Member Reviews

My Highly Caffeinated Thought: A positively compulsive read with tension, deception, and wickedly dark wit.

Have you ever read a book that you thought you knew exactly how it was going to play out, but change your mind halfway through and still didn’t get the ending right? NEVER COMING HOME is that for me. McKinnon masterfully crafted a tale of duplicity, containing devious plans, and filled with smartly developed characters.

What is so fabulous about this book is how fast-paced and intense it is. It is the definition of a page-turner. Lucas is the type of villain with intelligence and cunning charm that pulls you in. You want to hate him, but you also want to know more. This is the brilliance of this novel. The level of tension is heightened as the reader learns the full story of what really took place. Then McKinnon throws in more twists and turns to propel the mystery forward. By the end, the reader will be shocked and completely obsessed with what happened.

Am I gushing about this book? Yes. It is not the first thriller I have read by the author, but I feel as if it is. NEVER COMING HOME knocked it out of the park for me and took me by surprise with the level of intrigue and suspense. This is not to say I didn’t enjoy the other two books I have read by the author. All I am saying is this book brings the best of what a domestic thriller can be.

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He has covered his tracks perfectly... or has he?

Lucas doesn't love his wife, Michelle, but he doesn't hate her either. He despises her better-than-thou attitude and careless spending habits, but she's not completely unappealing. What Lucas does love about Michelle is her abundance of wealth, and he has the perfect plan to gain it all for himself. He takes a hit out on Michelle, making sure to carefully cover his tracks so that no evidence can be connected to him. Lucas is the portrait of a worried husband, and everyone is convinced that he is completely beside himself over Michelle's disappearance. But Lucas begins to wonder if someone suspects him after all when strange notes and photos start to turn up on his doorstep. Has someone out there seen through his façade?
I devoured this novel in almost one sitting, as it was nearly impossible to put down. I was in awe at how despicable Lucas truly was, and held absolutely no sympathy for him whatsoever. With that being said, I got so wrapped up in the story that I almost forgot I wasn't rooting for Lucas. I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation at whether or not he would get away with what he'd done. I read the eARC and listened to the audiobook for Never Coming Home, and the narrator was amazing at portraying Lucas as cold, calculating, and unwilling to be accountable for his own actions. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves a fast-paced psychological thriller with an unlikable main character!

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Oh Lucas, I forgot you were bad in the end I became so endeared to you. How did that happen? Hannah Mary McKinnon is how. She is one of my favorite thriller writers and this book is a great reason why. Lucas Forester is not a good guy, and I love that she chose to write a thriller from the villain’s perspective. What I did NOT expect to happen was that I would become so close to this guy that I would forget he was bad lol. He did such a great job in covering his tracks that no one would suspect a thing when his wife disappeared, after all, he is the victim here, he is the grieving husband and is playing the part so incredibly well. Just a little bit longer and then he will get the money he deserves. All so he thinks. I mean, until this pesky photo and note show up at his doorstep letting him know that someone is onto him.

I absolutely LOVED this book and how this was told, the POV from the villain was absolutely genius and Lucas is now one of my favorites. I loved his snark and his arrogance, he was literally the best. I highly recommend you read this one, thriller lovers will not want to pass this up!!

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the digital copy to review.

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Never Coming Home by Hannah Mary McKinnon

His bride planned a wedding and a life together while Lucas has been planning the end of the marriage.

Every detail planned to perfection. Burner phones, a laptop only for this purpose, a locker at the bus station. No detail missed. Even setting an alarm to make himself look tired, unable to sleep, and worried about his missing wife, to look like the poor upset husband. Ha! If only people really knew. But they never will. Lucas has planned Michelle's disappearance to every minute detail.

Now he is helping care for her mother, Nora. Dying of cancer and adding to his plan perfectly. All of the money will go to him soon. He just has to be patient a while longer.

But when odd things start to happen, Lucas begins to think back through every step. He knows nothing can be traced to him. Unless...

Then, someone from his past shows up who can ruin everything, so another plan forms.

Lucas is always two steps ahead of everyone. He has to be. His fathers life depends on it.

"Highly anticipated book! Great author! Highly recommended by Books and Pens on Green Gables!"

I was given this book to read and review.

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This is a story that happens across the world probably every day. Hannah Mary McKinnon writes her characters with depth - enough that I almost love to hate them. Lucas marries for money and then plots and schemes to make Michelle disappear for good... Clearly not marrying for love. But alas, involving someone else in your plan to murder your wife (or have her murdered) comes at a cost that is far greater than financial, which Lucas learns. Suddenly, the tables have flipped and now he's the one watching his back.

While I enjoyed the writing, the story seemed to lack a pizzazz that would have sucked me into it.

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Thank you so much @hannahmarymckinnon @harpercollinsca and @tandemcollectiveglobal for having me along on the read along of Never Coming Home. HMM's last book, You Will Remember Me was one of my favourite books of last year so I knew I needed to read this one as soon as I heard it was coming out,

Never Coming Home follows Lucas Forrester, a man who didn't really have a problem with his wife, other than he needed her gone. Told entirely from the villain's perspective, which is so odd because you find yourself rooting for him (at least I did).

