Never Coming Home by Hannah Mary McKinnon is that delicious type of thriller that has you inexplicably rooting for the villain even as you hope he gets what he deserves.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
First, let me say how much I love this author’s writing style. Her descriptions are so full of detail that I feel like I am watching a movie in my head as I read. In fact, I don’t have to do any real imagining of a place or a scene, because it is all right there on the page to paint the picture.
Because of that, it is much easier to drop right into the action, which makes it a fun and active read. Add to that the depth of character, and you have a winning thriller!
It is not a spoiler to say that Lucas is not what he appears to be – the blurb tells you as much. What I did not expect, however, was for him to be someone I was actually rooting for in light of his serious transgression.
I mean, taking a hit out on your wife is not usually something to cheer about.
But Lucas has an incredible backstory that actually makes the reader feel sorry for him – a little bit. And if not feel sorry, at least understand his motivations. He’s not necessarily evil for the sake of it – he has reasons.
Because of the importance of the backstory, there are times when it seems as if it is actually unnecessary because you WILL want to get back to the plot at hand. But trust me, it is all very relevant. So, don’t skip anything.
Lucas’s personality is wry and matter of fact. Even as his plans seem to go awry, he still thinks that he can figure his way out of it. But can he? (Not going to say)
Another thing that I give the author kudos for is that there is a definite vibe of feminist girl power that builds throughout the book. However, she never goes preachy or over the top with the commentary. It’s a touchy subject, and I have been known to put down books that are “too much.”
The author’s skill is that she does just enough to get the point across and then moves on. It’s not ALL about that – it’s a vital part that has its time and place. And that’s it. Yay for that!
Anyway, by the time you get to the climax, you may think you have guessed what is going on, but you probably are at least a little bit wrong. Because the author still has a few twists up to the very end.
I am a huge fan of Hannah Mary McKinnon. Her thrillers are dark, witty, and thoroughly entertaining. Never Coming Home is another great addition. I can’t wait for her next one!
Lucas loves his wife’s money, but not so much his wife. After she goes missing thanks to him ordering a hit on her, Lucas is set to inherit her family fortune. There are just a few things still standing in his way: a dying mother-in-law, an addict brother-in-law, and a mysterious picture that just appeared in his flyer’s that mysteriously looks like his wife who is supposed to be dead…
A special thanks to @harpercollinscanada, @Mirapublishing and @netgalley for my review copies! It was so refreshing to read a thriller from a male perspective. So many are told from a woman’s point of view! Not to mention Lucas was super entertaining as a narrator. His prose was glib in parts, which made it easy to read and good for a chuckle every now and then. I also loved the cast of characters, who were quirky and unique. I did find the length to be a bit long, as I was wanting more about the missing wife and less about Lucas as a person. I also had a problem with the ending. When we find out who is behind it all, I just couldn’t wrap my head around some of the motives?? It just didn’t make sense to me. I found this one entertaining, but didn’t love it!
Pulled me in right away and refused to let go! I have become such a fan of HMM! Her books are super fun! Full of twists and turns and fantastic ending! Already looking forward to the next! Well written and fun characters
The perfect murder. A topic that pervades through many true crime shows, and seems to be the goal of many criminals. Is there such a thing? And how hard is it to pull it off?
Lucas Forester thinks he's figured it out. He's put a hit out on his wife, and is confident that he has covered every base. His long game is impeccable, and the planning has been thorough. So what has gone wrong? Who is sending him photos of his dead wife? Is someone playing with his brain? Or is he slowly losing his sanity?
Hannah Mary McKinnon has mastered the art of keeping her readers on edge, creating details and scenarios that suck you in, and keep you flipping pages. I am sometimes concerned about how well she has researched some of these details... what plans has she proved to be tested and true? Do we need to worry about some of her close family members?
With this book being told in first-person, from the perspective of Lucas, there was a fresh perspective for the reader, reminiscent of our dear friend Joe in Kepnes' series of books. Lucas comes across as an unlikeable kind of man, and I believe this might have been intentional. Being able to see his spiraling concerns and panic was refreshing, and kept me intrigued throughout. I have no hesitation in recommending this book, and anticipate this will be another runaway hit for McKinnon.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for providing me with an advance eARC in exchange for my honest review.
Told in the first person point of view, Never Coming Home by Hannah Mary McKinnon is the story of Lucas Forester, the English son of an alcoholic father who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. When Lucas meets wealthy American curator, Michelle, he sees a better life and dollar signs. He then puts a hit out on his new wife’s life and the intrigue begins.
Although this is not my favorite novel by McKinnon, I found the first person POV refreshing and the storyline original. Never Coming Home captured my attention from the beginning and kept me interested until the very end. There were times I started feeling the action begin to stall, but at the perfect time, McKinnon throws another bit of suspense into the story and ramps up the action.
Thank you, NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing, for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own.
I adored this book! It literally had me up crazy late reading and when I couldn’t read it I was thinking about it. Hannah is a master at shocking endings!!! I mean my jaw was on the floor! I adored adored adored the POV of the bad guy! Ohhh the bad guy you will love to hate…. or was it hate to love?!?
