Never Look Back
Reminiscent of the bestsellers of Laura Lippman and Harlan Coben—with a Serial-esque podcast twist—an absorbing, addictive tale of psychological suspense from the author of the highly acclaimed and Edgar Award-nominated What Remains of Me and the USA Today bestselling and Shamus Award-winning Brenna Spector series.When website columnist Robin Diamond is contacted by true crime podcast producer Quentin Garrison, she assumes it's a business matter. It's not. Quentin's podcast, Closure, focuses on a series of murders in the 1970s, committed by teen couple April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy. It seems that Quentin has reason to believe Robin's own mother may be intimately connected with the killings.Robin thinks Quentin’s claim is absolutely absurd. But is it? The more she researches the Cooper/LeRoy murders herself, the more disturbed she becomes by what she finds. Living just a few blocks from her, Robin’s beloved parents are the one absolute she’s always been able to rely upon, especially now amid rising doubts about her husband and frequent threats from internet trolls. She knows her mother better than anyone—or so she believes. But all that changes when, in an apparent home invasion, Robin's father is killed and her mother's life hangs in the balance.Told through the eyes of Robin, podcaster Quentin, and a series of letters written by fifteen-year-old April Cooper at the time of the killings, Never Look Back asks the question:How well do we really know our parents, our partners—and ourselves?

Never Look Back Details

TitleNever Look Back
Author
ReleaseJul 2nd, 2019
PublisherWilliam Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN-139780062844552
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery Thriller

Never Look Back Review

  • Brenda - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    I loved If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin and was really excited when I got my hands on this one! There might have been some dancing going on. After reading Never Look Back there was definitely some dancing going on with my Traveling Sister Kim who read this one with me. We both really enjoyed this one. Never Look Back is a fast-paced, fun twisty and action-packed story that had me on the edge of my seat trying to piece together how everyone was connected to our teenage couple serial killers her I loved If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin and was really excited when I got my hands on this one! There might have been some dancing going on. After reading Never Look Back there was definitely some dancing going on with my Traveling Sister Kim who read this one with me. We both really enjoyed this one. Never Look Back is a fast-paced, fun twisty and action-packed story that had me on the edge of my seat trying to piece together how everyone was connected to our teenage couple serial killers here in this story. Alison Gaylin delivers quite the fun entertaining read here with each twist to the story as she delves into each character’s psyche. The story does have a predictable feel to it right from the start however Alison Gaylin has a way with those well-plotted twists that kept it feeling exciting. Each twist kept me guessing and doubting everything right up to the very end. I highly recommend for a tension-filled, entertaining read with some unsettling dark to it to keep you on edge. I highly recommend.I received a copy from the publisher.
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  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    "Is there a way to stop something that's meant to be, even if it's something you don't want?"In 1976, teenagers April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy went on a killing spree in the Inland Empire area of Southern California. Twelve people—some known to the killers, some random victims—were killed before the couple died in a fire at a religious compound.While the story of the murderers was tabloid fodder for a while and they even were the subjects of a made-for-television movie, they soon faded into the "Is there a way to stop something that's meant to be, even if it's something you don't want?"In 1976, teenagers April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy went on a killing spree in the Inland Empire area of Southern California. Twelve people—some known to the killers, some random victims—were killed before the couple died in a fire at a religious compound.While the story of the murderers was tabloid fodder for a while and they even were the subjects of a made-for-television movie, they soon faded into the peculiar history of serial killers and were mostly forgotten. But not by Quentin Garrison, who has a personal connection to Gabriel and April's crime spree years ago, and he believes that was responsible for his lousy childhood.Quentin is now a podcast producer focused on true crime, and both his husband and his best friend/co-producer convince him he should tie up the whole story as a way to bring himself closure. Yet when he receives a call from what appears to be a reliable source, saying that April Cooper is actually still alive and living in New York, Quentin is unsure whether closure will ever really be possible. Does he want April to be alive after all these years?Meanwhile, Robin Diamond is a controversial film reviewer for a popular entertainment website. She's never afraid to ruffle the feathers of their readers with her opinions, even if it brings crackpots to the surface. She's having doubts about her husband lately, but isn't sure if she really wants to know what has him working late and texting at all hours of the day and night. Regardless of all she's going through, she's not prepared for a phone call from Quentin asking about her mother's identity. And when a home invasion leaves her mother fighting for her life, she doesn't know what to believe.How well do we know our parents? Are they entitled to have secrets from us about their lives before we born, no matter how bad those secrets might be, or do we deserve full honesty? Can the truth really set us free, and is closure really possible?I loved Alison Gaylin's new thriller, Never Look Back . As I've stated many times before, I tend to be really hard on thrillers because I suspect everyone and over-analyze everything, so it takes a lot to surprise me. Gaylin definitely threw some twists and turns into her plot, and while not everything was