"A secret that will change lives forever .....
It was supposed to be the start of a big night out. But when Emily Kane arrives at her sister Carrie's house, she finds the front door unlocked and no one inside. Dinner's cooking, The TV's on. Carrie, her husband and their two daughters are gone.
When the police draw a blank, Emily asks missing persons investigator David Raker to find them. It's clear someone doesn't want the family found.
But as he gets closer to the truth, Raker begins to uncover evidence of a sinister cover-up, spanning decades and costing countless lives, And worse, in trying to find Emily's missing family, he might just have made himself the next target .....
Published on 29 August 2013 by Penguin, Never Coming Back is the fourth in the David Raker series written by Tim Weaver. I'd never come across the author before, and was hesitant about reading number four of a series with no prior knowledge of the main character. However, I have read mid-series before, in other crime series, and managed to follow the story, so thought I'd give it a go.
Tim Weaver gives just enough background information about Raker, this lets the reader suss him out. It's clear he has 'baggage', he's recovering from a pretty serious stab injury, he's a bit of a disaster in the relationship stakes and he used to be a journalist. He now works as a missing persons investigator, and it's obvious that he really does care about the people that he is trying to find. He's spending some time in his childhood home, trying to come to terms with what has happened to him lately - and trying to avoid his partner Liz. It's a pretty ordinary Devon village, Raker doesn't expect to get caught up in another investigation quite so soon. When his childhood sweetheart Emily visits and tells him that her sister and her family have disappeared, it's not long before Raker finds himself in the middle of the mystery.
The plot is great, it's an intriguing premise and a mystery that I really wanted Raker to solve. What I did struggle with was the over-complication of the entire story. The action flits back and forth between Las Vegas and Devon. The story is told in the first-person, then changes to the third-person. Even the font changes now and again. The reader is taken back a few months, brought back to the present, and then back again. It really does make for a confusing, and at times, very difficult story to follow.
I liked the character of Raker. I can see him on the big screen - the story would make a great TV Series or film. It's a better screenplay than it is a novel. It is very clever, but does tend to veer into the unbelievable at times.
I'm not sure that I would rush out to read any of the other Raker stories, but fans of Simon Kernick and the like, will probably really enjoy Never Coming Back.
With thanks to Real Readers who sent my copy for review.
Never Coming Back has been selected as one of the WH Smith Richard & Judy Autumn 2013 reads.