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I had never heard of Tim Weaver before, and when I read the blurb on receipt of the book from Real Readers, I thought it was my type of book.I am now a total fan. At first, although the characters, places and scenes were well depicted, (Weaver isn't shy about using adjectives,) I found it quite slow. I am not a fan of action shifting from place to place or time to time, but I soon realised the book was going to be so good this wouldn't detract. David Raker the private detective in the story, has demons from his past but he goes in search of a missing family for an old girlfriend. The pages are littered with corpses, suspense, red herrings and so many twists and turns, I realised very quickly I couldn't put it down. As the story unfolds into a totally unexpected climax I really didn't want the final page to come. In a word Brilliant
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on 3 September 2013
This is the first Tim Weaver book that I have read but not my first thriller - however, this is poles apart from any other thriller that I've ever read - this book is in the top tier of a whole league of its own - this, people, is a THRILLER!!! It should come with an advisory notice on the front cover warning potential readers of the effects on their daily routines if they open this book - of the unanswered telephone calls, the unnoticed text messages, the unwashed dishes, families being left to fend for themselves at mealtimes... all because you will not be able to put this book down!
The tenacious and quick-witted investigator of missing people, David Raker, is the central character of this book. The story, set in both Devon and Las Vegas, revolves around the complete disappearance without trace of Paul and Carrie Ling, and their two daughters. The fact that they literally drop right off the radar is the intriguing hook that grabs the reader right from the very start, before long the plot deeply immerses you inside the mystery and drama as it unfolds and it won't let you up for air! This well written story never relinquishes its tension or its complexity until the very last full stop - its plot, violent at times, is extremely convoluted and with multiple twists at the end but never loses its credibility or believability. I was absolutely exhausted by the end of it!!
Pick this book up - you won't regret it! Story telling at its very best!
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on 16 September 2013
A family disappears suddenly, leaving dinner cooking on the stove and their dog wandering round the house. Some months later the police investigation has come to a dead end and the remaining member of the family (the missing mother's sister) calls in an old school friend who is a private investigator. He has troubles of his own, but takes the case on anyway. Soon he starts to put the pieces together and in doing so places himself right in the line of fire.

I hadn't heard of Tim Weaver before I received this book from Real Readers so didn't have any idea what to expect when I started it. The cover gives it a Linwood Barclay kind of vibe, not exactly a crime novel, not exactly a thriller, but something in between which addresses the central crime from angle of the effect it has on the family of the victims and on those who investigate it. Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover, as this is exactly what "Never Coming Back" is like.

It's big thick book which looks like it'll take you an age to read, but once I started I found myself rattling through it double-quick to find out what happened. I found the first 50 pages or so the most demanding as it took me that long to get used to the flashbacks and the way the novel is written. After that I got into the way of it and there was no stopping me.

I understand that there are previous novels featuring David Raker, the book's protagonist, but you don't need to have read them to understand or get involved with this novel. Doubtless having read them would add to your experience, but you can manage fine without them.

I found David a likeable character, but he's definitely of the world-weary, existential, I-have-my-own-problems school of investigator. I felt at times that he tipped into cliché, but fortunately it didn't happen often enough for me to get annoyed about it. Most of the other major characters were equally well-drawn, but some of the more minor ones looked to have been sourced from Rent-A-Villain.

By its very nature, the book is more about the plot than it is about characterisation and that's completely fine if that's what you're looking for in a read. I liked the vast majority of the plot and found it convincing, but there were two areas where I thought the author's choices were facile and rather obvious. As I don't want to spoil anyone else's experience of the book I won't say any more on this, other than to say that I felt the novel was slightly let down by these two aspects.

This is the kind of book you can read for pleasure and to be taken out of yourself. It's not demanding and will sweep you along with it for most of the way. I enjoyed it, but felt let down by the author's choices in a couple of areas. However, there's still a lot to enjoy about the book and I would definitely recommend that others read it and make up their own minds.
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on 30 September 2013
A new author for me and a new 'hero' to discover. David Raker, with a personal past that i guess is covered in the earlier books is asked to seach for the missing family of a girlfriend from his teenage days.

there is another charactor who is also present at the start (healy) and i did struggle with the writing as both seemed to be written in the 1st person, but as soon as healy ran off in a sulk, the story was easier to follow and rather fast paced.

A missing family, a shady group of high roller in Las Vegas, a self made businessman, the remote Devon countryside and coast, all intermingle over something that was discovered by chance in a photograph

Who is on who's side, who can be trusted and who will survive.

