What if you found out that you’d been married to a stranger?
‘Never go there, Nuala. Please, never go there.’
Nuala knows nothing of her husband James’s past. He made her swear that she would never contact his family and never, EVER visit the place he was from.
But now James is dead, and Nuala is alone. Grieving and desperate, she decides to ignore his warning.
Nuala is about to find out that some secrets are better left buried – and that uncovering the truth about the man she married will have terrible consequences…
I was sure that I was going to like this book, the blurb sounds amazing and I was in the right reading mood for a psychological thriller but unfortunately, it really fell short of the mark for me.
It has the right ingredients, a mysterious storyline and a suspicious cast of characters, but unfortunately the set up of this book I think works against it. It is told through Nuala, Maggie and Emma, and having the different viewpoints helps to give the complete picture of what happened in the past but it was too jumbled in the beginning.
There was a bit of jumping back and forth between the different stages of Nuala’s timeline, the months between James’s death and her going to visit his family, and whilst all the information is great for understanding her motivations, I feel like any momentum that the story was gaining was halted every time it jumped back. The other flashbacks to tell the story of why James left were relevant to what was happening and moved the story forward but I feel like the first part of the book didn’t have that and it became sluggish. With a psychological thriller I have to feel invested right away and feel the tension build and unfortunately Never Go There lost me a little at this point.
I didn’t like any of the characters, and there are some instances of books where this can work to a books advantage but for me, it really didn’t work at all here. It would be very difficult to explain it fully without giving anything away and I don’t want to spoil the book because I’m sure loads of people out there will love it but there was nothing to get behind, there was no glimmer of something that made you feel like by the end you’d feel vindicated. Once I got past the halfway point and the tension did start to build, it made it difficult to really care about what was happening because I had no investment in any of the characters. I read to the end because I wanted to see how it ended but there wasn’t that kind of elation that the discovery moment usually brings.
The plot was well thought out and it could have worked but it was dark to the extreme and not in the twisty and interesting kind of way that keeps me gripped but in a way that made me feel like there was no hope left in the world. Certain components were brilliant but personally, especially because I didn’t like any of the characters, there were elements that maybe could have been changed just to make the reading experience better. It also didn’t help that some of the twists I easily picked up on, I think it was because of the detachment it made it easier for me to predict.
I’m giving Never Go There three stars because the writing was good and past a certain point I didn’t want to put it down and I think that this book will work well for some people who will connect with it better than I have, but I’m not sure it’s one I can wholeheartedly recommend because of how I felt after reading it.