Don’t Turn Around by Jessica Barry

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on Don’t Turn Around by Jessica Barry. My thanks to Graeme Williams and to publisher Vintage. for the #gifted copy for review. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source; Advance Reader Copy
Release Date: 15 April 2021
Publisher: Vintage

About the Book


Cait’s job is to transport women to safety. Out of respect, she never asks any questions. Like most of the women, Rebecca is trying to escape something.

But what if Rebecca’s secrets put them both in danger? There’s a reason Cait chooses to keep on the road, helping strangers. She has a past of her own, and knows what it’s like to be followed.

And there is someone right behind them, watching their every move…

My Thoughts

Don’t Turn Around is a very clever and fast paced book in which nothing should be taken for granted. Tackling subjects which are very relevant and very prevalent in modern society, particularly in America where the story is set, it pulled me in from the start with a slow building mystery which gave me a flavour of what was to come but not the whole picture. There are so many twists and turns in the book that even if you think you know what is happening, you quite probably don’t.

This is the story of Cait and Rebecca. Cait is helping Rebecca to flee her home in the middle of the night, but why and who she is running from is not immediately revealed. Now it’s easy to make suppositions about where the story will lead, and it hardly takes a genius to do a mental checklist of reasons Rebecca may need to run, or why she might be reluctant to do so. But Rebecca isn’t the only one keeping secrets and as Jessica Barry moves the story back and forth between past and present, we start to build a more complete picture – with plenty of shocking revelations to come.

Now the book highlights a very alarming trend which is becoming more and more relevant in the USA, bringing a very divisive subject to the fore and in real style. I don’t want to say too much about the plot as it is something that needs to be slowly revealed as you read for the story to take full effect. What I can say is that the journey the two women embark upon is not made alone, and the further they get from Rachel’s home in Lubbock, the more the sense of threat and fear starts to build. There is a clear build in the tension and the pacing and moments where the adrenalin really peaks and where everything seems like it might be lost. There are also scenes that made my blood boil, but then that reaction may be very personal to the reader and I don’t expect that every reader’s experience will be. the same.

This book really did hold many surprises, not taking me completely in the direction I was expecting. For as much anger as it caused in me, there were equal parts emotion as REbecca’s story is not as simple as you might think. The way in which the author explored the difficult choices she has to take was empathetic and without judgement, allowing the reader to put themselves in her shoes and see that all decisions were made from a position of love and not fear. It’s a fab book which really does make you think, a fast paced read that combines action and emotion and a whole heap of fear. Recommended.

About the Author

Jessica Barry is a pseudonym for an American author who has lived and worked in London for the past fifteen years. Look for Me, previously published as Freefall, her debut thriller, has sold in more than twenty-two territories around the world and has also secured a major Hollywood film deal.

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