shocking, the combination of mystery, suspicion, emotions, and character development really made this a compelling read.The book shifts narration between Quentin, Robin, and 15-year-old April (told in letters). There are lots of interesting connections that fall into place and lots of questions to answer. It's sad to see just how destructive secrets can be, potentially hurting not only those who have been keeping those secrets, but also having a ripple effect on others.Gaylin is a highly regarded thriller writer, but this is the first of her books I've read. I'm definitely going to read some of her earlier books, because I love the way she tells a story, and the plot and her characters were so well-developed. This book starts on a slow burn, but as it picks up steam, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough!See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html. You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    BEST THRILLER of the SUMMER!!!Alison Gaylin completely sucked me in with this tense absorbing dark story. 1976 California the Inland Empire ( fun fact is where I live). Two teenagers go on a killing spree that ends with them both dying in a fire. Present day quinton a crime podcaster is investigating these serial killers whose actions had a direct impact on his life. In the course of his investigation he happens across a film journalist living in New England who also has a tie to the story. What BEST THRILLER of the SUMMER!!!Alison Gaylin completely sucked me in with this tense absorbing dark story. 1976 California the Inland Empire ( fun fact is where I live). Two teenagers go on a killing spree that ends with them both dying in a fire. Present day quinton a crime podcaster is investigating these serial killers whose actions had a direct impact on his life. In the course of his investigation he happens across a film journalist living in New England who also has a tie to the story. What transpires is a tents and disturbing search for the truth. The book is told from the perspective of Quinton, Robin, and a young April Cooper (one of the teenagers). I found each of these characters perspectives unique and compelling. Aprils story was told to us in letters written to her future child, this was both chilling and endearing. Not going to lie I really liked April as well as Quinton and Robin and as things began to unravel I was shocked. This was a book that really made you question how well do you know the people in your life? Your parents? Your significant other? Your coworker? And the twists kept coming! As soon as I thought aha I got this figured out the book slammed me and said not so fast inspector Berit! This was just a brilliantly told story that kept me invested and on the edge from first page to last! If you love thrillers, books about serial killers, crime podcasts then this is a can’t miss!🎧🎧🎧Narrated by: Jorjeana Marie, James FouheyBoth narrators did a wonderful job with the narration of the story. As always getting a voice to extremely well develop characters just adds another dimension to the story. You can listen to the narrator’s as they present this scripted podcast of what Quinton was working on during this book.https://m.soundcloud.com/harperaudio_...*** Big thanks to William Morrow for my copy of this book ***
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  • NZLisaM
    January 1, 1970
    Five Stars all the Way!In June 1976, teenage couple, April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy went on a 13 day killing spree in California, ending in them both perishing in a fire. Quentin Garrison is working on a podcast called Closure, based on the idea that even though the murders occurred more than forty years ago they still impact the lives of the survivors and their descendants. And, Quentin is one of them – his aunt was one of the victims. Film columnist, Robin Diamond receives a strange phone call Five Stars all the Way!In June 1976, teenage couple, April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy went on a 13 day killing spree in California, ending in them both perishing in a fire. Quentin Garrison is working on a podcast called Closure, based on the idea that even though the murders occurred more than forty years ago they still impact the lives of the survivors and their descendants. And, Quentin is one of them – his aunt was one of the victims. Film columnist, Robin Diamond receives a strange phone call from Quentin. He's been contacted by a man claiming to have recognised her mother, Renee, from a Mother's Day video Robin posted for her column. The witness is convinced that Renee is April Cooper, that he knew her personally after she was presumed dead in a fire. Robin dismisses the notion as preposterous, but soon after her parents are victims of a home invasion. Could Renee Diamond really be notorious serial killer April Cooper?Quentin and Robin each conduct their own investigations, determined to get to the truth. But doing so, will place their own lives in danger.Tense, horrifying, fast-paced, and emotionally affecting, I quickly devoured this psychological suspenseful read. There were twists aplenty, and they keep on coming until the last page. Protagonists, Quinten and Robin, narrated the present, with the 1976 events unfolding via chilling, journal-style, "Letters to my Future Child", written by April Cooper. The opening pages, April's first entry, a written assignment for her freshman social studies class, hooked me immediately, and chapter two in Quentin's POV quickly endeared me to his character, and I felt the same way when Robin was introduced. The premise reminded me a of a novel I read last year, but that's where the similarities ended, this one was a lot better.Content wise, there is nothing overly graphic or gruesome, no blow-by-blow of the murders April and Gabriel committed together. Instead, April's journals focus on her destructive and controlling, co-dependent relationship with Gabriel, and her secretive nature. I was expecting more of a focus on the podcast aspect, but the fact that there wasn't didn't make me feel like there was anything missing. Alison Gaylin's 2018 novel, If I Die Tonight, was a huge hit for me, and Never Look Back will likely make my 2019, end-of-year, top favourites list. This one's out 2nd July, 2019, so make sure to mark your calendars, as it's not to be missed.I'd like to thank Edelweiss, William Morrow Paperbacks, and Alison Gaylin for the e-ARC.
