Bring Her Home by David Bell
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…
I was looking for some gripping American fiction, something that surrounded a mystery. Similar, to Harlan Coben style but a new author to me! WOW did I find it!!!!!!
Bill Price is our central protagonist, after 18 months after the tragic death of his wife in a bizarre accident. His young rebellious teenage daughter Summer goes missing. 48hrs later she is found at Dunlap Park. She has been beaten within an inch of her life and she is found with the lifeless corpse of her best friend Haley!
What happened to these girls? Who attacked them so savagely? Is everything as it seems?
Bill Price receives the call from local Jakesville town detective Hawkins. He rushes to the ER to see his daughter and is instantly plunged into every parent’s worst nightmare!
Only for Bill, the nightmare is far from over……….
Dr Renee Davis informs Bill of Summer’s extensive injuries and warns him, she may never fully recover. The prognosis on eye sight and brain damage is still unclear. Whilst discussing Summer’s trauma with Hawkins. Bill suddenly points the finger of suspicion at local teen boys Clinton Fields, Todd Stone and Brandon Cooke.
But are three immature, teenage boys capable of such a heinous crime?
Bill begins by trying to communicate with his daughter, bringing in her most treasured possessions. But all Summer can mumble is the word ‘no’ over and over again. Bill’s sister Paige arrives from Ohio. She is the first person to ask the most prominent question. How can they be so sure the injured girl in the bed is in fact Summer?
So, begins the first twist in the mystery novel, packed from start to finish with twists and turns galore!
There are so many themes within this exceptional novel. Why was Summer so distant recently, before the attack? The grief of Bill’s wife and Summer’s mother is fully explored. Having lost my own mother myself, at just 21 years of age. I can assure you that Summer’s responses of anger, pain and rebellion are completely natural. The characterisation is a huge winner in this novel. You really become invested in the characters and the lives of the teens involved. Bill attempts to unravel the mystery, whilst almost unravelling psychologically himself.
His sister Paige and close friend/neighbour Adam, try to hold everything together.
But in a scenario now chaotic, and confusing, who can Bill trust?
I don’t want to go into, too much into detail about the individual twists/turns, as that would create spoilers and undo the hard work of the author, in this clever interwoven plot. This novel is the perfect mystery novel, it is realistic, and I will MOST DEFINITELY be reading more by the author. 4*
Be prepared to be shouting at the book, as each twist in the tale develops!
David Bell is the author of seven novels from Berkley/Penguin, including BRING HER HOME, SINCE SHE WENT AWAY, SOMEBODY I USED TO KNOW, THE FORGOTTEN GIRL, NEVER COME BACK, THE HIDING PLACE, and CEMETERY GIRL. His work has been translated into numerous foreign languages, and in 2013, he won the prestigious Prix Polar International de Cognac for best crime novel by an international author. He is an associate professor of English at Western Kentucky University where he directs the MFA program in creative writing. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, he spends his free time rooting for the Reds and Bengals, watching movies, and walking in the cemetery near his house. He lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with his wife, writer Molly McCaffrey.