Never Coming Home by Hannah Mary McKinnon
Published MIRA ISBN 9780778386100
Trade paperback, $16.99, 368 pages
Most psychological thrillers are written from the point of view of the protagonist. Hannah Mary McKinnon's latest novel, Never Coming Home, takes its point of the view from the antagonist.
Lucas Forester met and married his wife Michelle in the space of a few months. Michelle comes from a wealthy family, and Lucas has a murky past. His only relative is his father who lives in a nursing home in England, where Lucas is from.
Lucas dotes on Michelle, treating her like a queen, so he is devastated when she disappears while he is on trip back to England. Police find video of her being abducted and thrown into a van by a masked man. The van is later found burned, but there is no trace of Michelle.
Detective Anjali has made it her mission to find Michelle, but has not turned up any clues. Michelle's mother Nora is very ill, dying of cancer, and her brother Travis has a serious drug and alcohol problem.
We know that Lucas is the one responsible for Michelle's kidnapping. He hired a hitman on the Dark Web to kill her so that he can inherit her money, which will enable him to take care of his father's medical bills.
Lucas is calculating and cunning. He carefully plotted his entire plan, making certain to leave no traces of his involvement. He is playing the long game, willing to wait as long as it takes (years even) to get Michelle's money and make sure no one suspects his involvement.
It's all going to plan until he begins to receive photos of Michelle. Is she still alive? Did the hitman change his mind and is now extorting more money from Lucas? Lucas has no way to get in touch with the hitman.
His perfect plan is unraveling, and now his past is coming back to haunt him.
If you liked Caroline Kepnes novel (and Netflix series You), Never Coming Home is a great read for you. There are a few twists in the story, including a big one that I didn't see coming. McKinnon has created an intriguing, complicated character in Lucas, and Never Coming Home is a terrific novel for thriller readers who like to puzzle out the story.