A smart, well-plotted novel, Never Look Back, AL Gaylin’s fast-paced thriller, holds our attention from beginning to end.

At its heart are the Inland Empire Killers, Gabriel Allen LeRoy and Alice Cooper, who go on a killing spree in the summer of 1976. In the present day, Quentin, the host of a rather grisly podcast, investigates the murders and their impact on those connected to them, his aunt one of the victims. When he contacts Robin, during the course of his investigation, he tells her that her own mother might be closely connected to the killings. For Robin that beggars belief, but when she starts to look into it further, there are a number of things that don’t quite add up about her mother’s past.

Utilising different forms of media, and told from multiple viewpoints, Never Look Back is a roller-coaster ride of a book, where nothing is quite what it seems. While an examination into the Leroy–Cooper murders, it also poses salient questions, such as how well do we know the ones we love? And just how far would we go to protect them?

A clever, engaging read, Gaylin’s book is recommended.


AL Gaylin | Never Look Back | Orion | paperback | 6 February 2020 |

Digital and audio also available

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Acknowledgements: This review is published as part of the virtual book tour. Many thanks to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for organising it, and to the publisher for sending a book proof. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved. Please check out the other reviews on this tour.

See also: ‘Killing Beauties: there ain’t nothin’ like a she-spy’;  ‘Doug Johnstone’s A Dark Matter’;Nora Roberts’ Sanctuary: an Old Familiar’; Carver’s Nothing Important Happened Today’; By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’; ‘Yvonne Battle-Fenton’s Rememembered‘; ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘; ‘We should all be feminists‘; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”‘; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

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