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  • Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! Just flipping wow! This book captivated me from the very first page and never let up. Sometimes a book starts out with a bang and you think that surely the author will not be able to keep up that type of intensity all the way through the book, well this one does. This book was not on my radar and yet it is one of the best I have read so far this year!How well do you know those closest to you? Perhaps you think you know everything about your loved ones, but you may be surprised. Everyone has Wow! Just flipping wow! This book captivated me from the very first page and never let up. Sometimes a book starts out with a bang and you think that surely the author will not be able to keep up that type of intensity all the way through the book, well this one does. This book was not on my radar and yet it is one of the best I have read so far this year!How well do you know those closest to you? Perhaps you think you know everything about your loved ones, but you may be surprised. Everyone has their secrets, but just how dark are they? The 1970's string of grisly murders by a Bonnie and Clyde type couple April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy were the furthest thing from Robin's mind. She wasn't even born yet and why would she have any concern with the so called Inland Empire Killers? 40 years later they are all she can think about. Every single waking moment she thinks about them.Quentin Garrish has a popular true crime podcast and he has reason to believe that Robin's mother Renee may in fact have a connection with the killing spree. Even though April and Gabriel have been long gone for 40 years after they met their demise in a fire, Quentin is determined to convince Robin that her living mother Renee is deeply involved.Talk about not being able to put a book down! This book had so many dark, twisted turns it kept me guessing until the end. I thought I had it figured out and then a new shocking twist would come to light. I can't recommend this book enough! I read this with one of my best book buddies Brenda at Two Sisters and a Coulee and this was a fantastic buddy read. I can't thank William Morrow enough for sending this ARC print copy my way. I have just found a new favorite author and will be reading her other books! This book is a must read in my opinion! I highly suggest you get your hands on a copy now!
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  • DJ Sakata
    January 1, 1970
    Favorite Quotes:When someone is that close, you don’t just hear a whisper. You feel it.She clutched a skittish little terrier in her arms that yapped and yapped, as though it had been born into the wrong life and was desperately trying to alert the world about it.And then I saw it happen: Officer Nelligan recognized us. I knew it before he said anything, just in the way he stopped talking, the way his back straightened, and he seemed to change shape, growing bigger and taller and meaner than he’ Favorite Quotes:When someone is that close, you don’t just hear a whisper. You feel it.She clutched a skittish little terrier in her arms that yapped and yapped, as though it had been born into the wrong life and was desperately trying to alert the world about it.And then I saw it happen: Officer Nelligan recognized us. I knew it before he said anything, just in the way he stopped talking, the way his back straightened, and he seemed to change shape, growing bigger and taller and meaner than he’d been just two seconds earlier. I pictured buttons popping on his uniform, his rage turning him into a giant, a monster that could, would kill Gabriel and me… Time froze into a still photograph. I was standing at one end of a tunnel and Officer Nelligan was at the other and there was no one else in the world but the two of us.I think that spending all this time with Gabriel has made me turn a little, like when you leave a glass of milk out in the sun… Every day, I will do something good for a person or an animal. I won’t go to sleep until I’ve made someone’s life better. And all those good deeds will turn me back.Life rides some of us harder than others.The sky here is so beautiful— like someone spilled a jar of silver glitter over a black velvet cape.Summer glanced up to see the waitress standing over her, a look in her eye like they’d drawn straws back in the kitchen and she was the loser.My Review:After reading If I Die Tonight, I was aware of Ms. Gaylin’s uniquely devious style of slowly weaving seemingly unrelated yet mind-tickling events together into an ingeniously intriguing and complex tale of tragedy and secret lives. The characters were compelling yet deeply damaged and brimming with recalcitrant secrets and incongruence. The storylines were diabolically captivating and maddeningly paced, keeping my curiosity on a sharp edge. And to my unbridled delight, the last hundred pages exploded with twist after twist, it was brilliant. Alison Gaylin is an exceptional talent and has mad skills, but I can’t help but feel a bit fearful for her neighbors…
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  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    Alison Gaylin, you are an amazing writer. Kudos to writing such a beautifully told mystery/thriller— Never Look Back is a fun, dark, ride! In the same vein as the podcast Serial or the Six Stories series by Matt Wesolowski, we are taken on a podcaster's journey to find the truth. Quentin Garrison has begun producing his podcast, Closure, where it will center around murderous couple April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy—a duo that invoked multiple murders during the 1970s, including April's own father! Alison Gaylin, you are an amazing writer. Kudos to writing such a beautifully told mystery/thriller— Never Look Back is a fun, dark, ride! In the same vein as the podcast Serial or the Six Stories series by Matt Wesolowski, we are taken on a podcaster's journey to find the truth. Quentin Garrison has begun producing his podcast, Closure, where it will center around murderous couple April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy—a duo that invoked multiple murders during the 1970s, including April's