Publication: 17 February 2022 FROM Hodder & Stoughton
My thanks to Jenny Platt and Hodder for an advance copy for review
A DEVOTED MOTHER
Sam Cooper has a happy life: a good job, a blossoming relationship. Yet, there’s something he can never forget – the image seared into his mind of his mother, Laurie, dying when he was a child. His father allowed his grief to tear them apart and Sam hasn’t seen him in years.
A LOVING WIFE
Until an unexpected call from Firwood hospital, asking Sam to come home, puts in motion a chain of devastating events. On his deathbed, Sam’s father makes a shocking confession.
Who was Laurie Cooper? It’s clear that everything Sam thought he knew about his mother was wrong. And now he’s determined to find out exactly what she did and why – whatever the cost.
What happens if you discover you’ve been lied to by your own family for twenty-five years?
Sam Cooper is about to find out.
I am absolutely delighted to start off the blog tour for Luca Veste’s fabulously twisty, heart-wrenching thriller. I have always enjoyed Luca Veste’s writing but with You Never Said Goodbye he really has taken his thriller writing to the next level with this stand-alone novel.
From the outset you are plunged into a thrilling, heady tale and one which will lead you on a breath-taking, whirlwind journey across the Atlantic as you try to fathom what has happened to Sam Cooper and why it is that pretty much everyone he meets seems to want to kill him.
Sam is a lonely man whose childhood trauma has kept him from ever being really close to anyone. Sam lost almost all his family in a terrible, tragic accident many years ago when he was just a wee lad and since then his father has been a broken man. He never talked about that night and he and Sam lived a lonely existence together; distanced from each other with no physical or mental comfort to ease the pain of loss. Sam blames himself for his failure to help and he can’t help but feel that his father blames him too. Otherwise why would he have been so distanced from his only surviving son?
You can’t help but feel sorrow and empathy for Sam. He has had to make his own way in the world carrying an absence of love, no emotional succour and a relationship with his only surviving parent that is as cold as the river he almost died in.
Now though, his father is dying and Sam does what any dutiful son would do and hurries to his bedside. What he does not know is that there are people on his trail. People who want nothing more than to find out what secret Sam’s father is hiding. People who will kill to find that secret and who neither know nor care that Sam is himself in the dark.
Luca Veste’s writing beautifully conveys the sense of Sam’s isolation, his confusion at what is happening around him and his stubborn refusal to capitulate to people he neither knows nor cares about, but who may hold the answers to questions he has spent years not asking.
Now that his father is dying, it seems that everything is coming to a head and Sam Cooper is not going to stay in the dark any longer. He knows there are questions he needs the answers to and the violence that is being perpetrated around him just makes him more determined than ever to get to the truth.
Veste’s action scenes are tense, pacy and full of violent rage. His antagonist is the kind of bad guy you want to see suffer; but the real star of this show is Sam, a decent guy with a terrible tragedy in his past who you really, really want to see made whole again.
Verdict: You Never Said Goodbye has oodles of tension, lots of darkness and is coiled like an angry viper, ready to twist and bite at every opportune moment. You don’t often get violent, gritty thrillers that make you love the protagonist while catching your breath at the predicaments he finds himself in and then dazzle you as the twisting, heart-wrenching narrative leads you on a journey that, just like Sam, you have to see through to the end. Highly recommended
Luca Veste is a writer of Italian and Liverpudlian heritage, married with two young daughters, and is one of nine children. He studied psychology and criminology at university in Liverpool. He is the author of the Murphy and Rossi series. He also wrote the stand-alone novels, The Bone Keeper and The Six.
His books have been translated and published in the USA, Germany, Czech Republic, and Poland. As well as writing, Luca is also a guitarist and regularly performs with the group The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers.