... tightly plotted ... The strong tension that launches Never Look Back only intensifies with each surprising twist ... The solid plot of Never Look Back also works well as a character study as Gaylin intelligently delves into each person’s psyche ... Quentin is clinically depressed, obsessive and possibly violent, but Gaylin’s realistic shaping makes the reader also feel for him ... Never Look Back is another superior outing from Gaylin[.]
Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin is an absorbing, addictive tale of psychological suspense with a Serial-esque podcast twist ... Trust is one of the main themes of this compelling tale of psychological suspense. Told through the viewpoints of its cast of characters, Never Look Back discusses the obligations inherent or otherwise in family relationships as it reveals the truth behind long-ago killings that have been essentially flattened out to two-dimensional renderings both by a sensationalist media and a judgmental public. Based on the true-life 1950s crime spree of Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate, it refuses to go for the easy out, particularly when it comes to characterizing April (based on the 14-year-old Caril Ann) as a soulless thrillseeker ... Never Look Back asks us to be unafraid to look deeper, to believe in the healing power of the truth, and to accept the consequences and be good to ourselves regardless.
... this might be Gaylin's most interesting novel to date ... Gaylin has so much fun toying with readers as these and many other questions will keep you guessing right through to the finale. Never Look Back is a novel of secrets, family ties and the old adage that you can never really know absolutely everything about someone, even those you love dearly. This stand-alone title is sure to be a triumph for Gaylin, and deservedly so --- this is what terrific mystery/thriller writing is all about.
... [an] expertly crafted stand-alone ... Artfully strewn red herrings and a kaleidoscopic narrative heighten tension while sowing seeds of distrust concerning the characters’ honesty and intentions ... A mind-bending mystery, an insightful exploration of parent-child relationships, and a cautionary tale about bitterness and blame.
... [an] uneven thriller ... Despite a gripping beginning that combines the crimes of the past with the best and worst of present-day mass media—instant exposure, fame, and trolls—the plot eventually falters under the weight of its own twists. Hopefully, Gaylin will return to form next time.