I really enjoyed this after the challenging 1st person issues at the start. feelings towards the main charactors changing as the story unfolded.

Would have been 5* if not for the start, but put up with that small glitch to enjoy the rest of the book
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on 29 August 2013
Whatever you do, don't read this book! Well, not unless you have several hours spare because once you've picked it up you won't be putting it down again in a hurry.

Never Coming Back, Tim Weaver's 4th novel featuring driven Missing Persons Investigator David Raker, confidently combines a carefully crafted narrative featuring enough surprises for even the most seasoned crime thriller aficionado with believably drawn protagonists and a fine sense of place. So what if a couple of characters are ripped straight from the pages of The Big Book Of Grumpy Coppers, Weaver just cleverly uses this (over) familiarity with the type to serve up a devious plot twist.

One quibble I do have is that the story takes a while to get going, spending a little too much time resolving dangling plot threads from the previous installment, but once Raker begins his investigation the plot gathers focus and momentum all the way up to the final twist in the very last sentence.

Definitely one to pick up.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 August 2013
Thank you kindly to the author, publisher and Netgalley.

Well, I have been waiting for this one - Tim Weaver's series about Missing Persons Investigator David Raker is one of the best series out there at the moment - and considering the plethora of great crime fiction currently available that is saying something. But its nothing less than the truth.

In this instalment, David is recovering from his previous case and is living a quiet life in rural Devon. When an old friend of his asks him to investigate the disappearance of an entire family David is drawn once more into the world of the missing. As he digs deeper what he finds is disturbing and dangerous...

The novels are tagged as "David Raker Thrillers" but I always feel that "David Raker Mystery" would be more appropriate - the mystery element, as always, reigned supreme. Thats not to say they are NOT thrilling, they very much are - the action sequences are indeed edge of the seat stuff, especially as Mr Weaver makes no promises about the safety of any of his characters - yet still for me, the intricate plot weaving and attention to detail within those plots are very much what make these novels as good as they are.

I do adore David Raker for his tenacity. What he does is more than a job to him, its a calling. Despite the dangerous path many of his cases take he won't give them up. Not even for love. The "I am who they have" attitude to those he tries to find is what drives him...when everyone else has given up on ever finding you, David Raker will not. If I were to have a missing loved one I would hope that someone like him were around. His character has evolved over the series beautifully - you could almost call him an Anti hero. If the law fails he will do whatever it takes to succeed - in this novel again he's treading on toes, getting in the way and generally causing problems, for himself as much as anyone - but he'll do what it takes. Sometimes at a huge cost...

Another terrific side of these books is the villains are always extremely villainous but somehow terribly realistic - you could easily imagine them out there in the world - you won't find anyone twirling a moustache here, the bad guys are truly bad in a very entertaining and often horrific way.

You will be intrigued from the outset - The Marie Celeste style disappearance will immediately have you wondering...and thats it, you are hooked. And probably won't stop reading until the end.

