Lori Duffy Foster already has a successful traditional mystery series with the novels featuring journalist Lisa Jamison—A Dead Man’s Eyes and Never Broken—but now she is about to make a name for herself in the suspense/thriller realm as well. The end of the year sees the release of Never Let Go, Lori Duffy Foster’s first standalone novel and it is sure to expose new fans to her compelling writing.
Lori Duffy Foster wastes absolutely no time jumping straight into the narrative. As Never Let Go starts, Carla Murphy (and her infant son) have already been kidnapped by Rachel, a woman Carla considered her best friend. Rachel is obsessed with Carla’s husband, Nick, and is convinced that Carla can help her learn the best way to seduce the man of her dreams. Meanwhile, Nick is convinced that something terrible happened to his wife and son. Despite the authorities insisting that Carla may have just taken Christopher and ran away, Nick knows she would never do something like that. But he also has no idea that Carla is locked away in a secret basement within Rachel’s home—and baby Christopher is nowhere to be found.
Sawyer Hamill is content as a patrol officer in the small town of Maplewood Falls. He and his wife are raising their family there, so when the investigation into Carla’s disappearance is opened, the perfect image of his childhood home is shattered. He has been friends with both Nick and Carla since childhood, so his vested interest extends beyond the requirements of his job. As if that wasn’t enough, the body of Leland Boise has just been discovered at a local construction site. Although he was an odd kid, Leland was an acquaintance and fellow high school student who everyone assumed to be a runaway. So, how did he end up dead and buried just outside of town?
These are the storyline threads that Lori Duffy Foster weaves together to craft the highly-readable and exciting Never Let Go. Using three points of view—Carla, Nick, and Sawyer—Foster tangles things together in a complex way without forming an impenetrable knot. When an unexpected death occurs midway through the novel, the plot spins off into a whole other direction, which is equally as gripping and adds to the building pressure—causing anxiety for both reader and character.
Along with being an edge-of-your-seat reading experience, Lori Duffy Foster also manages to enlighten readers on a host of subjects that factor into the plotline. Astute readers will already have some ideas of what those might be, but to avoid spoilers, this review will not highlight specifics. Just know that as a former crime reporter, Lori Duffy Foster knows the details and has the talent to weave them into her storylines without getting boring and preachy.
Never Let Go will appeal to readers who enjoy some psychological depth to their thrillers and suspense tales. Just be prepared to lose a night’s sleep as Lori Duffy Foster’s plan is to make sure you can’t stop turning the pages until the very end.
Disclaimer: A print galley of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the author. No promotion was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.