Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Literally the Best Reviews: Bring Her Home

Bring Her Home -- David Bell
Berkley Publishing
438 Pages

When you find an author that you really like, you have to read his or her works as soon as they are released, or as soon as possible if you’re getting them from the library. I had to wait for this book for a couple weeks before I got it. Once, I did, I was off and running. I finished it in less than two days. So far, all of David Bell’s novels have been great reads. I devour them as fast I can read, and then eagerly await the next, new book. That does not change with Bring Her Home.

Bill Price is a widower and is trying to raise a teenage daughter, Summer. A year or so after the death of his wife, Summer and her best friend, Haley, disappear. Price gets a call a couple of days later. One of the girls is dead, and the other has been beaten beyond recognition. He rushes to the hospital to be near the girl. Almost immediately, doubts begin to creep into his thoughts about the identity of the girl in the hospital bed.

At the same time, the police who are investigating the girls’ disappearance delve into Price’s history. Ugly secrets about his marriage and growing up with his sister. Were there moments in his life that could cast doubt on his innocence? His own over-zealousness with regard to solving the mystery of Summer’s disappearance put him at odds in the court of public opinion. He makes several questionable moves that hurt his presumed innocence and undermine his credibility.

By the end of the book, the frenzy that Price is going through screams from the pages. The pace of the narrative seems to increase as we get ever closer to uncovering the truth behind Summer’s disappearance and its connection to other events in his life. He gets pulled in several directions, and the reader is along for the ride, trying to connect all the threads at the same time as Price tries.

When I began Bring Her Home, my immediate thoughts were, “I’ve seen a House episode about this. Of course, I got smug and thought I knew what was going to happen. It did not take long for me to be slapped into reality by Bell’s plot. By the end of the book, all my preconceived notions were blown into tiny, little bits. So were several of the subsequent ideas of where I thought the book was going. Once I figured out the pertinent details, I had to figure out how Bell would get there. That is a good part of the enjoyment of reading this book.

I love books that are about characters, especially well developed characters traipsing their way through and around the pitfalls of life. Flashbacks fill in many of the details from the lives of Summer, Bill, and his late wife. Bell takes all these threads and coalesces them into a working tapestry of a person’s life, and keeps it interesting.

The suspense of trying to figure out what’s going on with the mystery of the disappearance and murder are riveting. I kept turning those pages trying to “help” Price unravel the conundrum. There were points I wanted to yell at him that the truth was staring him in the face. And then a new twist rears its ugly head and we’re off running in a new direction.

I love David Bell’s books. They are everything I love in books. (If he could write a sci-fi book or set one on a space station or ancient planet, I would be his biggest fan.) Bring Her Home is another in his collection that I just loved to read. As long as he keeps writing, I will be reading whatever he puts out. I can’t wait until the next book. Already, I’ve been recommending this book to friends.

Craig Bacon is an avid reader. Sometimes he wishes he could write as much as he reads. Maybe someday...