own father! Without giving much away, Quentin and his partner Summer investigate the murder closely and he stumbles over mysterious footage linking the murders to another woman—a woman still alive to this day—to these crimes. Quentin reaches out to Robin Diamond, daughter of this mysterious woman, to find out more information linking the puzzle pieces of this mystery together. Robin is hesitant to believe Quentin at first, but as the story begins to unravel, Robin can't help but see similarities. What Quentin and Robin are about to uncover will shock everyone. Never Look Back is definitely one of the best told mysteries that I've read this year. I was completely gripped from the first chapter, and I couldn't put this book down. I really enjoyed reading Quentin and Robin's point of views, and I was curious to see how the story would unfold. Alison Gaylin gets right to the point with this story—no fluff or secondary plot holes thrown in to keep the story going. Action-packed from the beginning, this story is fast and direct. It's focused on a centralized story and each page continues to craft that mystery further. In fact, I would have probably given this book 5 stars, but I felt that it was more predictable than I would've liked. I was able to figure out the ending about halfway into the story, but even as I was figuring the story out, I still couldn't put it down. Alison Gaylin is a new author for me, but Never Look Back will not be the last book I read from her.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsI am giving this unique thriller/ coming of age novel 3.5 Stars rounded up to 4.SUMMARYThe book opens with a letter written by April Cooper in 1976 to her future daughter explaining that her ex-boyfriend, Gabriel killed her stepfather and pressured an unwilling April to go into hiding with him. Unsurprisingly, Gabriel is way more unstable than 15 year old April could have ever imagined. It wasn’t long before their “laying low and hiding” turned into an infamous killing spree through Sou 3.5 StarsI am giving this unique thriller/ coming of age novel 3.5 Stars rounded up to 4.SUMMARYThe book opens with a letter written by April Cooper in 1976 to her future daughter explaining that her ex-boyfriend, Gabriel killed her stepfather and pressured an unwilling April to go into hiding with him. Unsurprisingly, Gabriel is way more unstable than 15 year old April could have ever imagined. It wasn’t long before their “laying low and hiding” turned into an infamous killing spree through Southern California and Death Valley. The police and public considered them to be a modern day Bonnie and Clyde, assuming April both approved of and participated in these murders. The press even gave them a name, dubbing them The Inland Empire Killers. In the present day, Quinton Garrison, a true crime podcast reporter/ producer is working with his production partner, Summer, on a podcast about The Inland Empire Killers and how the killings still affect the lives of the victims families. This podcast is to be called Closure because Quinton has a painful connection to the story and needs to put that chapter of his life to rest. When a man calls Summer to say he thinks April is still alive and living in a small NY town, Quinton hops on a plane to see if this woman could actually be April. Meanwhile, in Tarry Ridge, NY, journalists Robin Diamond receives a call from Quinton. Quinton wants to meet with her to discuss his upcoming podcast and the fact that his source led him to her mother, Renee. Robin tells Quinton she thinks he’s off base and opts not to meet him. Yet, in the back of her mind, Robin cannot help but consider his story... after all, she really knows nothing about her mother’s life before her parents met. Less than 24 hours later, someone enters her parents house and shoots both of them. The book flips back and forth between April’s letters to her future daughter in 1976, Quinton’s podcast research and Robin desperately trying to figure out what happened to her parents and who her mother really is. The three story lines converge eventually, creating a hard to forget tale with many layers. WHAT I LOVEDI was fascinated from page one! The “letters to a future daughter” were so sad, sweet, hopeful and deeply disturbing. They really did sound like a fifteen year old girl’s voice. She sounded young, vulnerable and in over her head. It was so interesting to watch how everything April had been through gradually changed her. How she went from being a very innocent, sweet girl to becoming a strong woman who had seen way too much and is quite capable of taking care of herself. All three of the story lines were very compelling. Interestingly, the majority of the main characters were journalists. This profession worked for the story because each character had some investigating to do and journalists tend to be equipped with all the skills necessary for investigations. Each of the characters had some sort of issue or disappointment related to their parents and had deeply suffered from it, yet each character handled the suffering in vastly different ways. I was able to sympathize with and understand each of the main characters, even when they were not on their best behavior. Everyone, with the exception of Gabriel, had at least something likable about them. They were not just black or white, which was kind of the whole theme of the book; nobody is just one thing or act but the sum of all their parts and actions. While this book was not specifically based on a true story, it was inspired by a similar true crime from the 1950’s. That crime inspired several books and movies. I highly recommend reading the authors short blurb at the end of the book explaining all this. It is quick and quite informative. WHAT I DIDN’T LOVEThe ending was a little disappointing to me. I don’t want to explain what I didn’t love about it, it would ruin the ending for anyone who reads my review. I will say, however, the ending knocked it from a 4 Star to a 3.5 for me. OVERALLThis one is a real ‘thinker,’ I’m finding myself unable to stop thinking about it. In fact, I may head over to my parents house and see if my mother is hiding anything in her dresser drawers...
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    So good!!!!
