Cover Image: Never Coming Home

Never Coming Home

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Member Reviews

I am having a hard time putting my thoughts about this book into words. When I finished it, I found the premise to be unique and contrary to some other reviews, I enjoyed the ending. However, I really HATED Lucas, the main character, and just couldn't enjoy the story from his perspective. Based on the story synopsis, we know that Lucas is a conman who married his wife, Michelle, for her trust fund. In order to get the lump sum, he hired a hitman to make her disappear. While he was meticulous with his plan and covered all the tracks, it turns out that someone may know what he has been up to. It is rare to only hear a story from the male villain POV and wow did I feel a ton of angst as the story developed. I will say that Lucas's inner monologue regarding the entire situation was interesting and his dark thoughts were amusing but there were some actions he did I just couldn't believe he got away with. I think my favorite part was learning about Lucas's past and seeing how his history shaped who he was in the present. I do really like Hannah Mary McKinnon as an author and will continue to read her books. 

Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin for a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Pub date: 5/24/22
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Oooooooooh, this was clever, riveting and unputdownable.

This book grabbed me from the first page and being inside Lucas's sociopathic thoughts was a hilarious/frightening treat. McKinnon executed perfectly here.

I loved this well-written book and the ending was very satisfying...I highly recommend.

Thank you to the publisher for gifting me a copy, it was my pleasure to write an honest review.
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Fabulous!

I loved this book right from the start. It is written first-person. Lucan/Michael (you learn he changed his name) is an awful person. He grew up in poverty and married a rich woman for the purpose of divorcing her and getting some money. When she asked him to sign a pre-nup, his plan changed to having her killed so he could inherit what he thinks is rightfully his. He acted like the perfect husband (to what seemed like a pretty nice lady) and sett his plan in action by hiring a hit man. 

You know he is terrible pretty much right from the start. I and really wanted him to get what he really deserved, which is punishment instead of cash. 

The ending was definitely not a disappointment. Part of it was something easily guessed by anyone who reads a lot of mysteries, but the twist made me smile. 

Highly recommended. Look for this on the best seller lists. 
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domestic thriller told from the perspective of the villain. Its anti-hero Lucas Forester hired someone to kill his multi-millionaire wife, so Lucas can get her money. The novel begins a month after Michelle was kidnapped, and the ransom drop was botched. Outwardly, Lucas plays the part of loving, desperately anxious husband to a T; inwardly, he continues his plans to get not just Michelle’s wealth, but her entire family’s. All seems well, until someone sends him a package in the mail that makes him realize someone may be on to his role in Michelle’s death.

The novel starts off a bit slow, but solid. McKinnon draws us gradually into Lucas’ story: his impoverished upbringing, his disabled father who requires expensive 24/7 care, and the plan that eventually led to Michelle’s murder. The external threat of someone finding out his secret begins as a trickle at first, a couple of notes that Lucas worries about but mostly just dismisses. But then the story picks up with the reappearance of someone dangerous from Lucas’ past, and the second half of the novel was a full-out thrill ride of a page turner that I zipped through within hours.

My one big snag with this novel is the ending, which was just… ugh. [I’ll keep this as vague as I can to avoid spoilers, but feel free to skip to the next paragraph if you want to avoid the risk of any potential hints at all.] The identity of the letter writing mastermind was fairly easy to guess, if only because they were so deliberately off Lucas’ list of suspects, despite having clear motive. Their identity was a solid choice, but the big reveal itself, as well as the other revelations that came to light, just felt, well, almost cartoonish. I admit I didn’t see any of the other revelations coming, so the author did a good job in keeping those a surprise. I also think that, if the story had been framed differently, perhaps from a different character’s perspective, the big reveal might have even felt incredibly satisfying. But it just fell flat for me, even kinda cringe-worthy. And while the final scene delivered some degree of justice — and genuine kudos for the genuinely hilarious final line — it felt a bit too much for me. Mostly, I feel like the ending was supposed to evoke a sense of triumph, of evil getting their just desserts, yet I got no such satisfaction, and the glee with which these scenes were depicted just left a sour note for me.

Authors generally treat anti-heroes like Lucas in one of two ways: one is the Dexter route, where the author leans heavily into the character’s villainous nature, yet makes them so charismatic and brilliant that you can’t help but cheer them on even when it makes you uncomfortable to do so. And the other is the route McKinnon chooses, where she humanizes her protagonist and actively makes us sympathize with him. In Lucas’ case, beyond his sob story background, there’s also a very strong sense that he’s nowhere near as brilliant or competent as he thinks he is. He zeroes in on two or three obvious suspects for the letter-writing, yet fails to consider other, not quite obvious but still visible, potential points of danger. He’s smart enough to use burner phones and recognize warning signs, yet not quite smart enough to install security cameras. And when the big reveal happens, he fails to see the true extent of the danger even when the letter writer basically tells him so. As a murderer, Lucas is in way over his head almost from the very beginning, and despite all his crimes, by the big reveal, I just felt sorry for him.

