Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Never Look Back by Clare Donoghue Book Review


Never Look Back is a chilling and compelling debut crime thriller from Clare Donoghue set in South East London. For all those who enjoy Peter James, Mark Billingham and Peter Robinson.
Three women have been found brutally murdered in south London, the victims only feet away from help during each sadistic attack. And the killer is getting braver . . .
Sarah Grainger is rapidly becoming too afraid to leave her house. Once an outgoing photographer, she knows that someone is watching her. A cryptic note brings everything into terrifying focus, but it's the chilling phone calls that take the case to another level.
DI Mike Lockyer heads up the regional murder squad. With three bodies on his watch, and a killer growing in confidence, he frantically tries to find the link between these seemingly isolated incidents. What he discovers will not only test him professionally but will throw his personal life into turmoil too.


Clare Donoghue’s debut, Never Look Back, featuring Detective Inspector Mike Lockyer and Detective Sergeant Jane Bennet, has been on my reading list for a while and I was so glad when I finally got round to reading it. I fell into the story straight away and read well into the night to find out who the culprit was behind the murders. Clare certainly knows how to keep her reader interested. Clare’s debut is a cracking read and I will certainly be reading the next book in the series, No Place to Die. She has leapt straight onto my list of top favourite authors.  

There are plenty of twists and turns along the way in this novel and the final twist in the book left me gasping. In the opening pages of the novel, two women are already dead and now a third victim has been found. The police know they have to work hard to stop a killer who is growing increasingly confident and who is looking to stretch their wings. Lockyer desperately wants to find a link between the victims, and is desperate to blow the case wide open before another victim is found. When Sarah Grainger reports to the police her concerns that she is being stalked, the investigation steps up a pace and it is feared that Sarah’s stalker could be the killer they are looking for. Sarah has been repeatedly ignored when she has visited the police to report her fears, and I could feel her frustration when she tries to get someone to listen to her concerns. I was glad when DI Lockyer finally took her concerns seriously.

The pace in the novel moved very fast and there was never a dull moment where I felt my eyes sagging. I enjoyed reading the relationship that developed between Lockyer and Sarah which adds to the tension in the novel as Lockyer knows that his job could be on the line if he pursues this relationship. I also liked seeing his softer side when he visits his brother, who is living in a residential care home. Lockyer also faces problems with his teenage daughter, this sub plot also teaches you more about the detective and I felt that Lockyer’s character was fleshed out very well. Clare has developed her characters well in her first novel and they have all stuck in my mind.

Never Look Back is the first in a series of books, and Clare has introduced us to DS Bennet and DI Lockyer in a very promising start. Five stars from me. If you enjoy a good British, police procedural, then this book should definitely be on your reading list. Clare Donoghue is an author to watch. 

Publisher: Pan

Publication date: 13th March 2014

Print Length: 304 pages 

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