murders take place and the past comes hurtling into the present.

I was very confused for a while and thrown by the unexpected deaths. I didn’t realise the complexity of the plot until the end. It certainly kept me on my toes.

Throughout the ‘present’ investigation, there are letters that April wrote as a school project and kept as a diary during her terrible summer on the run. The letters bring immediacy to the past events and a poiniency when contrasted with the sensationalist reports of the original crimes.

The nature of truth and meaning of family were explored in this story, as the characters discover who they are.

The narrators did a really go job of bringing the tension of the narrative and the disparate voices to life.

Published by

R Cawkwell

Hi I'm Rosemarie and I like to write. I write short stories and longer fiction, poetry and occasionally articles. I'm working on quite a few things at the minute and wouldn't mind one day actually getting published in print.

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