Cover Image: Never Coming Home

Never Coming Home

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I received an arc copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion of it. This was quite a book and definitely a rollercoaster ride. It took me a little time to get into the storyline but it was worth the read. The book is basically following the trail of the"bad guy" which is really unusual for me. I thought I had it figured out and was somewhat right at the end. The twists were definitely worth the read
Was this review helpful?
This is a well-written suspense novel. I read it quickly due to wanting to the know how it ended. Well written. Great story telling.
Was this review helpful?
Time to dive into another thriller novel! Never Coming Home, written by Hannah Mary McKinnon, immediately caught my attention. I love the cover, especially the colors. The description further pulled me in.

Lucas Forester is what some may call a black widower – though they don't know that yet. He married his wife, Michelle, intending to get access to her fortune. Now he's biding his time for it to all be his.

For a moment there, he thought his plan had succeeded. Then a note changed the name of the game, turning him into the target. An ironic twist, given what he'd just done.

Man, I do love it when thriller novels start in media res. There's something so dramatic about an introduction like that, don't you think? Never Coming Home starts with Lucas having spent quite a lot of time planning his wife's death, forcing readers to get up to speed quickly, or else they risk missing what happens next.

In truth, this novel starts a little further along than that, but I don't want to spoil it all for you. You'll have to check out that introduction (and the whole story) yourself. I enjoyed it, even while I was immediately rooting for Lucas to fail (who wouldn't?).

I was a little surprised to find myself almost like Lucas at times. Almost. He's still a jerk, but he's got a sense of humor; I'll give him that. Hannah Mary McKinnon did a good job portraying two sides of his character here.

Unfortunately, those moments didn't make up for everything Lucas did and planned. It made it easier to be a neutral party to the tension he was dealing with, though I'm not sure if that was the intention.
Was this review helpful?
4 stars. 

This is the first book i have read from this author, and it was a ride for sure. You are kind of thrown right into the middle of the situation. I liked that you knew that the bad guy was the bad guy but the author did a good job of making him likable enough that I didn't want to just chuck the book because the whole thing was from his pov. 
He is a caring human who just happens to want his wife dead so he takes a hit out on her so he can have her money. I liked the fact that this was kind of a reversal from the typical stories like this where the women kill the men for their money. 

I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading another book by this author. 

Thanks to Mira and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Never Coming Home by Hannah Mary McKinnon is a psychological thriller about a husband, Lucas, who sets up a hitman to murder his wife, Michelle. I know this sounds like it would be a spoiler, but that is only just the beginning. When Lucas finally thinks that he has gotten away with the murder, anonymous notes start to arrive at the house. Does someone know what he did? Is this the hitman asking for more money? Lucas finds his web of lies unraveling before him. Will he get away with the perfect murder?

I loved the premise of this book. It was written differently than other thrillers that I have read because you know pretty quickly who the killer his and his motives behind the murder. Some might think that it makes for a less thrilling read but it really didn’t. There were still several twists and turns throughout the story to keep you on your toes and entertained.  It’s also an interesting read because although you're not supposed to like the husband in the story, I couldn’t help but sorta like him. I kept wanting him to get caught but then not wanting him to get caught. I enjoyed that this book toyed with my emotions like that. He was an unlikeable protagonist with redeeming qualities at times.

Although I did have a good guess about how this book would end.. the story still played out differently than I anticipated and I enjoyed the ending very much. There was one character and storyline that I particularly enjoyed making a comeback in the ending, although again, I would have been content to see that character go down as well (I don’t want to give any spoilers.) At one point in the story, I wasn’t sure if that character was going to be brought up again. 

Overall, I really did like this book and would recommend it to other  readers. This book gave me both My Lovely Wife and Gone Girl vibes and I really enjoyed both of those. I am very interested in reading other work by McKinnon in the future.

Thank you Harlequin Trade Publishing and  NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I love a story told from the POV of the villain! 
Never Coming Home is an entertaining thriller about Lucas, a past criminal who hires a hitman to murder his wife in hopes to inherit her fortune. Fun, right? He is the protagonist you will love to hate! So of course we have twists and turns as things start spiralling out of control and secrets are revealed! It sort of shifted into the realm of ridiculous for me at times but nevertheless the angle McKinnon took with this novel is one I would like to see more of! I mean who doesn’t want to know what goes on inside the mind of evil?
Was this review helpful?
Slow burn turned to twists and turns. Loved the pacing of this and how engrossed I was with the story. Definitely recommend!
Was this review helpful?
This would have been a four star book for me until the end. There are so many things that threw it off the cliff for me with the last 1/4 of it though.

Our "protagonist" is a fun character to read the book through, as he's a con man and a murderer but he's also funny and surprisingly human. Lucas has married Michelle for her money and then decided to hire a hit man to speed things up. While he's clearly a bad guy for this, he also loves his stroke-disabled father, makes sure his wife isn't going to suffer, honestly cares about his dying mother-in-law and even adopts a stray dog that his wife wanted to have killed. We're in his head for the whole book as everything goes terribly bad and it's clear that someone knows and is after him.

