Review: Vanished and Never Coming Back by Tim Weaver

Thursday 20 March 2014
I first discovered Tim Weaver when I read about his fourth book: Never Coming Back. The cover and the blurb interested me but I decided to start with book one, Chasing the Dead as his books are part of the David Raker series who is a missing persons investigator. After now having read all four books I would say they could be read standalone but it is much better to read the books in order as you feel more of a connection with the character(s) and of course there aren't any 'spoilers' when the author has to recap previous books. 

Please click 'Read more' to read my reviews for Vanished and Never Coming Back which are books three and four in the Raker series. I am now impatiently waiting for book five which if the previous four books are anything to go by will be worth the wait!


Tim Weaver has fast become one of my favourite authors after finishing this, the third in the David Raker series. David Raker is a missing persons investigator with a difference - he will do anything, and that means anything to find the person(s) he is looking for. That includes but is not limited to nearly getting himself killed, arrested, attacked, nearly losing loved ones etc.

I had a particular interest in this book because of the London Underground element. As a massive Tube nerd I am disappointed at the lack of decent fiction set Underground. Apart from the fantastic Tunnel Vision by Keith Lowe there doesn't seem to be much of it about. This book isn't about the Tube per se but a lot of the action happens within its tunnels.

Raker is looking for a man who appears to have got on a Tube train and vanished. Looking at the CCTV the man is seen getting on the train but not leaving it. Where has he gone? That's where Raker comes in and the hunt is on... 

It's amazing how at first glance a story can appear simple but yet after a few chapters it becomes complicated and there are that many different scenarios being played out on the page that you are just as confused about Raker at where Sam Wren has gone, did he run away? Was he kidnapped? Did he just vanish into thin air.. And just when you think you have the answer Tim Weaver takes you somewhere completely different and you are left just as confused as you were at the start.

I absolutely loved the scenes set in the Underground tunnels and in the stations after dark. I know Weaver changed parts of the Tube to suit the story but that does not ruin the story in any way whatsoever, in fact I would say it probably improves it. Near the end of the book I started putting the pieces together and thought I had it sussed but certain aspects of Sam's disappearance I got completely wrong! Upon finishing this I moved straight onto book four and finished it within hours and so unfortunately I have to impatiently wait for the next book!


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Never Coming Back 

Upon finishing Vanished I immediately started reading Never Coming Back and finished it after just a few hours. Let's just say that after the ending of Vanished there was no way I could wait to read Never Coming Back! It was a case of being fortunate enough to already have a copy of book number four, I don't know how I would have coped if I'd've finished book number three when it was released and had to wait a year for this one!

It's difficult to talk about this book without spoiling it for those yet to read number three but book four finds Raker away from London putting himself back together after the events of Vanished. He finds himself back in his childhood home and immediately I was wary as it was clear this book wasn't going to be set in London. At the start this disappointed me but after a few chapters I absolutely loved the setting and was hooked on the story. 

Raker's old friend Emily calls upon him for help into her sister's disappearance. When Emily goes to see her sister her house has been abandoned, food is still cooking, computers are still on and a carton of milk has been dropped on the floor, but the family are nowhere to be found. What's happened to them? Reluctantly Raker takes on the case and as always nobody said it was going to be easy...

Raker has 'help' in the form of Colm Healy who regular readers will know of by now. This help doesn't last for long however before Healy is headed back to London. At the same time Raker is looking for Emily's sister and her family there is a side story in the village after a dismembered body is found down on the beach, who is it and does it bear any significance in the disappearance of Emily's family? Raker thinks so but as he digs deeper and uncovers more clues he finds himself in danger. Just another day in the office for Raker...

It's hard to talk about the story without ruining it but safe to say this is one of the best Raker books yet and once again I was left guessing until the very end. The setting was absolutely perfect for this story, again Weaver took liberties with some aspects of the setting but again it was to improve the story and it definitely did that. I am just disappointed that I now have to wait impatiently for book number five which cannot come quick enough!


Buy the book in paperback or on Kindle.

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