Book Review: NEVER COME BACK by David J. Bell

Publisher: NAL Trade
Released: October 1, 2013
Source: Borrowed from the Library

Elizabeth Hampton is consumed by grief when her mother dies unexpectedly. Leslie Hampton cared for Elizabeth’s troubled brother Ronnie’s special needs, assuming Elizabeth would take him in when the time came. But Leslie’s sudden death propels Elizabeth into a world of danger and double lives that undoes everything she thought she knew….

When police discover that Leslie was strangled, they immediately suspect that one of Ronnie’s outbursts took a tragic turn. Elizabeth can’t believe that her brother is capable of murder, but who else could have had a motive to kill their quiet, retired mother?

More questions arise when a stranger is named in Leslie’s will: a woman also named Elizabeth. As the family’s secrets unravel, a man from Leslie’s past who claims to have all the answers shows up, but those answers might put Elizabeth and those she loves the most in mortal danger.


NEVER COME BACK is another exciting and emotional family drama/mystery from author David Bell. Elizabeth Hampton’s life is thrown out of whack when her mother Leslie is murdered, and the police suspect her special needs brother Ronnie is the killer. Elizabeth is surprised to learn that her mother left a third of her estate to a mystery woman, also named Elizabeth, and that her will was changed recently. In her quest to find out who this other woman is, Elizabeth discovers some shocking secrets her mother had been hiding, and she believes those secrets have something to do with Leslie’s death. My favorite thing about this book was thinking I had the big secret all figured out, and then – surprise! I did not see that ending coming.

Elizabeth’s character wasn’t easy to like at first, but she grew on me. In the beginning, she came off as a little selfish and cold, but as the story progressed, I could see where she was coming from. Her brother Ronnie has Down Syndrome, and even though he’s fairly independent, he still needs someone to care for him. This was a huge source of contention between Elizabeth and her mother. Elizabeth loved her brother, but held some resentment toward him, since taking over his care would mean giving up her independence.

The murder mystery in NEVER COME BACK was intriguing, wrapped up in a web of family secrets, lies, betrayals. I do think that Elizabeth missed a lot of obvious clues, particularly ones her brother gave her. I don’t want to give any spoilers, so I’ll just say that things should have clicked into place for Elizabeth much sooner. Though some of the revelations along the way seemed far-fetched, overall I still enjoyed this book. The emotional family dynamics in David Bells’ mysteries make them worthwhile reads.

Rating: 3.75 Stars