Michelle, on the other hand, is a victim I didn't feel that bad for. She wants to kill the sweet stray dog that comes around. She fires an employee for using the copy machine to print out flyers for a muscular dystrophy fundraiser. She treats "the help" as if they're dirt. She spends money on expensive clothes, jewelry, furniture and art for herself with both fists but then tells her beloved new husband that there's no way he can move his sick father to a care home in the U.S. because he doesn't have enough money to do it. Of course she didn't deserve to be murdered, but I just didn't feel that bad for her.

I enjoyed the cat-and-mouse element to the story as Lucas starts to get notes and signs that someone is on to him, but the book started to hurl itself into ridiculous territory in the last quarter. As multiple reviewers have mentioned, the end seems straight out of a Scooby Doo episode. And the final outcome? Ugh. Without giving any spoilers, I can't root for any of that. Blech.

The story telling was good but McKinnon needs to figure out how to write better endings. The plot holes were huge and the ending was such a let down. What a waste of such a good character.

Goodreads defines two stars as "it was okay" and that's the most I can say about this one since I cannot say I liked it. I seem to be in the minority though, so pick up a copy and see what you think.

I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for review.
Was this review helpful?
If you enjoyed You by Caroline Kepnes, then I think you will enjoy this book. I don't mind unlikeable characters and Lucas is definitely unlikeable. The story is told from his POV and we learn early on that he targeted his wife for her money and always intended on having her killed. His only redeeming quality is he loves his dog. I had some of the plot figured out early on so no shocking twist for me but I don't always have to have that to enjoy a book. I was planning on giving it 3 stars until the end which I did not like. I can't give any details as this would spoil the story but it just wasn't for me.
Was this review helpful?
Fast and fun domestic thriller.

Lucas Forester has murder on his mind. He's got a brilliant plan to complete his reinvention and become a wealthy man. Unfortunately, its his wife who has the money and divorce is so messy. Hence, his scheme to hire a hit man off the dark web. Everything goes off without a hitch, the deed is done, and Lucas has deftly shifted suspicion away so well that the police no longer view him as a suspect. Just as everything is moving in the right direction, things suddenly start to go awry. The first clue is when Lucas finds a photo with a taunting message in his mail. I KNOW. 

This was so entertaining watching Lucas try to navigate through his rapidly changing position. He is a character the reader will love to hate, and his internal musings and rationalizations are often witty and funny. As his situation goes from bad to worse and his clever maneuverings start to fail, you almost can't help but root for him a little. Although I figured what must be going on behind the scenes, it was still a blast to reach the denouement and -- that ending!!!! 

I totally enjoyed this one and thanks to NetGalley and Mira Books for this e-book ARC to read, review, and recommend.
Was this review helpful?
My thanks to Harlequin, H.M.K., and Netgalley.
I m definitely the wrong audience for this book!
Domestic thrillers aren't my thing...at all!
So, I quit this story at 28%. Yes, I know! I didn't give it the full 30% like I usually do, but sometimes a person knows when to quit. I quit.
This isn't to say that this is an awful story. It's just me saying that it's not my kind of story.
Was this review helpful?
Oof. This thriller went from intriguing to unrealistic to so insanely unrealistic it’s insulting. Look, I know that with every thriller there will be unrealistic elements, but Never Coming Home was in a league of its own and I don’t necessarily mean that as a compliment. For one thing, the author spent a lot of time in the beginning of the novel introducing the reader to a meticulous and clever criminal, which I applauded. I found myself rooting for Lucas and appreciating his attention to detail and tenacity, even if it was rooted in evil. However, a third of the way through the novel, Lucas begins making haste and rash decisions that deviate so drastically from his persona in the beginning of the book that I thought at first that I had started a new book! Also, the side characters aren’t fully fleshed out and are so obviously included to either be a red herring or an actual suspect - nothing in between. So here I am, getting annoyed at the character’s ridiculous decisions, screaming to the book that I already know who really is involved and who isn’t involved (no matter how many times the narrative tells me this person just HAS to be a suspect), hoping at least that this all wraps up soon. Then, it does wrap up and it’s just beyond; beyond ridiculous, beyond unrealistic, beyond what any actual person would ever do…ever. This thriller was frankly just way too unrealistic for me to enjoy. 

Special thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for the electronic ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to Netgalley and Mira for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.  

Lucas is married to Michelle. Michelle's family has a lot of money. Lucas's father is in a care home back in England and Lucas needs money to upgrade his father's care. So, obviously he decides to kill Michelle and get all of her money for himself. But, shortly after her disappearance, Lucas starts getting strange mailings that lead him to believe someone knows what he's been up to. But how can that be, when he planned so carefully and covered all the bases so thoroughly?

