Member Reviews

Thank you NetGalley and Level Best Books for accepting my request to read and review Never Let Go.

Author: Lori Duffy Foster
Published: 12/20/22
Genre: General Fiction (Adult) -- Mystery & Thrillers -- Women's Fiction

Initially, I thought this was going to follow a typical trope storyline. I was pleasantly surprised. The female main character was clever and Foster stayed consistent through the end. I appreciated that, as well there was no profanity to the best of my knowledge.

There really are two stories, and I didn't expect that either. I don't want to spoil, so I can only speak generally. Foster did well with human emotions as well as reactions. She wrote the main character's story seamlessly. In my defense, I wasn't counting pages waiting for the ending. If I had, I might have noticed there was a necessary angle to finish (the last third of the book).

Of note, there was a law enforcement character with a family, and I liked his storyline as well.

This was a nice, lazy day read. I gave 3.5 stars, but didn't round up; it is clever storytelling. I look forward to more from the author.

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This was a great thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. Very well written and loved the plot twists. I never knew what was going to happen next!!

Thank you Netgalley and publisher for this ARC.

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Carla is unexpectedly drugged by her "best friend" and finds herself locked in a room in Rachel's basement. Her son is also missing. Rachel is obsessed with Carla's husband and will kill them both if she doesn't get what she wants. Carla agrees to help her, hoping she will see her son and husband again.

The first half of the book with Carla locked in the basement, kept me on the edge of my seat. Wondering if she would get out alive, how the people on the outside would deal with her disappearance. Without giving away the plot, the second half of the book took a turn and started to drag a bit. Also the secondary story line of finding a dead body, at a construction site, from a 20 year old disappearance seemed kind of pointless in the grand scheme of this story. I wasn't quite sure of the point of adding that in.

Thank You Net Galley for this advanced e-galley. 3 1/2 stars

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Never Let Go
By: Lori Duffy Foster

5 Stars

I am so glad for this netgalley advanced review copy of NEVER LET GO. It was a crazy ride from page one. Carla and her son Christopher are missing. Did she leave? Was she abducted? Finding her and the baby is all that matters to her husband, Nick. The truth will be one that no one ever saw coming.

This book is an awesome wild ride. It was action-packed. From page one, I was hooked. It was written well and had an awesome set of characters. I have read many mysteries and thrillers, and this one really had it all. The danger, the emotions, the story, and the drama were all portrayed in an awesome way that keeps you reading till the last page. It's definitely a book I'll be telling friends about.

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This book was so good!! I’d give it five shining stars!! It’s been awhile since I read a book that captured me so quickly and I flew through the pages. You could tell the author knew her stuff, being that she was a crime reporter.

I loved reading about the willpower of the mother and how she would do anything to save her child. It was intense and such a quick read.

The only thing that did not work for me was the side story about the missing boy and how he body showed up years later. I felt like it didn’t add much to the story.

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I read through the night to finish this thriller that turns into a nightmare. Spooky, tense, richly atmospheric and profoundly moving! This author turns the psychological thumbscrews with relish.

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This book was intense! The author is a former crime reporter and you can tell from her writing, she knows her stuff. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time from beginning to end. If you’re looking for an actually thrilling thriller pick this up!

Carla wakes up to something out of a nightmare. She finds herself trapped in the basement of her so-called best friend Rachel’s house and her son Christopher is nowhere to be found. Rachel is obsessed with Carla’s husband and manipulates Carla by withholding food, water, etc in order to learn how to snag her husband. Carla is appalled however if she ever wants to see her family again, she must play along.

Thank you to netgalley and levelbestbooks for this arc in exchange for my honest review.

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This book started with a bang. A wife and child missing and no one know why. Everyone has their ideas but no solid evidence except the person who took them.

I loved the beginning of the book but the second half did not capture my attention as much. After the villains are caught the story tells a lot about what happens to them, which most books do not do. If you like knowing what happened after the catch, it will interest you.