  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    Website columnist Robin Diamond is shocked when crime podcast producer Quentin Garrison contacts her and implies that Robin's mother was involved in a couple of murders back in the 70s. Robin is quite sure that this is impossible, but she can't help wondering why she knows so little about her mother's past. There is no way her mother could have participated in a murder spree. And, beside both killers are dead, so there is no way her mother could be a killer. Then, tragedy strikes when someone br Website columnist Robin Diamond is shocked when crime podcast producer Quentin Garrison contacts her and implies that Robin's mother was involved in a couple of murders back in the 70s. Robin is quite sure that this is impossible, but she can't help wondering why she knows so little about her mother's past. There is no way her mother could have participated in a murder spree. And, beside both killers are dead, so there is no way her mother could be a killer. Then, tragedy strikes when someone breaks in and shots both her parents. Could this have something to do with the old murder case?READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    I became a huge fan of Alison Gaylin's when I read her novel What Remains of Me, my adoration only grew when I read If I Die Tonight and now, Never Look Back has turned me into a raving super-fan. Gaylin does an excellent job of driving the plot, creating true suspense and tension and not meandering from the story at hand. Told in dual timelines, we learn about teenage murderers April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy, via April's journal. In present day, we learn that podcast host Quentin Garrison think I became a huge fan of Alison Gaylin's when I read her novel What Remains of Me, my adoration only grew when I read If I Die Tonight and now, Never Look Back has turned me into a raving super-fan. Gaylin does an excellent job of driving the plot, creating true suspense and tension and not meandering from the story at hand. Told in dual timelines, we learn about teenage murderers April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy, via April's journal. In present day, we learn that podcast host Quentin Garrison thinks Cooper may be alive and seeks out the truth, bringing us to chapters with Robin Diamond, a celebrity pop culture columnist. Each perspective brings it's own unique voice and drives the plot forward. Gaylin in an extremely talented voice in a genre that is over-saturated at the moment and truly stands out in the crowd. I have yet to rate any of her novels lower than 5 stars and this one certainly fits that bill as well. Thank you to William Morrow for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you William Morrow and Harper Collins for the free copy of Never Look Back in exchange for an honest review. Quentin has a connection to a couple of murdering teens who ripped through Southern California in the late 70's. Determined to find Closure to what happened, he decides to embark on a podcast to investigate the survivors of the people who lost their lives all those years ago. Also, Robin Diamond's parents are recent victims of a home invasion making her question how well she knows Thank you William Morrow and Harper Collins for the free copy of Never Look Back in exchange for an honest review. Quentin has a connection to a couple of murdering teens who ripped through Southern California in the late 70's. Determined to find Closure to what happened, he decides to embark on a podcast to investigate the survivors of the people who lost their lives all those years ago. Also, Robin Diamond's parents are recent victims of a home invasion making her question how well she knows her parents. And Quentin has her wondering if her mother may be connected to the same teen murderers that he's investigating. You know that meme of the woman with all the math equations floating in front of her face? I think it's from a movie or a tv show. That's how I felt while I was reading this. I had trouble keeping track of who was who and how they were connected. The story wasn't hard to follow, but the characters were very difficult to keep straight. It didn't help that some of them had alias's. Thus, giving me two names to remember for the same person. I felt like I was slugging through this one. It was interesting to read, but slow going. And, I felt bogged down trying to keep myself up to speed on who was who and what was what. I think that the letters written by April, one of the teen murderers, was the most interesting part of the book. It was a nice respite from all the analyzing when there was one of her straightforward diary entries that leads us through the reveals. I expected this to be more podcast driven. But, it turned out to just be the reason behind the actual story. As in, Quentin is making a podcast, so this happens because of it. I thought that the story was going to be following him through his podcast investigation. But, it turned out that the podcast is just a side note in the real story. I didn't ever want to dnf the book, so I feel like it deserves at least 3 stars. But, I'm not sure who I would recommend it to. It's not a typical thriller. It is slow moving and investigative with characters who are a bit difficult to follow.
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  • Basic B's Guide
    January 1, 1970
    Talk about complex family dynamics! After finishing, my head is still reeling and I need an index of all the characters. While I did have most of the story figured out I still managed to stay engaged the entire way through. I think that says a lot about the strength of writing and I’m officially a fan of Gaylin’s. Those that enjoy podcasts like Serial will have a good time with this story. Inspired by a 1950s vigilante couple its a look at how it may have looked from the inside out and the peopl Talk about complex family dynamics! After finishing, my head is still reeling and I need an index of all the characters. While I did have most of the story figured out I still managed to stay engaged the entire way through. I think that says a lot about the strength of writing and I’m officially a fan of Gaylin’s. Those that enjoy podcasts like Serial will have a good time with this story. Inspired by a 1950s vigilante couple its a look at how it may have looked from the inside out and the people affected by it. I gobbled this story up in a 3 hour flight and would recommend it for a summer binge read.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    Setting this one aside. The synopsis sounds amazing, but I gave it 100 pages & it hasn't really kept my attention.
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    More like 3.5. I would like to thank Edelweiss and the publisher for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. I am a fan of the author's Brenna Spector novels so I was excited to read this, especially when I found out the premise was about a true crime podcast as I enjoy those as well. I found the book had a bit of a slow start, but once I got into the book, I enjoyed it, it had interesting characters and the plot kept me entertained.