My favorite thing about this book: a unique premise and drama from the first page. It’s not a spoiler to tell you that Lucas put a hit out on his wife, that that much is given right at the beginning of the book and I like that. I like the concept of not leaving the reader in the dark about what happened.
The plot picks up when Lucas starts getting mysterious postcards in the mail telling him that someone knows what he did. What ensues is a wild ride as Lucas retraced his own steps and does his best to find out who knows his deep dark secret. With an ending you won’t see coming, this was a very well done well plotted thriller!
I do have one complaint however: this book could’ve been about 100 pages shorter. The entire middle section felt very redundant and over explained. I think McKinnon really loves this main character and spent a lot of time describing him with inner dialogue but it was just a little too much for me. I don’t think I’m alone and saying that I like my thrillers to be quick and fast reads. This one didn’t move as fast as I would’ve liked and didn’t have as much expenses I like.
Overall I liked the book, the characters and plot were well done and the premises very unique and a fresh take on the thriller genre. I just wish it may had moved a little faster.
Never coming home was my favorite book so far by thus author. It had everything you would look for in a domestic suspense thriller. Murder. Unreliable narrators. A spouse with a shady past. A family full of its own lies and drama. It was a perfect weekend read.
Lucas married his wife with one goal in mind, to inherit her money, and he didn’t plan on waiting for her to die of old age. He executed what he thought was a perfect plan and laid out his path to have all her money come to him. But as we all know, the best laid plans….. After he received a shocking photo he starts to worry that maybe someone knows more than they should. But the question is, who? Follow along the trial of clues and characters to a delectable ending. You maybe surprised who you end up rooting for.
Each book gets better and better and I am absolutely a fan. Make sure to grab this book for a fun read by the pool.
I always love a good anti hero or villain and this book gave me one of my new favourites.
Never Coming Home is about Lucas who has arranged for his wife to be killed. Due to his past, he wanted a way out of England and found a rich woman as his ticket out of there. His original plan was to get divorced after a few years, but after an iron clad prenup was signed, a new plan came to him.
The book begins a few weeks after his wife’s “disappearance” where he has set a plan in motion with great detail. He is dealing with his Mother in law’s impending death, his Brother in law’s addiction, and trying to distance himself from any speculation that he was involved.
A few strange things begin happening at his home and then he gets a note that makes him question whether someone is on to him.
I loved Lucas. He was smart, funny and cunning. He was also a psychopath, but one who loved his Dad and animals. I was so entertained by him and he was such a fun character!!
I absolutely adored the first 90% of this book. It was intriguing, fast paced, and I didn’t know where it was going to go. Unfortunately I ended up hating the ending. For me the last 10% was so ridiculous and over the top. I knew it had to be a bit of a far fetched ending based on the story, but this was next level.
I would have loved for this book to have had a different ending, but overall I still enjoyed it. It reminded me a bit of Pretty Little Wife, so fans of that book will likely enjoy this one as well
Rounded down from 3.5 stars
Was It Really The Perfect Murder? This is an interesting tale in that we get the villain's perspective - and virtually no one else's. Throughout this tale, it is clear that our narrator has killed his wife and believes he has gotten away scott-free - and is about to achieve everything he ever set out for in life because of it. Not because he had any ill-will, you see, simply that he is a problem-solver and a survivor, and he'll do whatever it takes to solve his problems so that he can live the life he has always deserved. Along the way we get the stories of the tragedies he has endured and the opportunistic ways he has taken advantage of situations regardless of any pesky words on paper about how wrong his actions may be. And we also see his unravelling when it becomes clear that *someone* seems to know what he did... Truly one of McKinnon's better books.
So why did I drop it a star despite rating every other book I've read from her as 5*? Because this one does in fact mention COVID - a fair amount, actually - and I'm waging a one-man war to stop authors from doing that. At *least* for now, and *possibly* for ever. The single star deduction is really my only tool in this one-man war, so I employ it any time a book mentions COVID at all, no matter how strong the book was regardless of this fact.
And again, this really was one of McKinnon's stronger tales outside of the COVID references. Very much recommended.
This book was SO good. When I was not reading it all I did was think about it. From the beginning I was rooting for Lucas. Why? he was a bad guy who screwed others to get ahead but it was because of his Dad. When his father messed up he did it big. The entire story about him taking that duffle bag full of money home had me going. When he went home and it was gone, I was crushed. It was devasting! When his Dad said he took it and that 50k was not a big deal, I lost it. Then he did anything he could to make sure his Dad was taken care of. That was what made me cheer for him. The author was a master at creating a character to love.
The neighbors were good because they were nosey but not extreme. Also adding in the papergirl who scared me when she was seen. Then weaving in Lucas going over the steps. He has everything covered. He was untraceable, meticulous in communications and secrets.. This part of the plot was something that had my love of true crime in full appreciation.
Simply speaking, no plot giveaways, the last 1/4 had me so tense. I was gripping that kindle so hard!. A true must read book.
The storyline was great, the ending was spectacular but the first part just dragged! I wish the same speed from the second half was in the first half as well.