Part of me likes that McKinnon takes this unusual approach to the domestic thriller genre — we rarely see the story play out from the perspective of a man who kills his wife. In many ways, I also like what she did with Lucas’ character, how she humanized a killer without leaning into the Dexter Morgan trope. But another part of me wishes certain things were handled differently: either the story ended differently, or Lucas seemed like a more competent combatant, or even that we got a more balanced and complex view into Michelle’s character. We get a very strong sense of why we should root for Lucas, but much less of an idea, beyond the obvious general morality of it all, why we should care for Michelle and for her murderer to be brought to justice. The story felt unbalanced, and while the ending felt realistic enough, it also felt over-the-top in its handling, and a bit of a sour note to end the story on.
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Never Coming Home is told from the prospective of the villian - Lucas Forester - who will do anything to get his hands on his wife's fortune. Lucas has been meticulous in his planning to rid himself of his wife and thinks that all has gone off without a hitch until he begins receiving a series of notes that say "I Know What You Did." He must figure out who is sending the notes and how much they know without exposing himself. This was a quick read with a main character that you will love to hate. I found the ending to be a bit unrealistic, but overall this was an enjoyable read.
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Dear Rob McKinnon,

I think it is time you took some steps to protect yourself from your wife. It is time to start documenting and checking in with friends. Maybe get some more cameras. Why, you may ask? Your  dear partner Hannah Mary, who has a beautiful smile and a fun laugh, is hiding her darkness. We knew it was there a little bit in previous books but in her latest book, Never Coming Home, she was too in sync with evil. No detail remained in the planning and her ability to make a reader at times empathize with a villain shows how comfortable she is getting with them.

Sincerely, 

A concerned reader

Just Kidding! …sort of 😬

All joking aside Hannah Mary has written a fast paced story full of suspense. Her main character of Lucas plans to have his wife killed and reap the benefits of her inheritance. His plans are based on a long game, one that started before even meeting her and stealing from women, pickpocketing and other scams. Seeking the ever more lucrative opportunities, Lucas believes he has found it in Michelle and her family. 

The banter between Lucas and a side character was funny and briefly took me away from the the tension for moments while still fearing grievous harm to the person of the moment. 

Lucas also cares deeply for his father who languishes in a care home across the ocean after a stroke. He wants to move him to a modern facility with the best doctors. Cue the sympathy. 

The very ending of the book was quite satisfying but there was a moment a few pages earlier that felt a little ‘three musketeers’ like. I don’t want to spoil it and that is as close as I will come to referring to what happened but iykyk. 

Also if you are like me and nervous whenever a dog is in a book, as there is in this one, you will be very angry at the author for playing with your fears. 

Thank you to @hannahmarymckinnon and _Mira_Books_ for the @netgalley widget. I look forward to reading about Frankie next! Never Coming a home releases May 24, 2022. Pre-order now, place your hold at the library or visit the bookstore on that date.
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Hannah Mary McKinnon has played with my mind in her newest thriller “Never Coming Home” out May 24, 2022.  Never Coming Home is a psychological thriller about a husband who is about to steal millions from his “kidnapped” wife. Things are going well, until they aren’t.   This book had all the things I needed in a thriller and it was even more of a mind game because this story was written from the perspective of the villain.   Lucas himself is a con artist who is about to pull off his biggest con with trust fund baby Michelle - he gets rich and he is free from his wife.  Until things start going wrong, a month after her disappearance he gets notes and images claiming “I know what you did. ” All might not be well in his world. 

You can’t help but hate Lucas, then like him, and then hate him again. He truly is a horrible character but he is the perfect narrator for this fictional tale.  His ideas and his thoughts kept me interested in the story and turning the page.   The one thing that I would change would be the speed of the ending.  Once things started happening I was floored but then it felt a little rushed.  Even saying that I was thoroughly entertained and second guessed myself multiple times. I hope you dig into this diabolical character that is Luke. 

“We’re all a little evil on the inside.”