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From the first chapter - the tone is set. Carla vs. Rachel.... best friends for years.....until Rachel's long-hidden jealousy takes control. Carla has everything that Rachel wants and Rachel decides its time to take it - all. Carla's husband Nick doesn't believe that she has taken the baby and left him as investigators want him to believe and he continues to look for her. Even as Rachel begins to insert herself into his daily life and becomes obsessive in her attention, Nick hangs onto hope. Imprisoned by Rachel, Carla finds her inner strength to fight against her captivity and find a way to get back to her husband and child....knowing that first she needs to find her baby. The intricate way the author has developed the main characters, as well as the peripheral characters in a seemingly unrelated side-story, helps the reader to become immersed in their outcomes. Each story unravels in what seems like slow-motion as the reader pushes towards their surprising endings. This book is a mystery/thriller well worth reading! Thank you to NetGalley and Level Best Books for the opportunity to read and review this advance reader copy. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. #NeverLetGo #NetGalley

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No explicit spoilers - but proceed with caution!

Carla Murphy is happily married and has just had her first child. It should be the happiest time of her life - but her best friend has other plans.

Rachel has abducted Carla and her son Christopher, out of an obsession with Carla's husband. Terrified and trapped alone in Rachel's basement, Carla has no choice but to help her best friend seduce her husband, or she'll kill them all...

I know a thriller is supposed to go off with a bang, but Foster really does launch you into the action.

From Chapter 1 we're trapped in the basement with the fragile and terrified Carla. Rachel is a disembodied voice floating in through the walls, and the stakes are quickly established:

Carla isn't going anywhere, Rachel is in love with Nick - and if she has to starve Carla into submission, she will.

My favourite element of the opening chapters was how quickly Foster establishes Carla's resilience and determination, even in her helpless situation. The book is written in close third person, and we're in her head enough to get a really vivid picture of her thoughts and feelings, without it being the emotional drain you sometimes get with first person.

This is all then contrasted with the second chapter, which follows Nick. The police don't believe that anything sinister has happened to his wife, beyond her deciding to leave him and take the baby. The second chapter sets up the suburban America-setting that exists beyond the basement, and we get a glimpse of Rachel as she sets her plan in motion...

Of the three central characters, Carla, Nick and Rachel - I found myself warming to Nick most. He is written so convincingly, and even as I was shouting at the page as he made some truly terrible decisions, his actions made total sense for his situation.

From the start the Rachel character is clearly unhinged. I would say if you like your thriller masterminds to be subtle and on the less extreme-end of the disturbed scale, this isn't the book for you. However, for me, it didn't spoil anything about the book at all. Rachel is a total wild-card, and the extreme of her character means you just can't predict what she'll do next.

This is an interesting book to write about the ending of! If I consider my expectations at the outset, I was very surprised at the plot and twists that came about half way through. Foster does a bait and switch and spins the book in a totally different direction than I was expecting.

I enjoyed the switch up of the traditional structure, but I don't want to say anything about the ending in case I give it away!

The only thing I would say is that I loved the slow-burn reveal of the book's main sub-plot. I think without it the second half would have felt untethered, but as it was it worked perfectly.

I've really enjoyed reading more American writers while reviewing books this year, and I'll definitely keep an eye out for more by Lori in the future.

If you like a high-stakes, pacy domestic thriller then Never Let Go will certainly satisfy those wants, while putting a spin on the usual format.

I was given a free advanced-reader copy of this book, in exchange for a review.

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Never Let Go by Lori Duffy Foster is an INCREDIBLE psychological thriller.

This is a suspense thriller that I could not put down.

Carla Murphy was a great character. Well written, complex, and complicated.

Carla wakes up in a drug-induced sleep in her friend's basement. From there, I couldn't stop turning the pages.

This was such an incredible twisty thriller that I absolutely LOVED.

Well written with multi-layered characters.

I have read other books from this author, and I highly recommend checking out her other works.

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This book will grab you from the first chapter. Without giving away the story, you can easily put yourself in this novel. How would you react if someone you thought was your friend kidnapped you and stole your son in order to get your husband? Would you be willing to help her sleep with your husband to keep everyone safe? This book is well written and keeps you engaged throughout the plot. I had not read this author before and will definitely read her prior books now. I recommend the book and the author.

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Excellent thriller! Carla wakes up in a dark basement with no memory of how she got there. What she does remember is a lunch date with her best friend who she quickly finds out is responsible for the nightmare she has ended up in. Even worse than her current situation is the fact she has no idea where her baby is or how to escape. Dark fast paced thriller that is impossible to put down. This is my first novel by this author but it definitely will not be my last.