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  • Jessica Woodbury
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars. Another true-crime-podcast book that doesn't really have much to do with the true crime podcast phenomenon. While it doesn't have transcriptions of a podcast (phew) it does have a much worse and completely unnecessary device that continues throughout the book. The jumping between characters seemed to be methodical at first but gets too sporadic by the end. Generally, a lot of the pieces here felt to me like they'd been wedged together and forced to fit rather than meshing organically. 2.5 stars. Another true-crime-podcast book that doesn't really have much to do with the true crime podcast phenomenon. While it doesn't have transcriptions of a podcast (phew) it does have a much worse and completely unnecessary device that continues throughout the book. The jumping between characters seemed to be methodical at first but gets too sporadic by the end. Generally, a lot of the pieces here felt to me like they'd been wedged together and forced to fit rather than meshing organically. This just never really worked for me and if I hadn't needed something to speed through I probably wouldn't have finished it.
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  • Susanne Gulde
    January 1, 1970
    Actually 2.5 stars because I became bored with these characters about half-way through the book.Good writing, tho.
  • Roxanne
    January 1, 1970
    I won a copy of this in a Goodreads giveaway.Quentin is a podcaster working on a his latest podcast called Closure and it is intensely personal. He is the son of someone affected by the Inland Empire Killers. April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy. When he stumbles on some proof that April might still be alive he goes to investigate it.When Robin is contacted by Quentin she thinks he is crazy, but he does get her thinking right up until her parents are shot in the their house. Everything changes after t I won a copy of this in a Goodreads giveaway.Quentin is a podcaster working on a his latest podcast called Closure and it is intensely personal. He is the son of someone affected by the Inland Empire Killers. April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy. When he stumbles on some proof that April might still be alive he goes to investigate it.When Robin is contacted by Quentin she thinks he is crazy, but he does get her thinking right up until her parents are shot in the their house. Everything changes after that moment.I could not stop reading this, the only reason I didn't give it five stars was because I didn't like certain aspects and I found a copy things really out there. I really want to rant about them too, but I won't because I don't do spoilers. This is a really interesting concept and read. A real look into people I think it had a ton of potential and just kind of fell short at the end.
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  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from the publisher for an honest review.Quentin Garrison is working on a true crime podcast about a series of murders from the 1970s, committed by a teenage couple. Quentin thinks April, the female of the murderous couple, is the mother of Robin Diamond, a website columnist. At first Robin thinks this is ridiculous. But the more she looks into it, the more she's unsure of her conviction.This is one of those books where very early on, you're SURE you know what the twist is and y I received an ARC from the publisher for an honest review.Quentin Garrison is working on a true crime podcast about a series of murders from the 1970s, committed by a teenage couple. Quentin thinks April, the female of the murderous couple, is the mother of Robin Diamond, a website columnist. At first Robin thinks this is ridiculous. But the more she looks into it, the more she's unsure of her conviction.This is one of those books where very early on, you're SURE you know what the twist is and you're disappointed. But you keep reading to confirm your suspicions. But then the book throws you a curve and you were totally wrong. Soon you have no idea who really did what and you can't wait to find out.
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  • Lori L (She Treads Softly)
    January 1, 1970
    Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin is a highly recommended mystery/thriller that begs the question, "How well do you know your parents?"In 1976 teenage murderers April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy terrorized Southern California. Now forty years later true-crime podcaster Quentin Garrison is looking into the pair for a show he has named "Closure" because that is what he is hoping to find. The pair killed his mother's little sister and he blames them for his mother's drug abuse and tearing his family ap Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin is a highly recommended mystery/thriller that begs the question, "How well do you know your parents?"In 1976 teenage murderers April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy terrorized Southern California. Now forty years later true-crime podcaster Quentin Garrison is looking into the pair for a show he has named "Closure" because that is what he is hoping to find. The pair killed his mother's little sister and he blames them for his mother's drug abuse and tearing his family apart. Now he has a tip that April didn't die in 1976, but is still alive under the name Renee Bloom. He contacts her daughter, New York City film columnist Robin Diamond, and asks her how well does she know her mother's background and if her mother could be April Cooper.The narrative is told through events in the past and present by alternating between current day events and fifteen-year-old April Cooper's diary of letters to her future daughter. The twists and new information abound between the present day investigation and action in juxtaposition to the story of what really happened in 1976. The suspense builds in both time periods as the question of trust and honesty comes into play. As events unfold, Gaylin keeps the action moving quickly forward.The quality of writing is excellent. The duel points-of-view work well in this novel and Gaylin does an excellent job keeping the voices of the different characters distinct and unique. The plot moves quickly and directly without any sidetracks or superfluous facts thrown in for distraction. She keeps her characters distinct and unique while allowing them to provide the clues and information needed to tell the story and solve the mystery. Some parts will be easy for readers to predict the outcome, but all in all this was a very good mystery.Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollinshttp://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2019/0...
