REVIEW – Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin

Never Look Back

Published July 2, 2019 by William Morrow Paperbacks


What a fantastic read!!!!

“Never Look Back” started off strong and stayed strong. With no shortage of drama and suspense, this gripping page-turner held my attention until I turned the very last page.

June 1976:

April Cooper is working on an assignment for her ninth-grade Social Studies class. The assignment is “A Letter to My Future Child”. The students are supposed to talk about their lives and predict what the world might be like in the year 2000. At first, April was excited about this assignment, but now EVERYTHING has changed. She knows she won’t be able to turn it in… “School is out in less than a week.  And one way or another, I will be gone by sunrise.”

The assignment turns into a diary of sorts as April continues to write to Aurora Grace, the daughter she hopes to have one day. April tries to imagine what that life might be like, “when everything is better”.  

April had returned from school earlier that day when she heard what sounded like gunshots. She knew that something terrible happened.

Present Day:

Quentin Garrish is the co-host of a popular true-crime podcast. He’s working on a new podcast. “Closure” is about teenager killers, April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy also known as the Inland Empire Killers. Forty years ago the teens went on a rampage and killed a dozen people in Southern California. Gabriel and April’s reign of terror ended when they died in a fire. Well, that is what MOST people believe.

This podcast will be different from other podcasts Quentin has been a part of. This time it’s personal.

What is Quentin’s connection to these horrible crimes?

After a disastrous interview, Quentin considers canceling the podcast but changes his mind after he and Summer meet with a new source who tells them one hell of a story.

Could what this person is saying be true?

Robin Diamond is a film columnist in New York City. Robin receives a call from Quentin who explains that he is working on a podcast about the Inland Empire Killers. He tells Robin he would really like to get in touch with her mother and asks if she will do him just one favor…

“Ask your mother about April Cooper. Ask her if she’s ever heard of her.”

Robin doesn’t realize just how much this phone call will change her life.

I REALLY enjoyed this compulsive and thrilling read from Alison Gaylin!

The majority of the story is told from Quentin and Robin’s point of view, but a good portion of the story is also told through April Cooper’s letters. These letters are interspersed throughout the novel and we learn more about April’s life, her relationship with Gabriel, and details of what happened during the pairs crime spree.

With its complex plot, well-developed characters, and well-timed revelations, this psychological suspense novel was EXTREMELY hard to put down.

An addictive and gripping story about family, murder, and deception, that I highly recommend!


I’d like to thank William Morrow for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

14 thoughts on “REVIEW – Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin

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