No Turning Back: A Novel
Women Sleuths/Suspense Thriller
Setting – United Kingdom
Crooked Lane Books (June 13, 2017)
Hardcover: 352 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01N4FP1AR
Anna Graves’s whole life has recently been turned upside down. A new mother, she’s just gone back to her job as a radio presenter and is busy navigating a new schedule of late night feeding and early morning wake ups while also dealing with her newly separated husband. Then the worst happens. While Anna is walking on the beach with her daughter, she’s attacked by a crazed teenager. Terrified, Anna reacts instinctively to protect her baby.
But her life falls apart when the schoolboy dies from his injuries. The police believe Anna’s story, until the autopsy results reveal something more sinister. A frenzied media attack sends Anna into a spiral of self-doubt. Her precarious mental state is further threatened when she receives a chilling message from someone claiming to be the “Ophelia Killer,” a serial killer who preyed on the town twenty years ago—and who abruptly stopped when Anna’s father committed suicide.
Is Anna as innocent as she claims? And is murder forgivable, if committed to save your child’s life? Internationally bestselling author Tracy Buchanan takes readers on an emotional roller coaster ride filled with heart-stopping secrets and hairpin turns in No Turning Back, her US debut.
Can you say TWISTS? – This book is full of them.
Anna Graves’s finishes up her 8 month maternity leave to return to work as a radio talk show host. Separated from her husband she is trying to find the balance between work and home. While taking her daughter for a walk on the beach a young man attacks her with a knife. She does everything she can to protect her child and herself, fatally injuring her assailant. She is cleared by the police, it was clearly self defense. Until the autopsy shows there is more to the story. They bring her back in for more questions. The press hounds her everywhere she goes. She is forced to take another leave from work. Then she receives a terrifying email from the “Ophelia Killer”. A serial killer that has been heard from for 20 years…since her father took his own life. Hang on tight this is just the start of the story…
The story is told alternatively between Anna and the killer making for a spine chilling read. When Anna receives emails from the killer she tries to stave off another killing but she ends up finding the body which makes her even more of a suspect. The police were mind blowing in the way they twisted logic to focus more on her and disregard any thing she tried to tell them. She puts herself at risk from the first page to almost the very last.
The characters in this story are very unique. Anna and her grandmother are close because her mother had an emotional breakdown after her father’s suicide. Her brother is strange in his behavior and manner. He and Anna are not close. We see the darker side of the area, the docks, and those who live in the area. The young man who attacked Anna lived there. Anna’s work at the radio station brings in some notable characters too.
The plot was very complex and full of red herrings. Each chapter seemed to have a new twist pointing at another person who could be the killer. It was impossible to put this book down. I stayed up late trying finish but my body shut me down at about 70%. I couldn’t wait to get back to it and rushed to it as soon as the work day was done. At the end I just said WOW! This book took my breathe away.
The only thing in the story that gave me pause was the implement Anna used to defend herself and kill the teenager. The story calls it a comb. I went to a British dictionary to see if it was different from what we Americans call a comb. I didn’t find any difference but I am thinking it was the type of comb used to hold hair in place not one used to get out snarls. I think had it been made of metal those tines could be quite sharp.
This book marks the author’s US debut and is an author to watch. No Turning Back is a compelling psychological thriller and I give it more than 5 stars! My Paradise Rating! It kept me up the first night reading it and the second night thinking about the story I read.
Tracy Buchanan lives in the UK with her husband, their little girl and their one-eyed Jack Russell. Buchanan traveled extensively while working as a travel magazine editor and has always been drawn to the sea after spending her childhood holidays on the coast visiting family–a fascination that inspires her writing. She now dedicates her time to writing and procrastinating on Twitter.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”