Never Look Back by Clare Donoghue (Bennett & Lockyer #1)


Synopsis: Three women have been found brutally murdered in south London, the victims only feet away from help during each sadistic attack. And the killer is getting braver. Sarah Grainger is rapidly becoming too afraid to leave her house. Once an outgoing photographer, she knows that someone is watching her. A cryptic note brings everything into terrifying focus, but it’s the chilling phone calls that take the case to another level. DI Mike Lockyer heads up the regional murder squad. With three bodies on his watch, and a killer growing in confidence, he frantically tries to find the link between these seemingly isolated incidents. What he discovers will not only test him professionally but will throw his personal life into turmoil too.

Kat’s Rating: 3/5

Kat’s Review:  I have to be honest and say that it took me until the halfway point of this book until it really kicked into gear. That’s not to say it wasn’t a good read, just that it had its faults too. I always like the thought of reading a debut, especially ones that will form part of a series. This series explained that it would be focussed around DI Mike Lockyer while he investigates a number of murders. When the book started, I found myself not that interested in Mike. His personality didn’t really translate and if I am being brutally honest I thought he was a little dull. Thankfully this changed around the halfway mark and the book was certainly a vast improvement on the first half.

Lockyer’s colleague DS Jane Bennett was a good character and complemented Mike Lockyer well. I would even go as far as to say that she may actually be edging him out in terms of likeability. Mike and Jane are part of the Regional Murder Squad and their body count is rising. Sadly it seems that women in South London are the potential victims and the killer seems to be becoming more sadistic with each kill. In another plot thread Sarah Grainger has become the victim of a stalker and her life has spiralled until she has become a practical recluse.

The storyline was certainly interesting enough and once I hit the halfway mark the book took a marked upwards improvement. The pace picked up and even Mike Lockyer became a little more likeable. However, even though the book was a good start and I will certainly be reading book2, I still had the unease over the main character. For some reason I just couldn’t gel and I am hoping this was because the author was laying some background and ground work for future books. I certainly think Mike’s history was interesting and the storyline featuring his brother was good, but….I just didn’t like him all that much! Don’t ask me why, I just wasn’t ‘feeling it’.

Hopefully with the groundwork done book 2 will leave more of an impression as the series certainly has potential. Overall a solid start for a debut novel, but hopefully Book 2 will see some improvement in terms of the lead character.

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