Title: No Turning Back by Nancy Bush
Genre: Currently #537 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers
Publisher: Penguin Random House Publisher
Publication Date: December 26, 2017
Source: Zebra – Penguin Random House Publishers and #NetGalley
Title and Cover: No Turning Back–Compelling cover, complements title–not so much the content.
No Turning Back was originally released twenty years ago and is now being released with a new cover and some internal revamping. Also, I was a little disappointed to note that there is more on the romance side of the thriller and suspense than I expected from the blurb.
Protagonist Liz Havers, now a psychologist of the school in which she graduated sixteen years previous has returned to Woodside, Washington to face Detective Hawthorne “Hawk” Hart with whom she had a brief affair when she was seventeen. At the time, he was struggling with the loss of his young wife. Their affair produced a boy that Hawk insisted on raising given Liz’s parents would not allow her to keep the baby and had no interest in having a grandchild.
Hawk, who’s also recently returned home after a tragic accident in the LAPD, is struggling with the now sixteen-year-old Jesse. Jesse and his immature buddy, Brad, have discovered a body in the woods nearby and seeing no other equitable solution, opt to inform Liz, with whom Brad has been seeing for his own teen problems.
When Liz advises the boys to report the find to the police, Liz is not aware that Jesse is the child she gave up. Liz has a violent reaction to seeing Hawk the first time, but then neither is he overly thrilled with discovering her back in town. Still, that old sexual attraction is there; apparently on both sides and the conflict only seems to fuel the intensity of their re-aquaintance.
She wants to get to know her son–he’d rather she stayed away from him. The teens are busy adding their usual conflicts to the drama, including Jesse’s girlfriend Tawny and Tawny’s very sick mother. Jesse, it would seem would like to follow in his “cop” dad’s shoes, sleuthing out the culprit of the murders, as another occurs after the boys find the first body and they are obviously connected.
This is almost a formula plot, and too much of the romance for me, but not entirely predictable. The sullen Hawk appears antagonistic towards Liz, Jesse appears sullen and angry, and Liz is an emotional mess–back and forth from vowing never to talk to him again to groaning with pleasure upon his touch. Oh, wait–he did the groaning, she did the moaning.
Dialogue is typical for teens but included the over-use of “bit off” to curtail a conversation too often. Liz, Hawk, and Jesse were well developed, though the second issue with Hawk was not really settled. Liz is not particularly sympathetic and I could not connect. The antagonist is obvious and at the end, sure enough, was the bad guy. Additionally, I didn’t appreciate all the “F-rated” language; unnecessary and annoying. Otherwise, if you are heavy into romance with your suspense, then this pant parade might have you thrilled.
There are some interesting twists and a VERY unexpected ending after the ending you thought you’d read. (Very clever Ms. Bush.)
I received this download from the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for soft mystery fans with more than a few hints of romance.
Rosepoint Publishing: Three-point Five of Five Stars
The Author: (From Amazon Author Page) Nancy Bush is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 30 novels, including The Killing Game, Nowhere to Run, I’ll Find You and Hush. She is the co-author of the Colony series, written with her sister, bestselling author Lisa Jackson, as well as the collaborative novels Sinister and Ominous, written with Lisa Jackson and Rosalind Noonan. A former writer for ABC’s daytime drama “All My Children,” Nancy now lives with her family and pug dog, The Binkster, in the Pacific Northwest. Please visit her online at nancybush.net. ©2018 Virginia Williams