Luca Veste is a popular crime fiction author based in the United Kingdom. While many readers in his native land are familiar with his work, he has not yet completely broken through over here in the United States. His latest novel, You Never Said Goodbye, should go a long way towards helping to correct this oversight.
The difficulty Luca Veste may be having gaining an audience here in the States is more likely related to the wide breadth of styles he writes rather than any deficiency in the books themselves. He has skillfully executed thrillers, police procedurals, darker noir tales, and more. You Never Said Goodbye itself straddles subgenres but is most likely to appeal to readers who enjoy domestic/psychological suspense and thrillers. What is always present for Luca Veste—regardless of the style of novel in question—is a fidelity to character and careful and precise plotting.
Sam Cooper’s mother died in a tragic car accident twenty-five years ago, when Sam was just nine years old. Her death devastated Sam’s father and shattered any hopes of a normal childhood for the innocent boy. Yet, somehow Sam managed to overcome this rough start and now has a normal, relatively happy life. Until the day he gets the call telling him that his father—who he has been estranged from—has been violently attacked. Barely reaching his bedside in time, Sam’s father is able to tell him one last thing…his mother is still alive.
This revelation sends Sam on a hunt for the truth. Why would a father lie about this? But if it’s true, what kind of mother would allow her family to suffer like that, thinking for years that she was gone? And Why? Sam has to find the answers and it’s not long before he realizes there are others following the same trail—a path that leads to America.
Once the action of the novel shifts continents, the thriller aspects really kick in. Luca Veste can write fight scenes and car chases like the masters, keeping readers breathless and the pages flying. As one would expect, each new revelation sends Sam down another dark alley and has readers wondering where it will all end.
It could be argued that there are one or two too many complications in the plot of You Never Said Goodbye, but most readers will only realize that the book is moving at lightening speed and won’t care how the author managed to achieve that feat. It is Sam Cooper—as the readers primary conduit into the story—that shines through at the novel’s primary strength. He’s relatable, flawed, and certainly able to fend for himself—but he also has a good heart and readers will ache for him to find the answers that will help him heal.
Here’s hoping that American readers will give Luca Veste and You Never Said Goodbye a chance. It is a thrilling journey that manages to feel familiar without being derivative and is populated with characters that readers won’t soon forget.
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.