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  • Linda Munro
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book via a goodread giveaway.How well do you really know those closest to you? Is there a possibility that you husband is having an affair? Are your parents harboring devastating secrets?Strange occurrences seem to be circling website columnist, Robin Diamond, things that make her wonder which part of her life could have been real and which part is fiction.It starts with the strange actions of her husband, is he having an affair? Is their marriage about to come crashing I received an ARC of this book via a goodread giveaway.How well do you really know those closest to you? Is there a possibility that you husband is having an affair? Are your parents harboring devastating secrets?Strange occurrences seem to be circling website columnist, Robin Diamond, things that make her wonder which part of her life could have been real and which part is fiction.It starts with the strange actions of her husband, is he having an affair? Is their marriage about to come crashing down around her? The Internet Trolls that continuously harass and threaten her are becoming bolder. Of course, things can get worse as Robin learns when true crime podcast producer, Quentin Garrison contacts her. His contact is not about business, or at least business as usual. Quentin is focusing on a series of murders which occurred during the 1970’s by a teenage couple, April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy, he has contacted Robin intimating that her mother is somehow intimately involved with these long ago crimes.When Robin attempts to call her mother, her father sounds extremely depressed, wondering aloud if he and his wife had been good parents? Robin dismisses his depressive monologue as a result of his mother being at the store while his favorite sport team is on the loosing end of the game. When more than enough time elapses without a return call from her mother. When a strange person answers the telephone, Robin is about to be taken on the ride of her life, through a truth she could never have imagined.The story is told via Quentin and Robin as well as old letters written by April Cooper during the series of murders and meant for April’s future child.Haunting!
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  • Kelly Hager
    January 1, 1970
    I apologize because it is going to be next to impossible to share any more about the book without risking spoilers. What I can tell you is that this is an incredibly intense story that's full of red herrings and complicated characters. Everyone here is nuanced and no one is 100% hero or villain. It's the perfect summer read (especially if you like true crime podcasts, but even if you don't, I don't think it will ruin your enjoyment). I also think this will cement Alison Gaylin as a must-buy auth I apologize because it is going to be next to impossible to share any more about the book without risking spoilers. What I can tell you is that this is an incredibly intense story that's full of red herrings and complicated characters. Everyone here is nuanced and no one is 100% hero or villain. It's the perfect summer read (especially if you like true crime podcasts, but even if you don't, I don't think it will ruin your enjoyment). I also think this will cement Alison Gaylin as a must-buy author for a ton of actively literate people.Highly recommended.
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  • Nikki
    January 1, 1970
    Holy Smokes! Just when I think Alison Gaylin has wrote her last book that surprised me she throws another one out and knocked me off my feet again! Never Look Back was a roller coaster of thrill and suspense til the very end of the last page! She takes this family and throws so much at you, you don’t know which way is up and makes you keep thinking that the ones you think might be good are bad then switch again. It’s the best! I’m looking forward to her next book!
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  • Josephine
    January 1, 1970
    A good read plenty of twists and turns.
  • Judy Odom
    January 1, 1970
    Wow what a read ! Serial killing, lies, secrets, family and more murder.Quentin is preparing a podcast Closure of a murder that took place 40 years earlier. This is personal for Quentin. Quentin is certainly stirring up the past .This book grabs you from page one and does not let go.I don't want to say too much about this book, you have to discover the truth for yourself.Please take time to read the author's notes at the end of the book. Makes you think even more.If you have not read anything by Wow what a read ! Serial killing, lies, secrets, family and more murder.Quentin is preparing a podcast Closure of a murder that took place 40 years earlier. This is personal for Quentin. Quentin is certainly stirring up the past .This book grabs you from page one and does not let go.I don't want to say too much about this book, you have to discover the truth for yourself.Please take time to read the author's notes at the end of the book. Makes you think even more.If you have not read anything by Alison Gaylin you are missing out , they are all so good.
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  • Kayla
    January 1, 1970
    A skillfully written murder mystery with twists and clues for the observant reader that delivers a satisfying conclusion. Reignited my interest in true crime material for sure.
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I love true crime podcasts so when I heard Alison Gaylin wrote a book that centers around one, I couldn’t wait to read it. Her Edgar-Award-winning book, If I Die Tonight, was one of my favorites last year. Never Look Back is revealed through multiple POVs and opens with true crime podcaster Quentin Garrison. He’s investigating a series of murders in the 1970s committed by teen couple April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy for his podcast, Closure. His mother’s little sister was one of the victims so thi I love true crime podcasts so when I heard Alison Gaylin wrote a book that centers around one, I couldn’t wait to read it. Her Edgar-Award-winning book, If I Die Tonight, was one of my favorites last year. Never Look Back is revealed through multiple POVs and opens with true crime podcaster Quentin Garrison. He’s investigating a series of murders in the 1970s committed by teen couple April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy for his podcast, Closure. His mother’s little sister was one of the victims so this podcast is somewhat of a personal crusade for Quentin. A source claims that April Cooper is alive and well, contrary to the belief that the murderous couple perished in a fire. Quentin’s investigation takes him to Robin Diamond and her mother, Renee Bloom. Letters from teenage April to her future daughter are interspersed throughout the present day storyline offering insight into the mindset of the killers. I thought I knew where the story was going but was wrong every time. I did have to go back and re-read a chapter here and there to refresh my memory as there was a lot to keep track of. Yet the storyline never felt weighted down to me. A harrowing look at the impact of violence across generations.
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  • Megan Luker
    January 1, 1970
    Brilliant!Perfect for true crime lovers...