I found myself rationalizing his actions which is... odd to say the least.

At about the 60% mark I got to the point where I just could not stop reading, and the same thing happened with YWRM. These stories just pull you in so tightly and don't let go until your closing the back cover wondering what happened to you.

I had an inkling of one of the bigger twists before it was revealed, but like normal, I wasn't bothered by this one bit. I needed to keep reading to see if I was right and what other details were woven into the reveal.

I really need to dig into HMM's backlist one of these days because I'm sure I will love all of those books too.

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Thrillers have always been my comfort books, and this is the perfect book to pick up if you need a palate cleanser.

Having read books by this author before, I knew going into her latest book that I'd at the very least enjoy it. While it wasn't a five star read for me, I really liked the story.

It's not often we get a thriller from just the husband's POV, so that was a welcome change. I thought the ending was a little too simple to guess, but in this case I'm not mad about it.

I wouldn't hesitate to read any of Hannah Mary McKinnon's books, knowing that they're an easy thriller to breeze through and enjoy.

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This book is super creepy in the best way. It was a unique experience being in the head of the villain instead of the victim. The whole book was very thrilling but once I hit about half way I couldn't put it down!

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Oooooh I really love and enjoy this unique psychological thriller.

It's a unique one, it's different from psychological thriller I've read so far, so it's really entertaining for me. The story is following Lucas, a meticulous clever con man while he's trying to get his money after he get rid of his wife, there's family affairs that he needs to handle while still pretending to be a devoted griefing husband that still hoping that his wife will be back to remove himself from the suspect list. Yup Lucas is THE bad guy, I understand why he did it but I also want him to pay what he did, some part I feel sad for what he's been through and other part I just want him to get caught, I want to slap the smugness from his face ahahhaha. There's no loveable characters in this book anyway, but that's what makes this book different and interesting.
As for the plot, I love it even though it's kinda predictable. There's also one thing that kinda unbelievable, but again it doesn't take away all the enjoyment.

Great unique psychological thriller read, so definitely highly recommended.

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I was so lucky to receive an advance copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review and opinion. WOW this book might be one of my favorite reads so far in 2022...does that tell you anything other than do yourself a favor and go read it asap! This book will keep you guessing until the very end!

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Never Coming Home is so much diabolical fun. I am questioning all of my morals because why did I find myself sympathizing with a murder?!

This was like Gone Girl in reverse but you are in on it the whole time, except you aren’t really in on it because there’s so much you don’t know. Lucas, the narrator, is the most reliable unreliable narrator of all time. Yes, you read that correctly. In the genre of stories told by unreliable narrators, he is by far the most reliable because he’s honest, brutally so. He’s clear about his unsavory intentions and actions, explains when and why he feels remorse, and makes exactly zero apologies.

If you like kind of twisted books with messed up characters or even just a good mystery, go get Never Coming Home immediately! RIght now. Go!

Conclusion
Seriously great writing from Hannah Mary Mackinnon that will keep you glued until the breathtaking end. So freaking satisfying.

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Never Coming Home by Hannah Mary McKinnon will have you questioning yourself. This is an engaging domestic thriller, high in psychological suspense.

I really enjoyed this one, even with its darker content (murder, crime, addiction, etc.) It played in my mind like a movie, so vividly was each scene written. I enjoyed Lucas as the lead "villain" and while I had my suspicions early on as to who was behind his perfect plan falling apart, I didn’t quite see the end twist coming.

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Holy wow! This was my first @hannahmarymckinnon book I’ve ever read and now I’m determined to read through her backlist 👀 it was incredible!

I will say it was a tad bit predictable, BUT- it was such a wild ride nevertheless. It was so much more complex than the ending I had predicted! I also really loved that it was told from the “villain” perspective, that was such a nice change of pace that I found myself really enjoying. Lucas’s layers were so intriguing to read about, just when I thought I had him figured out, something else would get revealed. It was just… such a wild book.

The character development was on point for this because you found yourself hating, and then starting to like, and then going back to hating, and then maybe loving Lucas? It’s so hard to describe without giving too much away, but his development was solid, as was Michelle’s!

This was a bit of a slow burn type thriller, IMO, a bit slow to start but once it got going it was impossible to put down. And that ending chapter… ABSOLUTE chef’s kiss 🤌🏼 so satisfying and left me with my jaw on the floor.

Thank you SO much @htpbooks for my gifted copy for review ✨ this definitely won’t be my last read from Hannah Mary McKinnon!

