Thursday, June 22, 2017

Book Review ~ Bring Her Home by David Bell


Bring Her Home
by David Bell

In the breathtaking new thriller from David Bell, bestselling author of Since She Went Away and Somebody I Used to Know, the fate of two missing teenage girls becomes a father's worst nightmare....

Just a year and a half after the tragic death of his wife, Bill Price's fifteen-year-old daughter, Summer, and her best friend, Haley, disappear. Days later, the girls are found in a city park. Haley is dead at the scene, while Summer is left beaten beyond recognition and clinging to life.

As Bill holds vigil over Summer's bandaged body, the only sound the unconscious girl can make is one cryptic and chilling word: No. And the more time Bill spends with Summer, the more he wonders what happened to her. Or if the injured girl in the hospital bed is really his daughter at all.

When troubling new questions about Summer's life surface, Bill is not prepared for the aftershocks. He'll soon discover that both the living and the dead have secrets. And that searching for the truth will tear open old wounds that pierce straight to the heart of his family...

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In Bring Her Home, the reader is instantly thrown into the mystery of two missing girls, Summer and Haley.  Days later, they are found - one dead and one beaten up beyond recognition.  As the hunt for the person who committed this horrible crime continues, Summer’s father discovers that perhaps his hands-off approach to raising a child might not be the best.  Secrets are revealed and everyone is a suspect in this compelling story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and begging for the truth.

The first half of the story went slowly for me, but eventually the action did pick up and I found that I couldn’t put the book down.  There are a lot of details, twists, and misdirection in this intriguing story but nothing to overwhelming or confusing.  There were a few things that just didn’t work for me, or that I found unbelievable -  mostly regarding the police procedures and identifying remains of a deceased person.  Also, I just can’t imagine not being able to recognize my own child, no matter how beaten up they were. Thankfully, I am not a subject matter expert on either account, but these few things did not work for me.

Overall, despite the few issues that didn't work for me, this was a enjoyable read that was full of intrigue and tension that kept my interest and had me guessing throughout.  The characters are complex and well-developed and the writing was superb.   This was my first David Bell novel, but it won’t be the last as his wonderful storytelling ability has me hooked.

3 ½ stars 






David Bell is the author of seven novels from Berkley/Penguin, including BRING HER HOME, SINCE SHE WENT AWAY, SOMEBODY I USED TO KNOW, THE FORGOTTEN GIRL, NEVER COME BACK, THE HIDING PLACE, and CEMETERY GIRL. His work has been translated into numerous foreign languages, and in 2013, he won the prestigious Prix Polar International de Cognac for best crime novel by an international author. He is an associate professor of English at Western Kentucky University where he directs the MFA program in creative writing. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, he spends his free time rooting for the Reds and Bengals, watching movies, and walking in the cemetery near his house. He lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with his wife, writer Molly McCaffrey.