Monday, August 7, 2017

Review: Bring Her Home

Summary: 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… -- Berkley

It's hard to believe that I've been doing Mystery Mondays for quite a few years now and haven't yet reviewed a book by David Bell. I have read that he's a "skilled storyteller" (Houston Chronicle), and I even remember one of his books being featured at the Speed Dating Panel at BEA. Well, I finally discovered for myself what all the fuss was about while reading his latest book BRING HER HOME.

BRING HER HOME tells the disturbing story of a father who is living an absolute nightmare. Around 18 months ago, Bill Price's wife was found dead after a freak household accident. Naturally, nothing is the same for him and his daughter Summer; however, recently they've been having a bit of a difficult time communicating. Bill doesn't think it's that out of the norm... until Summer goes missing. Three days later, they find the girls in a park -- Haley is dead and Summer was beaten so badly that she's fighting for her life.

Bill won't leave his daughter's side, despite her being unconscious and basically unresponsive. She will only utter the word, "no." And Bill can't make sense of what she's trying to tell him. Bill begins to wonder what happened to his daughter... or if this beaten girl is even really his daughter!

As police begin investigating Summer's life and what could have happened to her, Bill is forced to face that he doesn't truly know his daughter -- she's been keeping some secrets from him. Bill decides that he has to get to the bottom of what happened to his daughter... even if that means he reopens some painful wounds from his past!

I enjoyed BRING HER HOME quite a bit, and I understand why Mr. Bell is an award-winning writer! This novel was a true-page turner and the twists and turns were top-notch. There were so many major surprises in this novel. I was shocked with the first one (and pretty impressed), only to find that there were more in store. There is no doubt that Mr. Bell takes his readers on a wild ride!

One thing that impressed me with BRING HER HOME was how well Mr. Bell made Bill's pain so real. I can't imagine losing a wife and then just a few months later going through this tragedy with his daughter. Of course it would be easy to feel bad for Bill; however, the author made Bill a complex character. He definitely had some anger management issues, and truth be told, I didn't always like him... or even trust him. I liked that I had some doubts about the main character in this novel.

In fact, I had an overall sense of unease while reading this book... I mean that in a good way though. Needless to say, as a mom of a teen, this book's subject matter was disturbing for me -- not only what happened to the girls, but also that Summer had so many secrets from her dad. However, it also the sense of nervousness I had surrounding Bill and many of the secondary characters. I thought they were possibly shady and their actions struck me as strange at times. Bill, especially, was so erratic -- wavering between anger and sadness -- and so desperate that I was constantly on edge.

Despite thinking this novel was a fast-paced thriller, I did have a few slight issues with BRING HER HOME, though. I'm not sure I can articulate my thoughts, but there were times when I thought the characters were almost too insightful. For example, Bill's sister just seemed to figure things out that I thought were a stretch... and she did it quite a few times. This wasn't a major complaint for me, but it did strike me as a bit too convenient.

BRING HER HOME would make an interesting book for book clubs if you're looking for a thriller to read. I was happy to find a reading guide with ten thought-provoking questions. Some of the themes you might want to explore include secrets, father/daughter relationships, anger management, family ties, denial, marriage, memories, and trust.

Overall, I think BRING HER HOME is an intriguing thriller with lots of twists and turns. I definitely recommend this novel to fans of Mr. Bell's as well as readers who enjoy suspense novels.

Thanks to Get Red PR and the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I can't believe I've never read Bell before. I'm pretty sure I have several of his books here.