Dark and suspenseful with a touch of humour. Superb page-turner!
I was fortunate to receive a copy of NEVER COMING HOME from Hannah’s publicist in preparation for having Hannah on my podcast. And boy, what a treat it was to read! Hannah is a master at creating suspense!
From the cover copy, we know that Lucas hired a hitman to take out his wife, so the story is essentially him playing the game to look like the distraught husband, biding his time and lining everything up so he can collect her fortune. But soon the hunter becomes the hunted, and so this thrilling game of cat and mouse begins and we follow Lucas through his assumptions of who it could be and why. And all the while, he’s running from someone even worse than him, making the tension super high. I love stories that keep me turning the pages. I read this book over a weekend and it was fantastic!
I really loved the humour that Hannah infused into Lucas. He is not a good person by any means, but he has likeable qualities, and that made me root for him, despite what he’d done. He has a dog, for one! That always gets me! Taking care of and loving a pet can say a lot about the layers a person has. But he’s also got a past that gives him reasons for doing what he’s doing. It doesn’t make him any better of a person, but as a reader, I couldn’t help but like his character—and that’s one of the things that Hannah is so good at! None of his past reads like backstory, it’s all peppered in at exactly the right times. His voice is likeable, he’s smart. And what makes this extra thrilling is that he’s just like any regular guy… he’s charming and intelligent and “genuine”, but who knows what someone is really thinking, right? 👀
The book is written from a male perspective who’s really evil yet also charming. There are some subtle nods to people’s darker sides—and we all have them, don’t we? Lucas portrays himself the way he thinks he needs to be seen on the outside, but we get a peek into his psyche and ulterior motive since it’s told from his point of view. I especially love stories that give us insight into the mind of the bad guy.
Overall, this is a wonderfully suspenseful novel that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Hannah’s voice-y characters + perfect pace + thrilling prose = a brilliant, unputdownable novel. And that last line is *chef’s kiss.* 👌🏻
One of the best things is that I totally read it in Hannah’s voice! She runs First Chapter Fun along with Hank Phillipi Ryan, where they read the first chapter of a book every Tuesday and Thursday. You can catch Hank read from NEVER COMING HOME on Tuesday, May 17/22 live on Facebook or Instagram!
You can also listen to my interview with Hannah on #badasswriters podcast on launch day, May 24/22!! She is such a lovely person, and it was a joy to be able to chat with her about NEVER COMING HOME, her writing process, insights into building and maintaining tension, and First Chapter Fun!
From the cover copy:
MISSING WIFE. HAPPY LIFE.
Lucas Forester didn’t hate his wife. Michelle was brilliant, sophisticated and beautiful. Sure, she had extravagant spending habits and that petty attitude, a total disregard for anyone below her status. But she also had a lot to offer. Most notably, wealth that only the one percent could comprehend.
For years, Lucas has been honing a flawless plan to inherit Michelle’s fortune. Unfortunately, it involves taking a hit out on her.
Every track is covered, no trace left behind, and now Lucas plays the grieving husband so well he deserves and award. But when a shocking photo and cryptic note show up on his doorstep, Lucas goes from hunter to prey.
Someone is onto him. And they’re closing in.
Told with dark wit and a sharply feminist sensibility, Never Coming Home is a terrifying tale of duplicity that will have you side-eyeing your spouse as you dash to the breathtaking end.
About the Author:
Hannah Mary McKinnon was born in the UK, grew up in Switzerland and moved to Canada in 2010. After a successful career in recruitment, she quit the corporate world in favor of writing. While her debut, TIME AFTER TIME, was a rom-com, she transitioned to the dark side thereafter. Her suspense novels include THE NEIGHBORS, and bestsellers HER SECRET SON, SISTER DEAR, YOU WILL REMEMBER ME, and NEVER COMING HOME. Hannah Mary lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her husband and three sons.
Thank you Hannah, Lia at Harper Collins, and Mira Books for the ARC! 🙏🏻