Title: No Turning Back
Author: Tracy Buchanan
Anna Graves’s whole life has recently been turned upside down. A new mother, she’s just gone back to her job as a radio presenter and is busy navigating a new schedule of late night feeding and early morning wake ups while also dealing with her newly separated husband. Then the worst happens.
While Anna is walking on the beach with her daughter, she’s attacked by a crazed teenager. Terrified, Anna reacts instinctively to protect her baby. But her life falls apart when the schoolboy dies from his injuries. The police believe Anna’s story, until the autopsy results reveal something more sinister. A frenzied media attack sends Anna into a spiral of self-doubt.
Her precarious mental state is further threatened when she receives a chilling message from someone claiming to be the ‘Ophelia Killer’, a serial killer who preyed on the town twenty years ago-and who abruptly stopped when Anna’s father committed suicide.
Is Anna as innocent as she claims? And is murder forgivable, if committed to save your child’s life?
I wasn’t sure what to expect from No Turning Back; from the synopsis it sounded like a bit of a thriller/mystery read but the first half of the book is, I’d say, just about Anna and her way of dealing with that awful day on the beach when she protects her daughter and ends up killing a schoolboy. There’s a lot about the aftermath and how Anna feels, but not much mystery – and I was eagerly awaiting some elements of suspense because there was the mention of an ‘Ophelia Killer’ from years ago which peaked my interest. Although I can always appreciate a novel that is just character-based, I felt this story wasn’t gripping enough without the mystery element, so I struggled to stay hugely interested for the first half.
The tension does ramp up after that, when we find out more about what actually happened all those years ago and on that fateful day, and there were some more interestinfg partsbut to be honest the plot felt a little ridiculous towards the end. However, at least it did get a little more engaging, and there were some surprises which I definitely did not see coming.
The narration is quite easy to listen to, though at the beginning I did find Anna’s voice grating a bit! However I am overly picky when it comes to audiobooks so I suppose that’s my own problem!
Overall I found this an enjoyable read but quite unpredictable; some parts really kept my interest whilst others felt like they dragged and/ or were a little unbelievable at times.
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