  • Marlene
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published at Reading RealityThere are all sorts of sayings about not being able to know where you’re going until you know where you’re coming from. At the same time, there are plenty of sayings about looking forward and not looking back.This is a book about when happens when you look back a little too hard and a little too deeply. Because when you undermine the foundations of your life, pretty much everything gets washed away in the resulting flood.It’s also a story about just how sma Originally published at Reading RealityThere are all sorts of sayings about not being able to know where you’re going until you know where you’re coming from. At the same time, there are plenty of sayings about looking forward and not looking back.This is a book about when happens when you look back a little too hard and a little too deeply. Because when you undermine the foundations of your life, pretty much everything gets washed away in the resulting flood.It’s also a story about just how small the world, especially the world of a small town, can be. No matter how long its been since you lived there or how far away you managed to escape.Or how many bodies you buried along the way. Particularly when there are actual corpses involved.Once upon a time in the 1970s, a couple of teenagers went on a killing spree, until they were themselves killed in a fire that wiped out an entire cult/hippie compound.But it’s over 40 years later, and one of the many, many people whose lives were impacted by that crime spree is looking for closure. He thinks the case about the killers is open and shut, and that it’s only the mess it made of his own life – even though he hadn’t been born yet – that needs to be resolved.It’s not that simple. Closure is hard to come by, especially in a case that might still be open after all.Escape Rating A-: I can’t really talk about this book without giving much too much away. So I’ll get into what I thought and especially what I felt.This was a book that I really didn’t expect to get into nearly as much as I did. While I like the occasional thriller, that isn’t usually my jam. Too many heroines in jeopardy for my taste. But this isn’t one of those, not at all.It’s actually kind of debatable whether there’s either a hero (or heroine) of any kind in this one. This is a story about a lot of confused people who are tied to each other in ways that no one expects or even knows at the beginning.And no one is a reliable narrator of their own life. Not even while its happening. Perhaps especially while it’s happening.What wrapped me up into this story were the questions that it asked about all the characters, and about how the past is viewed and how much interpretation, both at the time and later, influences what we think.It seems indubitable that April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy killed the people they killed back in the 1970s. Certainly those people are all dead, and equally certainly some of the witnesses are still alive. But, and it turns out to be a very big but, we see from the very beginning that even the witnesses interpreted events and motivations in ways that smack of hindsight and putting the pieces together more than they do what was actually seen – and done.Eyewitnesses are infamously not reliable, after all. And humans want to ascribe causation to events in ways that can’t be verified, because we want things to make sense, even when they don’t. Perhaps especially when they don’t.The story is about lives unravelling, April and Gabriel’s in the past, and Robin’s and Quentin’s in the present. Not that Quentin’s life seems to have ever been all that ravelled in the first place.The person I felt for most was Robin. She begins the story believing that her life is a certain way, and that the foundation of it is strong. When it all falls apart, she almost drowns in it, but the truth does set her free.And I had no idea what that truth would be until it arrived. Which was marvelous!
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  • Jessica Higgins
    January 1, 1970
    A fast paced, tightly woven, intricate thriller that will keep readers up at night with chills and thrills.In 1976, April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy set off on a thirteen day murder spree and became known as the Inland Empire Killers. They were both thought to have perished in a fire until decades later when April is recognized and a young podcast producer, Quentin, investigates. His family was directly impacted by the killings and he hopes finding closure will help him get past the demons that ha A fast paced, tightly woven, intricate thriller that will keep readers up at night with chills and thrills.In 1976, April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy set off on a thirteen day murder spree and became known as the Inland Empire Killers. They were both thought to have perished in a fire until decades later when April is recognized and a young podcast producer, Quentin, investigates. His family was directly impacted by the killings and he hopes finding closure will help him get past the demons that have haunted him for years. While he is investigating the killings, New York columnist Robin Diamond is trying to figure out if her husband is being faithful when Quentin calls her up asking about the Empire Killings. Shortly thereafter, her parents are attacked in their home making her wonder if anything she has ever been told is true.With the back and forth writing style between the present and past, the story is told in a way that gives readers a full understanding of what is happening and how things played out. I loved the letters April writes to her future daughter that tell of the past and how it relates to the present, it was a clever way to show all aspects of the story. There are a lot of characters that change names throughout the story which might throw some readers off, but if you pay close attention it shouldn’t be a problem. This is not a book that can be skimmed or even taken lightly; it is detailed and so many parts wind together to make the story flow to the end that it is important readers understand they will need their full attention to the very end. Gabriel and April played out so well as well as many other characters that might not have had as big of a role, but each one was instrumental in bringing the story to where it needed to be by the last page. There are a lot of ways this could have played out and I am usually good at figuring out the antagonist or the twist before the end, but I am pleased to say I was surprised by a few points at the end, a job well done. There is a little bit of harsh language and the story content is for mature audiences only. This is a book that I recommend to fans of suspense thrillers and any one that has read previous works by Alison Gaylin, If this is your first Gaylin novel, it is a perfect one to dive into and enjoy.I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.
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