Today I am sharing my thoughts on You Never Said Goodbye, the brand new thriller from Luca Veste. My thanks to publisher Hodder & Stoughton for the advance copy for review. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
A DEVOTED MOTHER
Sam Cooper has a happy life: a good job, a blossoming relationship. Yet, there’s something he can never forget – the image seared into his mind of his mother, Laurie, dying when he was a child. His father allowed his grief to tear them apart and Sam hasn’t seen him in years.
A LOVING WIFE
Until an unexpected call from Firwood hospital, asking Sam to come home, puts in motion a chain of devastating events. On his deathbed, Sam’s father makes a shocking confession.
Who was Laurie Cooper? It’s clear that everything Sam thought he knew about his mother was wrong. And now he’s determined to find out exactly what she did and why – whatever the cost.
What happens if you discover you’ve been lied to by your own family for twenty-five years?
Sam Cooper is about to find out.
Well this is a book that really ramps up the tension, demands you pay attention and keeps you right on the edge of your seat. There is a real sense of threat and foreboding from the very beginning, lots of twisted threads from past and present, that kept me completely on the hop as a reader and kept my mind ticking over and whirring right to the very last page. I really kind of loved it.
This latest stand alone thriller from Luca Veste has been a long time coming, but by heck, it was worth the wait. This is the story of Sam Cooper, estranged from this father, his. sole surviving family member, but denied the opportunity to lay the past to rest for reasons that we, as readers, are only slightly more aware of than Sam himself. Because Sam’s father has a secret, one that will rock Sam’s world, and undermines everything that they both thought they knew. And, apparently, it is a secret that is worth killing for. There is decent amount of violence from the off, none of it gratuitous in portrayal, but all of the implicit threat and fear leaping from the page and amplifying the tension and pace of the story.
I really liked the character of Sam. There is a real feeling of authenticity to him as a character, the grief he carries within him for a major loss he suffered as a child, and the conflict he feels towards his father as a result of a cold and distant relationship that the pair endured. So many traits in him are relatable, including the regret he feels in not seeing his father sooner, but there is also an underlying determination and strength of character that even he underestimates in himself. He is placed in an unenviable situation, thrown into the middle of a nightmare that he cannot begin to comprehend. any sensible person would run away, but faced with the chance to discover the truth of what happened all those years ago, he does exactly the opposite. It puts him in real danger, leading us all into scenes of action, threat and deception that really ticked all the boxes for me.
Alongside Sam’s story, and the action that is split between present day UK and USA, we are treated to some scenes from the past. Scenes that introduce some major players in this particular tale of woe, and that go someway to explaining the predicament that Sam finds himself in. The story is complex, a tangled history of control, domestic abuse, and power that seems to drive the whole book in a very particular direction. But this is no Google Maps, it’s more a early nineties TomTom, so expect a few detours and a whole heap of misdirection on the way. If you think you know what is happening, where the real threat is a coming from, and with a real surety of the why, you’re probably wrong. There are a couple of twists in the tale I definitely didn’t see coming.
If you like a real character and driven, cat and mouse story, with an undercurrent of mystery and a really healthy dose of pulse thumping threat and action, then I’d definitely recommend this book. Packed with moments of true emotional depth, it kept me completely engaged and entertained right to the very last page.
About the Author
Luca Veste is the author of several police procedurals and standalone crime novels including The Bone Keeper and The Six. He is the host of the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast and the co-founder of the Locked In festival. He plays bass guitar in the band The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers. He lives in Liverpool, with his wife and two daughters.