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing, MIRA for the copy of Never Coming Home. While this was an enjoyable book, I didn’t love it. I didn’t like how Lucas was the only voice we heard. He was a good character but he got boring to “listen” to after a while. I loved the story and was surprised at the ending, even though it was improbable. The writing made me keep reading. And I will look for more books by this author. If you’re looking for a quick, fun read try this one! 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.
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This is another book that's hard to review without giving anything away, so it might be a bit short.  I did enjoy reading this and flew through it.

Lucas seems like the perfect grieving husband.  His wife, Michelle, went missing while he was in England.  They seemed to have the perfect marriage.  Lucas was well liked by Michelle's mom who is now dying from cancer.  Michelle's brother is an addict, but Lucas is helping him.  There are some women in the neighborhood he's friends with.  But Lucas has a lot of secrets including his real name.  As the book goes on, we find out more and more about who Lucas really is.  He hired someone to kill Michelle for her money.  He thinks he can be patient and wait for years for her to be declared dead.  It will make him less of a suspect if he waits on the money.  There is one detective who keeps checking in on him and he worries she knows something.  Or at least suspects.  But Lucas is a good actor.  He doesn't eat much so he loses weight.  He sets his alarm to barely sleep so he looks run down.  He's doing a good job, but then the photos start to arrive.  Someone knows what he did and they're playing with him.  They get into his house.  Lucas starts trying to figure out who the hitman was because that's the only person who can know what happened to Michelle.  While I figured some things out pretty early, there were still a couple surprises. I enjoyed the ending, too.

I gave this book 4 stars.  Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my earc.
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First of all a very big thank you to Hannah Mary Mckinnon and MIRA for my advanced copy of Never Coming Home to read.  She has fast become a favourite author of mine, with her twisty and always surprising thrillers.  This one publishes on  May 24th and you have to read it.  

This story is told from the point of view of Lucas - our loveable villian.  He is very hard not to like, he actions are deplorable but he just gets into your heart.  He grew up poor and scrapping for every cent in England. He has now moved to the US and is married to the wealthy and gorgeous Michelle.  He has a plan to get his hands on her millions and he has put into place, hiring a hitman to dispose of his wife.  Acting devastated and praying for her return to Michelle's family, he is biding his time until his gravely ill mother in law dies and he gets everything.  But somebody knows what Lucas did, and is playing with him. 

This is a super fun and addictive read.  You will love Lucas who is devoted to his rescue dog, Roger. and his father in the UK who is in a home, He made me laugh and all the time I had to remind myself that he was a bad man.  If you love a good thriller and a main character that you cannot help but love, this is the book for you.
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I struggled to get into this one and ended up not finishing it. I made it 20% of the way and still didn’t feel drawn in. 
I think it’s the narrator that’s off putting; I didn’t enjoy reading the book from his POV. 
I also felt like it was going to be too predictable and that didn’t make me interested in reading more.
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Now, this is a fun clucking book…and no, that’s not a typo. 

Lucas Forester is such a great guy! He saves a rescue dog from euthenasia and brings him home instead. He cares deeply for his mother-in-law and can’t stand seeing her in pain with an illness. He wants the best for his dad, who is in an assisted living facility…

…Oh I forgot. He also wants his wife dead! He’s spent years meticulously planning her demise so that he can inherit her millions, and now he just has to act like the grieving husband after taking a hit out on her. 

Too bad it seems like someone may know what Lucas has been up to…but Lucas isn’t going to let his future fortune go down the drain that easily. 

Lucas sure is a fun character to read about. The whole novel takes place from his POV, and I couldn’t help but laugh and be highly amused by his dark and disturbing thoughts and actions. He’s not fully bad, but his “bad” side is fully terrible. I was torn between rooting for him and hoping for his downfall. I think I was still torn at the very last page. 

I guessed some of where this was heading, but still found it delicious and entertaining. The ending is a bit too perfect and not 100% realistic, but hey…it’s fiction. I was just along for the fun ride. Definitely a popcorn thriller. 

After reading 3 of the author’s books, I can confirm I’m a fan…and can’t wait to devour whatever she cooks up next. 

Thank you to Mira for providing me with a widget of the ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Expected Publication Date: 5/24/22. 

Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com
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Hannah Mary McKinnon hits it out of the park again. Expert writing style and delivery again. Loved the complex characters in this story. Hooked me from the beginning and did not let go! 
Highly recommend 
Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book
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3.5-4 stars for this one. I really enjoyed how the story was told exclusively from Lucas' perspective. While clearly the "bad guy," it was hard to dislike him at certain moments, and I enjoyed reading his inner thoughts. That said, the ending felt very rushed and over the top. While I liked the idea of the ending, as well as the final scene, it played out like a cheesy movie and was a bit abrupt. I had figured out some of what happened, but I wished it has been a little more gradual in its reveal.
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Lucas has been making his wife happy for a while; not for romance but for money. After taking a hit out on her, it will all soon be his. While he waits for his payoff, someone starts leaving him notes about what he’s done.

