Never Look Back

Never Look Back

by Alison Gaylin


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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.

For thirteen days in 1976, teenage murderers April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy terrorized Southern California's Inland Empire, killing a dozen victims before perishing themselves in a fire... or did they? More than 40 years later, twentysomething podcast producer Quentin Garrison blames his troubled upbringing on the murders. And after a shocking message from a source, he has reason to believe April Cooper may still be alive. Meanwhile, New York City film columnist Robin Diamond is coping with rising doubts about her husband and terrifying threats from internet trolls. But that's nothing compared to the outrageous phone call she gets from Quentin... and a brutal home invasion that makes her question everything she ever believed in. Is Robin's beloved mother a mass murderer? Is there anyone she can trust?

Told through the eyes of those destroyed by the Inland Empire Killings—including Robin, Quentin, and a fifteen-year-old April Cooper—Never Look Back asks the question:

How well do we really know our parents, our partners—and ourselves?


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062844545
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/02/2019
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 46,007
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Alison Gaylin is the award-winning author of Hide Your Eyes and its sequel, You Kill Me; the standalones Trashed and Heartless; and the Brenna Spector series: And She Was, Into the Dark, and Stay with Me. A graduate of Northwestern University and of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, she lives with her husband and daughter in Woodstock, New York.

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Never Look Back: A Novel 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Nice work
JulieB 4 months ago
A dark...brutal....thrilling nightmare! Wow...I have been missing out! Alison Gaylin is top notch and knows how to throw in some surprising twists. I’m a fan of this extremely talented writer! The more I read, the more questions I had. Since this was a buddy read, I wrote down my thoughts and questions. On paper, it sounded like a soap opera, lol! But it definitely didn’t read like one. Thank you to Goodreads, William Morrow and Alison Gaylin for this ARC, received through a Goodreads Giveaway, in exchange for my honest review! Lies and betrayal, between complex characters, interlaced through painful secrets and events. By destiny or misfortune? I’m not sure. April and Gabriel, two young teenagers, on a killing spree in the 70’s, that ends with both dying. During this time, April writes letters to her future daughter. Robin is a website columnist and film reviewer. Her father is a forensic psychiatrist. Her mother doesn’t work, but volunteers her time and loves helping others. Quentin is a true-crime podcaster, who is doing a podcast on the 70’s killing spree. He thinks April is still alive and living under another name. He also has a personal connection to the crimes. The book is told from Quentin and Robin’s POV, in addition to the letters April wrote to Aurora Grace. The letters were my favorite part! And April and Robin were my favorite characters. Thank you Ceecee for being such a great buddy read partner! My Rating: 4.25 ⭐️’s Published: July 2nd 2019 by William Morrow Paperbacks Pages: 368 Recommend: Yes
Alix Maza 6 months ago
Okay… I remember reading the synopsis of this book a while ago and thinking ‘huh… sounds okay, I might read it.’ Fast forward a couple of months to me just finishing the book and now I’m thinking: WHERE HAVE I BEEN?! WHY HAVEN’T I READ ALISON GAYLIN’S WORK BEFORE!? The premise of Never Look Back is pretty straightforward: a journalist exploring new evidence of a 40 year old crime. Generic, but still intriguing. So when I started this book, I wasn’t expecting to be enthralled and hooked by like chapter 3. While I typically like a single narrator, this book definitely made me love having multiple characters thinking and interacting. I love how all the characters weaved together and how their stories unfolded. That mystery made me need to know more and I found myself turning pages pretty quickly. Gaylin’s writing style is easy to read and flows. The ending made me think and I liked how everything ended up. There were twists thrown in but I found them to be a little predictable. They weren’t groundbreaking, but they were satisfying! Add this to your list of beach reads/summer reads! You’ll read it in two or three sittings tops. Short review: loved this book and can’t wait to read more of Alison Gaylin’s work!
RobinLovesReading 6 months ago
Quentin Garrison is a true crime podcaster who is determined to find the identity of the female half of a pair of serial killers from back in the 1970s. Quentin has a very personal connection to the crimes even all these years later. At the time,, the girl's name was April Cooper. Quentin begs a meeting with a website columnist, Robin Diamond, because he truly believes that Robin's very own mother might actually be April. Robin is shocked and in complete denial. She is absolutely certain that Quentin is dead wrong, yet she uses her own skills and contacts to begin her own investigation. The deeper she digs, the more disturbed she becomes. Things reach a fever pitch when a home invasion leaves Robin's father dead and her mother seriously wounded. This fast-moving, angst-filled story is told from both Robin's and Quentin's points of view, as well as a series of letters written by April beginning when she was fifteen years old. Robin certainly does not not want to ever ask her mother directly about the killings, her past, and any memories she might have about that time years ago. She has always been close to her parents, but a wave of internet threats and doubts about her husband begins to create chaos in Robin's mind. Who can you trust, if not your very own family? What a dangerous and thrilling ride! The back-and-forth delivery of this story was quite hair-raising. Add to this the twists and turns, as well as questionable characters, and this certainly turned out to be a fantastic read. Alison Gaylin is a new author to me, but I will certainly keep an eye out for future books by her. Many thanks to William Morrow and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Honolulubelle 8 months ago
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…
SheTreadsSoftly 9 months ago
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 HarperCollins
jnmegan 9 months ago
Never Look Back is the latest novel authored by Alison Gaylin whose previous works include the Brenna Spector series, the Samantha Leiffer novels, and five other stand-alone works. In this simmering suspense novel, Gaylin unwraps a tangled plot involving a series of murders from the 1970’s that is likened to the infamous Bonnie and Clyde sprees of the 1930’s. April Cooper and her boyfriend Gabriel LeRoy were thought to have perished in a fire at a religious compound after evading authorities. Quentin Garrison, whose father and sister were among the couple’s victims, now hosts a podcast about unsolved crimes and is encouraged by his husband and producer to follow up on information that indicates that April may still be alive. As he searches for his own sense of closure, Quentin’s investigation increasingly exposes a simmering rage that he may not be able to control. It leads him to employ some ethically questionable methods as he searches for the murderess he thinks is still at large. His research leads him to a family tied to the cold case, and he becomes the obvious prime suspect when a lethal home invasion occurs. Meanwhile, Quentin’s probing questions impel the connected family’s daughter, Robin, to begin digging herself into her mother’s mysterious past. Never Look Back is rich with a cast of characters that are desperate to protect the ones they love, by keeping secrets and assuming identities to evade discovery. The book is a captivating read, although some readers may have difficulty following the many name and identity changes. Alyson Gaylin knows how to evoke empathy for villains and victims alike, and fans of thrillers will enjoy the experience of following her winding paths. Good for fans of: suspense thrillers; plot twists and complex characters; questions of nature vs.nurture; male/female crime duos; fast-paced novels with a moderate amount of violent content. You may like this book if you liked: Previous works by Gaylin; Bonnie and Clyde books and movies; Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (book and HBO series); The Girls by Emma Cline; fans of Clare Mackintosh, Greer Hendricks, Sophie Hannah. Thanks to Edelweiss Plus and William Morrow for an ARC of this book in return for an un biased review.