Never Look Back

Clare Donoghue. Minotaur, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-04607-9
British author Donoghue’s debut, the first in a contemporary procedural series, offers familiar character types and situations. The worn-out workaholic hero, Det. Insp. Mike Lockyer, head of the Murder Investigation Team in the London borough of Lewisham, and his reliable sidekick, Det. Sgt. Jane Bennett, go after a serial killer, while they battle family problems (each police officer has an autistic close relative). Short passages reveal the mind of a sinister someone who has set his sights on photographer Sarah Grainger, a soggy bundle of increasingly raw nerves. In an unsettling twist, one gruesomely mutilated victim eerily resembles Lockyer’s daughter, but the brief affair between Lockyer (isn’t he too tired?) and poor, pitiful Sarah (isn’t she too scared?) feels hastily contrived, and many genre fans will identify the killer far too early. Still, Donoghue’s ability to generate some scary atmospherics and sympathy for her characters suggests she has what it takes to build a solid detective series. Agent: Hellie Ogden, Janklow & Nesbit (U.K.). (June)
Reviewed on: 04/14/2014
Release date: 06/10/2014
Genre: Fiction
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Paperback - 327 pages - 978-1-4472-3928-4
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