It’s rare that we get the narration and perspective from the “bad guy”. I was really loving that twist. I liked watching his slow unraveling and his twisted mind. The ending was really good and made the book for me. Some of it was a bit far-fetched but sometimes that’s the price you pay for an entertaining thriller!

“Good things come to those who wait was a total pile of crap. Good things come to those who make them happen… and then wait for the payoff. Mine was on its way.”

Never Coming Home comes out 5/24.
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Entertaining! Lucas has an elaborate plot to get all of his rich wife's money. But will it work? The devious mind of Lucas thinks all angles have been covered until a picture shows up. Who is behind the picture? The story is not really plausible but enjoyable.
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This was an unusual spin on the typical thriller—it follows the villain, Lucas, who recently murdered his wife via hitman. But it seems someone knows what he did, no matter how careful his scheming. Things start to unravel, and the twists and turns don’t stop! It’s fun but I don’t generally love hanging out with the bad guy, so reading about his awful behavior and thoughts wasn’t great. I did like seeing him vacillate from justification to selfishness—great psychological character study.
Thank you NetGalley and HTP books for the arc.
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I received a copy from NetGalley and am providing a review. Publishing May 24, 2022. 
Lucas – the main character you will like and then dislike and then like again. The like centers around his apparent caring for his dad. The dislike stems from Lucas wanting to get rid of everyone around him, his wife, his mother-in-law, his brother-in-law, even his neighbors Diane and Karina. Lucas also has a sense of humor. 
Michelle – Lucas’s wife. Rich to boot.
Nora – Lucas’s mother-in-law. Terminal illness.
Travis – Lucas’s brother-in-law. Drug addict because this story needs one.
Diane and Karina – the neighbors. As it happens, Diane is the hospice care worker assigned to Nora. Karina, by profession, is an outstanding makeup artist.
Roger – Lucas’s dog. A mutt really. Roger is an important character in this tale.
This is a quite humorous tale that Ms. McKinnon has written from Lucas’s perspective. In some parts, I found myself not liking Lucas very much, the lengths he went to just to cover his tracks. In some parts, I found myself liking Lucas, the way he cares about his dad and Roger, his mutt dog. Not to mention the hilariousness of all the little things that were happening to him. All of these characters together make this a page-turning book. I admit it took me two starts, but once I started reading this story, I wanted to keep on reading to see what happened. I wasn’t disappointed.
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Who would've thought a book entirely from the point of view of a man that took a hit out on his wife would be so entertaining? This is the first book I've read by Hannah Mary McKinnon and it certainly won't be my last.

Lucas Forester had already lead a rather difficult life before moving to the U.S. and meeting Michelle. He immediately makes her part of his plan to get rich. He plays the dutiful husband while hating how entitled and extravagant she is. He doesn't really hate her though, she's just a means to an end. With her dad already dead, her mom soon to follow due to cancer and her brother being an out of control addict, he just needs Michelle out of the way and everything is his.

He's smart, has thought of everything. The hit goes off without a hitch and he's able to pretend he's distraught by his wife's disappearance. He's playing everyone perfectly and being patient. Then strange things start happening, someone is messing with him. Someone knows the truth.

This of course leads Lucas to become increasingly paranoid and desperately trying to find out who is trying to ruin his carefully made plans. He's so close to having it all and can't lose now. Lucas could've just been a typical piece of trash man. He could've also been too smart and arrogant and that would've been annoying not to mention boring. But let me tell you, Lucas is complex. There are actually layers to him. Don't get me wrong, he's a bad dude and completely irredeemable. But there were some surprising aspects to his personality that made him just slightly sympathetic at times. Only slightly..

Yes, I did guess correctly on a certain plot twist. Well, I had assumed before I even started that a certain something had to be true and it was. But there was no way I could've guessed exactly how everything played out! I did have some issues with the details and maybe some questions I might have missed explanations for. But the ending was satisfying overall. Especially the very end, it was the most fitting way to finish Lucas's story.

Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing/MIRA for the e-ARC.
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Never Coming Home is a unique and twisted read. I couldn't put this one down! I love seeing the villains perspective as it gives the story so much more flavor! This one definitely delivered! I'll be buying more books from this author based on this one!
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