Eighteen years ago, Jenna Luckman disappeared, presumed murdered. Her boyfriend, Jake Olson, hasn't been home since. Now he's coming back to find her killer.
Since he last set foot in Harper, Minnesota, Jake's whole life has changed beyond recognition, but the place seems just as he left it. Small-town politics and gossip rule, and his return is big news.
When a body is discovered at the frozen Hangman Falls, Jake is beset by a snowstorm of anger and revenge. Hounded by grudges and feared by the townsfolk, Jake is determined to uncover the truth behind his girlfriend's disappearance. But he still has enemies in town and they have other plans for him.
Betrayed at every turn and unsure whom to trust, Jake's quest for the truth rekindles old rivalries and rouses ghosts that should never have been disturbed. He wants above all to find the peace of mind that has so long eluded him. But no man can escape his past.
©2015 Keith Houghton (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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"Totally twisted tale!"
Scott Merriman did a fantastic job with all the characters.
This is such a great twisted story. What makes it so great you might ask? Well, Jake Olsen returns home after getting out if prison and is doing an investigative story about the disappearance of his girlfriend who is presumed murdered by him (which is why he went to prison). His father is in the hospital comatose, his old wannabe girlfriend/friend is a cop, her father is the ex chief of police, she's married to another officer who believes him guilty and then there's the girl's father who is hellbent on killing him because he also believes Jake is guilty. It doesn't take long and bodies start to pile up. Some have been deceased for years some recent. Some relationships are revealed that even Jake didn't know about or doesn't remember. Some people have just gone missing or run away or so that's what the listener is lead to believe. Well, hold on to your seat because nothing you've been led to believe in the beginning is quite accurate. There are pieces missing and when those blanks get filled in the whole story changes and boy does it change. I would love to tell but won't spoil this for anyone.
I Highly Recommend this book!
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"Ran off the rails"
This book had so much promise - a good central mystery, well written protagonist, and pretty strong supporting cast (although some were a bit one dimensionally nasty). Through most of the story I was well invested in Jake’s quest to find out what had happened to his girlfriend. I had my suspicions and they turned out to be right, but still it was handled well enough to keep me engaged and rooting for Jake. The usual need to suspend disbelief in suspense stories was still within reason. It was the end of the story when the author kind of went over the top. Two revelations came to light that were “give me a break” moments that ultimately broke the spell. If he had stopped with the first revelation I could have shrugged and gone along with it. But tossing in the second twist just finally jumped the shark and I closed the book disappointed.
"A Web of Evil Unravels!"
Wicked! That's what this story is. . . but somehow you don't realize it until the very last minutes of the book! You won't know "who done it" until the end, even though you might think you do several times previously. It begins with the conviction of an innocent teenager for the murder of his girlfriend and who, after 18 years in prison comes back to clear his name and say goodbye to his gravely ill father. But all is not what it seems. Did he kill his girlfriend? When a female body is uncovered at the bottom of the falls, it seems the mystery will be solved. But not so fast. The discovery of the body simply tangles the mystery even more. And what of his mother? Why didn't she ever come back to see him after leaving him when he was only seven? Even his older brother has deserted him. He is alone trying to clear his name. And in a small, long-remembering community, that is a difficult task.
As mysteries go, this is an excellent one. Very engaging and hard to decipher all the elements of murder, mayhem and mystery. Those who are good guys and those who are bad guys are not apparent. This is what makes it so good!
"Oh what a tangled web we weave when we..."
,,,practice to deceive. No Coming Back is a marvelous psychological thriller! It kept me guessing until the very end.
This is the first audiobook narrated by Scott Merriman to which I have listened. Darn, he is good!
"Really good story."
My golden rule is great characters. For me they make up for a multitude of problems. So while I had a few problems with this book, the hero makes this a four star listening experience. His self awareness, as opposed to self confidence, is remarkably unique and charasmatic.
I was caught up in the story from the first chapter and stayed up late to finish it. I have a few issues with the storyline, but to go any further than that would reveal too much.
I think you will like this book. It was certainly well worth my time.
"well done, Keith Houghton!"
Didn't see that coming! I know, it's four, but seriously surprised with ending!
Well, if I had to pick, I'd pick Tolstoy. He was the least flawed.
With the exception of the female characters, I enjoyed Scott Merriman's narration.
If by "moved" you mean shocked me, yes.
I read/listen to a lot of books, especially murder mysteries. It's pretty rare one can take me by surprise and this one did. I very much enjoyed the twist!
"I had a hard time with the first 1/3"
No Coming Back could have been great. The writing style Hougton wields is very solid. His prose was the main reason I didn't stop listening. The characters are good. I enjoyed getting to know the town that Hougton created. Lastly, the twists were fun and unexpected.
My main beef with No Coming Back is how Hougton set up this story. How he introduced us to the story. The first third of the book was very frustrating to me. Some things didn't ring true (example: the love the parents of the murdered girl show him (not a spoiler)). But mostly it was the 100s of flashbacks that shed light on the history. I didn't like being way behind the main character and those he interacted with. Its weird because I know I have encountered this many times (example Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Its the way Houghton tried to use his doling out the back story in spurts to increase the tension. I think it could have been a slight change in how the author conveyed this info to the reader, and everything would have been ok.
The last 2/3s of the book are great. Noir mystery thriller pulp to the core. I loved the twists even if some of them felt like they were far fetched and convenient. I'd recommend this story to anyone and suggest that though the first 1/3 might be hard to get through, its worth finishing.
This book was well written & well narrated. I can only laugh and say well...dang! When I finished this book. The ending of the book makes clear why the town population was low, IJK. This a good read/listen. Give it a try & at the end you will say...Well, Dang!
"Could have been named everyones guilty"
This book takes you into the bowels of society where no one escapes at any age. Not that the story line is all that unusual just that it isn't how most people would want to claim their heritage. A lot of twists, turns & secrets buried under secrets. The writing i thought was well done & descriptive, but id you are looking for a hero or heroine there isn't any. In fact i can honestly say the freezing snow doesn't really have much influence over the story line as the story line itself gets about as cold as it can get. But worth reading if murder & deception is ypur cup of tea.
"Not what I expected"
Extremely well written. Great performance. The story twists, turns, double backs and holds you BUT I couldn't take the ending.
Excellent narration by Scott Merriman of a compelling story. Highly recommended. Sense of place beautifully portrayed.
"Too Dark and Dismal and Depressing."
I'm afraid that I found this story too dark and dismal for me. I needed a book to relax my mind and take it off of my chronic pain. This was not the correct book for that. I didn't get beyond chapter 7 because there was no redeeming qualities to be gained.
Given the synopsis, I dare say I should not have been surprised. This is not a book to automatically lift your spirits. It may be a well written and developed story but, for me, it was potentially depressing. So I gave up on it.
"Unexpectedly gripping and moving."
Jake returns after eighteen years in prison for a crime he did not commit and in the space of a few days uncovers the complex story's of small town America, around the original crime. No one is quite who they seem to be and all have secrets. It's a brilliantly woven story with many twists, some are quite easily seen but most aren't ! It left me with a deep sadness but pleased it'd bought it. I read it almost in one sitting,(just the last 40 odd mins left till next day), I should have kept going for the final impact!
I loved every minute of this. This book is one of the rare variety in the sense that it's consistently good from start to finish. A great story brilliantly told.
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