Review: Never Look Back by Clare Donoghue (5/5)

Wednesday 16 April 2014
He's watching. He's waiting. He knows.

A chilling and compelling debut crime thriller 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.


2014 is definitely the year for the female crime fiction writer! Most of the crime fiction books I've read so far this year have been by females and they have all been excellent. Never Look Back is no exception. If I didn't know this was Clare's first book and was reading it without knowing the author I'd think I was reading the work of a crime fiction author who has been writing for years, it was fantastic. 

I've had the book on my to read list for a while so I was beyond thrilled when the lovely Natasha from Pan Macmillan sent me a copy! I couldn't wait to get started with it and was secretly wishing the other books I was reading would hurry up and end so that I could! I love crime fiction set in London, and so I was very excited to read this book. I was not disappointed, I have read so many good books this year and we are only in April!

After a prologue we follow Debbie as she is walking home from work. As she stops to withdraw cash from outside a Tesco she is attacked. The following day DI Mike Lockyer and his team attend the scene of Debbie's murder and we learn that this is the third body found with the (mostly) same MO. We also meet Sarah and learn that she is afraid to leave her house as she is being stalked. After just a few chapters there were plenty of things going on and I was hooked right away. I could've read this in one or two sittings if time allowed. One thing I especially loved about the book was Clare's writing. It was just so descriptive, even the smallest things were described in a way which made the images conveyed so much clearer in my head. Especially at crime scenes or the bits in Sarah's home. 

I think this book would be great as a TV show. Just enough mystery and action and all the scenarios in this book would translate well to TV. The characters were all strong especially Mike and Jane. Both have back-stories that we can read more of in future books and certain events that happened in this book can be developed further in future books. I am so excited to read more from Clare. In terms of the actual plot there were a few suspects in the book and I was correct with who I thought it was, so correct in fact I guessed it the minute we were introduced to the character! The book also had short-ish chapters too and I'm not a fan of long chapters so this was a bonus for me.  Overall this is one of the best crime fiction books I've read in 2014 and I am seriously excited to see what Clare brings us next after reading the preview for her next book at the end of this one.

You can buy NEVER LOOK BACK from Amazon

Also follow Clare on Twitter

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