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A terrific thriller with lots of opposing angles to the story. A vest friend with her screws lose imprisons Carla and got rid of her baby. Rachel then makes the move on Nick using Carla to do it. An icy finger went up and win my spine as I read that part. The story also involves Cop Sawyer and another troubling case of Leander, whose body was just discovered.
Much is packed into this psychological bendy read.
Through it all I was most impressed with Carla. She was smart, savvy, and ingenious in the predicaments she was in.
I did not like the ending for Sawyer. I wished for something better for him.

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Thank you to Netgalley and Level Best Books for providing this ARC!

This book was riveting from the first page. There were twists, but not as many as I would have expected. The secondary mystery almost seemed a second thought and kind of ended with a thud for me.

Overall, it kept me engaged. I just wish the ending would have packed more punch.

Three stars!

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Let's talk about a great first chapter!!!! That was damn intriguing and awesome!!!! And cringe hahaha but since the first chapter I was like yup I'll enjoy this one. And let me also say, this made me scared of my friends hahaha!!!!

Chapter 10... I screamed!!! I was like F*yeah you btch!!! Hahahahaha. That little twist!!!! And then Chapter 11 what in the actual F is wrong with Rachel?!?! This was cringe and sick and I wanted to just attack her hahaha . I mean seriously WTF?!

I'll tell you this... the first 50% was cringe and an awesome book!!!! Too good to be true. My problem was with the second half and I'll tell you why (of course). When you are reading an amazing thriller and then something the MC starts an investigation and solves everything faster than the FBI and everything starts to be packed on action, you lose me there. I understand that a mom would do anything for her kids but I feel there's a part in this that stops being realistic and I can't stand that!!!! Ugh why the author didn't just stretched the first half and avoided the super hero mom to just get her kid back with the FBI solving it? Why the need for the action? I wanted to just skip all that nonsense. Make books feel real please!!!!

Other thing to the author...
This is written in the book... "Three kids later, and she still turned heads when she walked on a beach." And I found it, well, not okay. Like if most women lost "it" after having kids. Be careful with this comments!!!! And also when talking about this same wife, saying he amazed how she is a good mom, can study, work, and manage home finances at the same time... I mean.. hahaha this is a bit sexist... Just saying.

I want to focus in the first half of the book and a bit of the second half and say I enjoyed it!!! I really recommend it just based on the first half, I'm so sorry the second half was not for me but I'm sure many others will enjoy the mix of the book. So I do recommend it and hope you guys let me know if you read it and your opinion on it.

I'll give three stars because of the first half...!!!! Just based on that...

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If you are looking for your next psychological thriller, then look no further! Never Let Go by Lori Duffy Foster is the one to read. This is a fast paced, unputdownable, intense thriller. Ms Foster takes you on a roller coaster ride with some of the twistiest twists there are. It is highly addicting and grabs you on page one. The characters are real and Ms. Foster’s writing talent draws you into each of their lives. Her twisty plot will blow your mind! I highly recommend this intriguing book, you will not be disappointed.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Level Best Books and Lori Duffy Foster for this captivating thriller. My opinions are your my own.
#netgalley #levelbestbooks. #neverletgo. #loriduffyfoster #arc. #psychologicalthriller

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This was a fantastic read. Love Lori's books. First time author for me. She has the magic touch in her book. She know how to write.

Thank you net gallery for this opportunity to read this fantastic book by this author.

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This book has such good reviews but I had a hard time getting into it. All of the sentences were short, choppy fragments and the characters were so strange! I did enjoy the suspenseful nature of the story but this one just wasn’t for me.

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I will leave a review on Dec. 20th on Amazon and B&N

Wow this was an intense and emotional read. I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. What would you do when you are betrayed in the worst way possible by the person you considered one of your best friends. How far would you go to save your life, and that of your baby? Psychological thrillers are one of my favorite genres. This is a dark and twisted storyline, and I can say one I haven't read before. I most certainly would recommend this book to others that enjoy this genre. I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher free of charge, and I am under no obligation to leave a favorable review the opinions expressed here are my own

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