DON’T GO BACK by Mark West

The sudden death of Kate Marshall prompts old schoolfriend Beth Parker to face a difficult return to Seagrave, the coastal town in which they grew up. Since she departed for university, Beth has moved on. Now married and trying for a baby, her life has eventually recovered from the darkness that blighted the group of friends fifteen years ago. But the funeral proves to be difficult, and revisiting her old haunts only exacerbates the feelings of unease and the memories that she has tried so hard to suppress…

Mark West is one of those authors whose writing has a deeply cinematic feel. There’s a lovely pacing to the prose, with nicely balanced chapter lengths and an engaging plot. Whilst West’s previous output has been mainly in the horror genre, Don’t Go Back works both as a mystery and as a suspense thriller, with the storyline broken into two distinct timelines – the ‘here and now’ as Beth returns to Seagrave, and flashbacks from fifteen year previously, where West hints at something catastrophic happening to the group of friends, Beth, Jenny, Kate and Wendy. Slowly the events that led up to the event are revealed, with a couple of nice twists and unexpected character developments.

The town of Seagrave feels real. I loved its pier, the beach, the arcades and cafes. The author does a good job of plonking us directly into the action from the start, and the characterisation of the central group of girls is realistic and believable. As the plot develops, there is a terrifying inevitability to the darkness that is slowly encroaching upon Beth and her husband Nick. It’s one of those novels that you fly through, partly because the plot is brisk and the writing fast-paced, but also because the story demands your attention. You want to find out what happens to these characters. In addition you want to find what happened to them fifteen years ago. It really is a cracking read and I have no hesitation in recommending this superb novel for fans of suspense and edge-of-your-seat thrillers.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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1 Response to DON’T GO BACK by Mark West

  1. markewest says:

    Thank you!

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