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Never Coming Home by Hannah Mary McKinnon is from the point of view of Lucas, a British man living in America. His wife Michelle has been missing for a month now. He is a grieving husband and has been taking care of his mother-in-law who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He seems to be the perfect husband. Except for the fact that he paid for a hit on his wife and knows that she is actually dead.
It seems that Lucas has been working on a plan his whole life, a get rich quick scheme. A con man in the making as a young person in England he saw his get rich quick ticket when he met Michelle. She is from a wealthy family. When they get married her dad insists on a pre-nup. That makes a divorce out of the question. The only way for him to get rich is to “get rid” of his wife. He hires somebody on the dark web to take care of this job for him. He thinks he’s in the clear until he starts receiving notes at home from somebody who says they know what he did. He has to run around and try to cover his tracks and try to figure out who is doing this to him. Is it the police? Is it the hitman he hired? Is it somebody else?
I really enjoyed this book being from the point of view of the villain. He was so likable and it sort of reminded me of the way that I really liked Dexter and cheered for him. There are many twists and turns to the story. I kept thinking I had it figured out and I really did not. This book was pretty fast paced and hard to put down. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book. All opinions on my own.

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This is the darkest book I have read in a long time. Definitely the darkest by this author.
It's told by the villain's point of view from start to dramatic finish. And believe me it has a great ending.

I kept trying to figure out all the way through this book who "Woods" was. Could he be someone we have met or just a random stranger. Is he the one who is freaking Lucas out or is he again just a random stranger. This book will keep you on the edge all the way through. Keep you wondering what is going on and who is doing what to whom. I did figure out a bit of it but I'm sure that is from reading mostly thrillers over so many years. I was shocked in so many places too and it's a great story. It's one you can see playing out as you read it. It was like watching a movie in many ways. I could actually feel the raindrops falling while speeding through the dark wet streets. The trees swaying while running through the woods. The dank stench of a cabin long deserted. Left to rot. Feel the wet earth below my nails as someone dug it up. The fear of seeing things that should not be happening. Wondering who is doing it. There are several people you can choose from too. But it's not exactly easy to figure out who is doing what and when.

I did not like Lucas at all. I did feel sorry for the young Lucas. After all he went through as a kid and a teen and getting involved with a crook, I can see why he turned out the way he did. After he sees what happened to his father, yes I can see it. I felt sorry for that kid. But the grown man no. He was the most conniving cold hearted person I have read about in ages. He wanted something and did all he could to get it. He was very greedy though and that greed may mess him up at times. He says he does hate his wife. But he never says he loved her at all. He didn't want her tortured. Maybe he had a tiny little piece of a heart in there somewhere. Maybe.

All the pieces fall in line and gives you an answer that you won't expect. It's great. It had me holding my breath. It made me smile. Honestly I was so thrilled with how the author made this one play out. And that ending... It was priceless. You'll use your imagination there also. Just imagine what happens. I loved it. Lucas reminds me of someone that I personally knew except for the dark web and the murder for hire part. The conniving. The using. The plotting. All of those things are Lucas. The title fits this book perfectly too. And that cover is gorgeous.

Thank you #NetGalley, #HannahMaryMcKinnon, #Harlequin for this ARC. This is my own true thoughts about this book.

5/5 HUGE stars and a high recommendation. You will love this one.

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Never Coming Home takes us inside the villain's point of view, and what a villain he is. Lucas is arrogant in the extreme, but I suppose it takes quite a lot of arrogance to carry out the kind of plans he's made. Fair warning: if you have to like or have a connection with the character to enjoy the read, this probably isn't the book for you. That said, this one would be a good way to step outside the box because as despicable as Lucas is, the predicament he finds himself in as someone messes with his mind is wildly amusing. I did figure part of it out, but that really didn't impact how entertaining the story is - for one, I wanted to find out if I was right, and I really wanted to see if Lucas got his just desserts. I'm not elaborating on that part. You'll have to read it to find out, and if there's any question you'll want the answer to, it's that one. In the end, I think this thriller was as fun as it was twisted, and I enjoyed the read.

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Twisted, sordid and bone chilling. Just when you think you’ve covered all of your tracks, you haven’t. A clever dark thriller to keep you up at night.

Watch my Amazon live with Hannah: https://amazon.com/live/broadcast/7ee11f33-172e-467d-989f-d5c8106df177?tag=erinmbransco-20&linkCode=ilv&ref_=social

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All I can say is WOW! Hannah Mary McKinnon is FABULOUS.

Not only does she give surprising twists, but she even has you rooting for the bad guys lol.

This book is about Lucas who has his wife murdered, but someone knows. They begin to leave clues hoping he will unravel. What ends up happening will leave you breathless.

My jaw literally dropped with this ending. I didn’t see it coming at all.

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Lucas wants money and theres only one way for him to get it, to have his wife killed. Its not that he doesn't like her, just the money more. And he is 100% sure of his plan and that he won't be getting caught.
Lucas thinks he has a fool proof plan but as weird things start to happen, someones telling him they know something. I found some parts slower with the inner monologue about how no one could know. There was were twists I didn't see coming but some I did. Overall this was a fun mystery. I loved seeing how the mystery person was messing with Lucas along the way.

Thank you to MIRA and Netgalley for my review copy!

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A thank you to Netgalley for sharing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

An interesting if not exactly original premise that kept me engaged for a while. However, after a while the story begins to lose its charm as being trapped inside the interior monologue of narcissit becomes increasingly wearisome to the point of fatigue - especially once your initial inklings about how the story is going to pan out becomes pretty apparent.

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