Never Turn Back
Author: Christopher Swann
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Release Date: October 06, 2020
Linwood Barclay meets Michael Farris Smith in this Southern-set domestic thriller about family, vengeance, and atonement from critically acclaimed Southern mystery novelist Christopher Swann.
The bonds of family never truly let go.
In fact, its grip only tightens the further you try to run: crushing and crippling.
Ethan Faulkner is a precocious child with a brilliant but troublesome sister, a war vet for a father and a weary mother trying to manage their family. One night, a young woman rings their doorbell, desperate to hide from two men who are pursuing her when one of the two barges in after her. The struggle leaves both of Ethan's parents dead.
Years later, Ethan has a successful teaching career and a budding relationship with a coworker, Marisa. But he hasn't quite followed through on his promise to dying father--take care of his sister. Susannah is not an easy person to keep tabs on, is a handful even when the tabs are kept, and quite frankly, Ethan wants her to suffer for preventing him from getting to dad before he died all those years ago.
It was a long time ago and Ethan tries to all of it behind him. But it seems to be the only thing Marisa is interested in discussing. When Ethan attempts to break it off, Marisa's reaction threatens to shatter the life that Ethan has carefully constructed. Before long, news of a shocking murder breaks with evidence pointing to Ethan as the prime suspect, leaving him no choice but to dig up the painful memories of the past in order to find the truth of the present.
Lyrically conveyed with emotion and nuance, Never Turn Back is a powerful story about family, vengeance, and how some actions echo through the years with irreparable consequences.