Thank you Netgalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for an ARC of Never Coming Home! This was my first read by this author and certainly won't be my last. The writing style is easy to flow through, and once you start this book you won't want to finish until you get to the very end. The premise of this book is very unique, as you seem to know from the beginning what the main character has already done. The book unravels the consequences of what the main character has done to his wife. While I usually enjoy multiple points of view, I feel like this book was perfectly written in only the point of the view of the husband. It's amazing that although we know he did a horrible thing, do you want to start to feel bad for him, key word almost. I really enjoyed this book, it did feel slightly slow at times and I did get feel a missing piece of the ending but a solid four-star read for me.
hannah is a queen of writing shocking endings!!!!
the first half was a tad slow for me, but the second half picked up
it was fun reading from the bad guy’s view and hannah did a great job writing the character
i liked this one but i still think sister dear is my favorite!
Hannah did it again! I could not put this one down. This was a fast paced psychological thriller. I didn’t know if I loved or hated a Lucas!
You think you have it figured out, but Hannah throws in a whopper at the end! This is a must read!
Pub date: May 24, 2022.
I can never seem to resist a story when it's told from the POV of the villain, so of course I knew that simply HAD to read Never Coming Home as soon as I read the blurb. I mean, having the story told by the supposedly grieving husband who is actually trying to get rid of his wife instead in order to inherit her fortune? How on earth was I going to be able to resist that?! I'm glad I didn't, because I ended up having an excellent time with Never Coming Home.
This story has everything I love in a story told through the eyes of a villain. It's a tricky POV to get right, because the bad guys aren't supossed to be all that likeable and thus are more difficult to relate too... But when done right, it can really take a thriller to the next level. This is definitely what happened with Never Coming Home. Lucas Forester is hands down one of my favorite villain main characters and he is surprisingly easy to grow attached to despite the fact he is actively trying to get rid of his wife and doesn't have a considerate bone in his body. Seeing everything go down through his eyes and him turning from hunter to victim was absolutely fascinating... And I loved every single minute spent inside his head.
Never Coming Home is psychological thriller at its best, with the suspense building up when Lucas receives a mysterious note after the disappearance of his wife. He KNOWS she won't be coming back because he ordered the hit himself and then covered all his tracks, but what if someone discovered what he did? The strange things happening to Lucas, the wondering if the hitman really kept up his part of the deal, the wife's family issues with addiction and cancer... This story isn't just about a husband-turned-villain and his missing wife, and the different elements brought more dept to the story.
The writing makes it really easy to keep turning those pages, and especially the first half of the story was very strong. I wasn't sure what to make of the flashbacks to Manchester and the past of Lucas though; they didn't flow as easily and kind of distracted from the rest of the plot. I think that I probably would have liked the story better without any part of the Manchester storyline including the characters... Although I do understand why it was incorporated. I also have to say that I guessed the big twist quite early on, which was a bit of a letdown for me. The ending was a bit over the top and I wasn't too sure if it was all that credible; after such a strong start I somehow expected something more of those final twists.
That said, Never Coming Home was still a very satisfying thriller and if you love stories told through the eyes of a villain you will be in for a real treat with this one. Lucas Forester is the man of the hour and the main reason this story works so well!
What isn't to love about a new Hannah Mary McKinnon book? Ever since I read her book The Neighbors I was an instant auto-buy reader! This book is nothing short of great and I overall really enjoyed reading it. I will definitely be recommending it to others. Cannot wait to see what HMM reads next! Thanks for the opportunity to read and review early!
Dare I say this is McKinnon's best yet? Told entirely from the perspective of a psychotic husband who targeted his wife solely for her money & arranges her disappearance through a hitman while simultaneously playing the grieving husband, this dark, salacious psychological thriller will keep you entertained from start to finish!
This psychological thriller gives readers a front row seat into the life of a manipulative, villain-of-a-husband. Lucas has spent years meticulously planning his wife's demise so he can inherit her money. Once the deed is done, he thinks he's in the clear and will be a very rich man. But when he receives a cryptic note, he's not so sure the murder went off as planned.
What stands out for me the most with this thriller is the unique POV of a killer. Lucas is a guy you'll love to hate, but he's got a dark sense of humour and a smidgen of good in him. Just a smidgen - he is a murderer after all. I enjoyed the detail McKinnon gives his backstory and while my initial suspicions of whodunnit were correct, I still felt like I was kept on my toes in the first part of the story.
But the middle of the story slowed down for me as we get stuck in Lucas' internal dialogue and things became more and more implausible. Unfortunately, I found the ending to be disappointing and contrived. I won't lie, it was kind of satisfying, but it was so unbelievable that it wasn't the strong finish I was expecting.
Top marks for a unique POV and a strong start but it faltered for me with its big but improbable reveal.
Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to the publisher for my complimentary digital copy of this book given in exchange for my honest review.
3.75 stars. Interesting plot told through the eyes of the male antagonist which was a unique approach from the usual thriller reads. Some great scenes, good sleights of hand, and a satisfying ending. The pacing was slow at times and the male character’s inner thoughts were a bit too detailed. A different take on a thriller which I generally enjoyed.
Thanks to Harper Collins Canada and Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.