In the case of the Raker books I would highly recommend that you read them from the start, in order. Its not that you couldnt pick any one of them up and be perfectly happy, I just feel that Raker himself is a character who develops in such a way that you will miss out on the nuances if you havent been with him from the start. Which would be "Chasing The Dead".
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on 30 August 2013
This is the first Tim Weaver novel I have read and I was not disappointed.
At first, I thought the first few chapters were very disjointed, but as I continued to read through the book I understood the relevance of this in bring certain elements of past events and there bearing on the story written.
The novel is set in two contrasting areas the quiet peaceful areas of Devon and flashy, glitzy area of Las Vegas. Tim Weaver's description of both areas are very life like and without going overboard gives the reader an insight into the environment, sights and sounds. I particularly liked the way he described the desolated village and weather which gave an atmospheric air to the story.
The main character David Raker is an investigative journalist who is recovering from a brutal attack from which he nearly died, but when he is contacted by an old friend, Emily Ling, to find out what happened to her family, who went missing in very mysterious circumstances, he finds himself compelled to help and investigate their disappearance.
David Raker comes across as a really genuine caring guy who basically has nothing to gain except the satisfaction of knowing he has helped others find their missing loved ones.
The characteristic traits of the other characters that feature are also well described some dark and sinister, others menacing, greedy, depressed and disheartened giving the readers an array of individual qualities and personalities.
As I said at the beginning the first few chapters were disjointed but as the story unfolds Weaver uses this method excellently to go from the present to the past. This I feel enhances the context to help the readers understand the relevance of what and how things happened in the past, have impacted and affected the present circumstances in the novel.
Raker delves into the past events and uses an array of methods, some unconventional and some illegal to help him solve the mystery of the families disappearance. Unfortunately, in doing so he puts himself into grave danger as his investigation unfolds.
Weaver has portrayed some historical facts within the story to enhance the plot and there are so many twists and turns throughout the chapters to add to the overall suspense and tension. There is even a surprising twist at the end
Overall an imaginative story excellently executed to provide a very enjoyable page turning novel. Highly recommended.
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on 27 September 2013
First I want to say thank you to the author because he choose me as one of the winners of his book giveaway. I don't know how to start but the book was fantastic and I have to say that I was surprise in a good way. The story flows very smoothly and you will not be able to take your eyes from the book. It took me 2 days to read the book and I was not able to put down the book until I reach the end. The story is about family that disappear mysteriously and it looks like the whole world has forgotten about them. This change when the main character in the book David Raker returns to his parents' house in Devon. He nearly died when he was injured during one of his cases. He used to be journalist but he changed his career to private investigator that is looking for missing people.
He tried to stay away from his job because he wasn't fully recovered and he had problems with his current girlfriend. However, everything change when a woman knock on his door. Her name is Emily Kane and she used to be his girlfriend when he was a teenager. Emily has done a research about him and she asked him to do a little digging about her missing family. In the beginning David was hesitant to take the case but he felt the old excitement of starting a case. The disappearance of the family will lead to the murders of other people and nothing seems as it appears.
The secondary characters in the book are ex-cop Haely ( he lives with David in the beginning of the book), Mr Rocastle ( a cop that is investigating a body found on the beach and later in the story the body will be link to the case), Mr Wilkison (an old friend of David who plays important role in the case). I found Mr Haely very annoying character and at times I didn't know what role he was suppose play in the whole situation. It was a big relief when he disappeared from the scene. Also I found similarities between Mr Haely and Mr Wilkinson and the way they react to people. I think the author must bring more variety in terms of the behaviour and reactions of his characters. However, I like that the author tries to show the bad and good sides of both good and bad guys in the book. This made the story more realistic and you can see how the characters are fighting their weaknesses and this affects their lives.
The descriptions in the book such as atmosphere, environment, characters and places were well balance. It is enough to create good and detail image in your head but it doesn't go on and on, so the reader is not bored or frustrated with big amount of information. The book has suspense feeling in dangerous and mysterious situations which I miss in many other criminal books. Other element that I liked about the book is the involvement of historic facts. I love history and I was happy to learn new things. The book is fantastic and I will recommend it to anyone.
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on 8 August 2016
Long, convoluted, far-fetched, violent.........but completely absorbing. This is the sort of book that you really do want when you look for a "mystery" or a "thriller". Usually such books fall far of the mark, but this one is really very good. It has all the elements that keep you turning the pages - a genuinely nice (though hard) hero, unusually puzzling crimes, twist and turns, a fabulous surprise which really did give me goosebumps (that's a first).

Exciting fiction is never going to be completely believable, and there were a fair number of loose ends that were inadequately tied (usually with the villain throwing money at people to keep them quiet), but that really didn't matter in this case because too much logic would have spoiled the complicated storyline.

I have to confess to a bit of racism. I have had a Tim Weaver book - Vanished - on my Kindle for ages, but thought that someone with that sort of English man-next-door-mowing-the-lawn name wouldn't be great at writing thrillers. I was wrong, and apologise to Mr Weaver for such judgmentalism. He really is a very good and knowledgeable author, and I will definitely be plunging into Vanished without delay.
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on 23 March 2016
This was my first Tim Weaver book. I accepted it reluctantly from my mum who insisted it was a good read. That often doesn't mean much when it comes to mum's taste in literature but wow! She got it right this time. The book is fast paced, tense, exciting, dramatic and this plot encourages the reader to question just what lengths people might go to to protect their wealth and position. Tim Weaver is a wordsmith and his talent at creating realistic characters and a totally believable plot is to be celebrated. Indeed, this particular novel would make a great film. I have just bought the previous 3 novels and I'm looking forward to reading them. Weaver knows how to manipulate language, use a structure that keeps the reader hooked, create settings that are realistic and, most importantly, develop the character of David Raker whose demons are believable and poignant. There's no sloppy writing, nor is there sentimentality. It's a brilliant page turner. A great read. Loved it!
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