Tim Weaver is a best selling author in the UK, but Never Coming Back is his first release in North America.
Never Coming Back is actually the fourth book in Weaver's David Raker series. Raker, a former journalist, is now a missing persons investigator - indeed, he is driven by the need to 'find the lost.'
While visiting family in Devon, Raker is approached by an old girlfriend. She's heard about Raker's talents and wants to hire him as her sister and family have gone missing. More than missing - it's like they've disappeared. Everything in the house was left, including dinner on the table and the family dog - and not a trace of them since. The police investigation seems to have hit a dead end. Raker is intrigued by the case and agrees to look into it.
I admit to feeling slightly lost in the first few chapters as there are two seeming protagonists. Colm Healy is a retired Met officer who is living with Raker. Reference is made to past cases and occurrences in the beginning. However as the book progressed, I quickly caught up with who was who and realized that Raker was the lead. (But I found Healy obnoxious and abrasive and I wasn't quite sure of his role in this book. It would be interesting to read the past three books to see what has gone on before)
I too was hooked by the missing family. Where could they have gone? Taken or gone by their own decision?
Weaver tantalizingly includes italicized chapters from the past, starting eighteen months ago and moving forward until past and present meet. The first entry had me wondering how in the world this would tie in with the family's disappearance. The who is revealed, but the why is the largest part of the plot and definitely kept me guessing.
Weaver's plot is big and far reaching - the novel has two settings - England and Las Vegas. Weaver does a great job with bringing his settings to life. (I was fascinated with the abandoned village in England) Weaver's tale is dark and gritty, with a violent antagonist who is particularly chilling I thought a few of the plot twists were a bit far-fetched, but this didn't detract from my rapid page turning. The ending was great, with a last turn that I did not see coming. I appreciate being surprised in the final pages of a book.
I like Raker as a character, as well as the missing persons idea. I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another book by this author. The fifth in the series, Fall From Grace, releases in the UK mid August. Read an excerpt of Never Coming Back.
"Tim Weaver was born in 1977. At eighteen, he left school and started working in magazine journalism, and has since gone on to develop a successful career writing about films, TV, sports, games and technology. He is married with a young daughter, and lives near Bath, England. Visit him at www.timweaverbooks.com." You can keep up with Tim Weaver on Facebook and on Twitter.
And thanks to the generosity of Penguin Books, I have a copy to giveaway to one lucky reader!Simply leave a comment to be entered. Open to US only, no PO boxes please. Ends August 9/14.