This was a fun book. Lucas was a bit of a pyschopath, but a sort of loveable one, like Joe Goldberg in You and Paul Strom in Best Day Ever. He endeared himself to me when he took in Roger, the stray dog that was at his back door, rather than taking him to the pound. He also had a noble use for the money. And Michelle wasn't really that nice of a person...Of course we knew Michelle's murder couldn't have been executed as cleanly as Lucas told us it was, and that started the cat and mouse game. I thought that part got a little long, but overall I liked this book.
Was this review helpful?
DNF at 15%. I get the appeal of an unlikable character - but in this case, I just couldn't make it work. Lucas isn't just unlikable, for me he is grating on my every nerve. And while I get that's the point and have some ideas where things are headed - I can't see spending hours in his company to get there. I've seen lots of great reviews so I think it's more of a "me thing" than about the book but this one isn't for me. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the advance reading copy.
Was this review helpful?
This was such a uniquely crafted thriller - reading from the villain's point of view is not something I've done frequently and I found it utterly readable and hard to put down!!
Lucas Forrester had a lot of layers to him as a character and this is where Hannah Mary McKinnon seems to really shine for me - some thrillers are much more plot based but hers tend to deep dive into the characters and their pasts and relationships which lead to the plot points. I don't want to say too too much about the story because I do think that this type of thriller is often best read without too too much information, but if you enjoy domestic multi-layered thrillers, this one would be a great summer pick.

There were several story elements I definitely didn't anticipate and the ending was quite satisfying. Furthermore, my copy of this book included a little glimpse into the plot of Hannah Mary's NEXT book which sounds amazing too!!

Thank you so much to Mira and Harper Collins for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This was a fun suspense novel told from the perspective of the “bad guy”. I found myself sort of rooting for him, and appreciating that he knew how to cover his tracks. My main complaint is with the ending and how everything resolved a little unrealistically for me. Despite that, it was an enjoyable read for any lovers of a good “whodunnit”
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for this ARC in exchange for my fair and honest review. 

Rating: 4 Stars
Publication: May 24, 2022
Pages: 368

“Never Coming Home” is a first time read by Hannah Mary McKinnon, new author to this reader.  Once in a while I dabble a little into a what I think is a good thriller.  Well, this one was exactly what I was anticipating.

The story is of Lucas and Michelle who appear on the outside as a couple with imperfections.  They are success and rich. However, beneath all that they have accomplished, there is a husband that really hates his wife…literally can’t stand to be anywhere near her.  Then there is Michelle who is quite the snob and doesn’t care for those whom she believes is beneath her.  Well, Lucas comes up with a plan to do away with her and someone to do the dirty work for him.  After getting rid of his pain in the neck, he begins to live the life he wants and dreams…it is unfortunate that someone has caught on to Lucas and will not rest until they make him pay for his crime.

This was one thriller that I had a hard time putting down and ignoring other reads to finish it.  Ms. McKinnon has a well-written thriller that has its dark side with all the twists and turns for a good chilling read.  What a delightful and entertaining read.  Recommend this exciting book.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley, Harlequin Trade Publishing and Hannah Mary McKinnon for the free e-book in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this one, which surprises me not at all because McKinnon is always on point with her writing! I like how this was written from the husbands perspective and how you definitely don’t like him, but also he’s keeping you wrapped around his little finger. I thought it was a different way to go about it and I would recommend for sure!
Was this review helpful?
Lucas Forester’s mother in law is dying of cancer and getting weaker by the day. His wife Michelle is missing as she has been abducted.

As the story progresses we begin to see that Lucas is not a decent guy who has been plotting his wife’s death since she made him sign a prenuptial agreement. Lucas comes across as a conniving manipulative man with a big ego to boot.  He likes to believe he has everything under control and he is one step ahead of everyone. 

The story twists and turns and takes the reader on a journey learning more about Lucas’ background and how he met his wife. We learn about the relationship that he has with MIchelle's father, brother and mother.

It's a psychological thriller that kept me reading and curious as to how all the backstories pull together. There were times I felt like laughing, other times the story felt scary and I was spooked. 

I would recommend this book if you like psychological thrillers.  I would rate it a 7.5/10. It will keep you reading and take you through a gamut of emotions.
Was this review helpful?
“Never Coming Home” was easily one of the best thrillers I have read so far this year! I did have a few suspicions early on that were addressed, however there were still quite a few twists that I really enjoyed and hadn’t quite put together. Lucas is one of the more unique main characters I’ve come across, and his POV really added a bit of humour to the otherwise suspenseful storyline. 
Although the ending went a little too quickly/wrapped up pretty fast, I was pretty satisfied the way the story wrapped up overall. I look forward to McKinnon’s next book! 
Big thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for an ARC of this novel! 
4.5/5 rounded up!
Was this review helpful?