Author: Christopher Swann

Publication Date: October 6, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5.


Never Turn Back by Christopher Swann is a domestic thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Ethan is a teacher at a conference that hooks up with Marisa, another attendee. The next time he sees Marisa is when she is interviewing for a long term sub position to co-teach in Ethan’s classroom. Marisa and Ethan start dating.

Marisa reveals she knows about Ethan’s past. Ethan keeps his past hidden. His parents were murdered in front of him and his sister when they were children. Marisa claims she knows who killed his parents. How did Marisa find out about his past? Does she know what happened to Ethan’s parents? Why were his parents murdered?

Never Turn Back starts out introducing the characters and their back story. Ethan is reunited with his sister, Susannah, and best friend, Frankie. He has seen or talked to either of them in years. How do these relationships affect Ethan discovering the truth?

Ethan has to redevelop these relationships. This is one of my favorite parts. Susannah makes everything more complicated. Frankie is very forgiving, so they are able to pick up the relationship they had growing up. The reasons Frankie and Ethan haven’t talked in years really add to this story. At the same time he is in a new relationship with Marisa. He keeps Marisa away from Susannah. Ethan’s relationship with Marisa always seems off, but is interesting to watch develop.

Throughout the book, I was very curious if we were ever going to find out about Ethan’s parents. While his parents’ deaths keep being brought up, more people get murdered. This really draws the reader in and adds suspense to the story. Ethan is trying to find out what happened to his parents, while also trying to stay safe. Is he responsible for these deaths? Is he next or someone close to him?

I recommend Never Turn Back to thriller fans. I could not put this book down once I started. At first, I was trying to figure out where the book was going but really drawn to the characters. Then, I just wanted to know what happened.

Thank you Edelweiss and Crooked Lane Books/Random House for Never Turn Back.

About the author

Christopher Swann is a graduate of Woodberry Forest School in Virginia. He earned a B.A. in English from Washington and Lee University, an M.A. in English and creative writing from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a Ph.D. in creative writing from Georgia State University. He lives with his wife and two sons in Atlanta, where he is the English department chair at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. Shadow of the Lions, published in 2017 by Algonquin, was his debut novel.

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