Don’t Look Back – Jo Spain | Book Review | #DontLookBack | Thriller | published by @QuercusBooks

Your dream island. The love of your life. A secret that changes everything . . .

For one week, everything in Luke Miller’s life is perfect. Surprised with a belated honeymoon by his wife, Rose, he’s had seven days with her in a Caribbean paradise. It’s more than he ever thought he’d deserve.

But as they pack their bags, Rose breaks down, confessing that on the day they left London, a violent man from her past tracked her down and broke into their home. He wasn’t expecting her to fight back. And, in her terror, Rose killed him. Now there’s a dead body in Luke’s apartment, and only one person he can think to turn to.

Mickey Sheils never expected to hear from Luke again, not after he disappeared the first time. Luke knows Mickey can’t deny a woman who needs help, so she promises she’ll deal with things – she’ll make sure Rose doesn’t have to keep running.

But it turns out, some lies are too big to run from.

Publisher: Quercus
Format: Ebook, Audio, Hardback (11 May 2023) | Paperback (25 April 2024)
Source: Library


A belated honeymoon on a Caribbean island. Sounds idyllic. However there is something dreadfully wrong and for the married couple concerned life is going to become rather challenging.

Rose Miller is hiding a secret for the seven days of their break. One which she doesn’t reveal until the last day when they are preparing to leave. There is a dead man in their apartment in London, killed by Rose seemingly in self defence. How on earth did she manage to keep a poker face on that one. Rose’s terror is plain to see as she recounts she reveals the identity of the man and how the death happened.

Theirs was a whirlwind romance but Luke Miller adores Rose and vows to do whatever is needed to protect her. He calls upon someone from his past Mickey Sheils for help. Mickey is a former Irish barrister who rejected the law in favour of helping women escape abusive relationships. It seems that Luke is not one of her favourite people for reasons that are not immediately explained, but she agrees to help however finds the situation is far more complicated than she can imagine.

From early on I had trust issues here. It was clear that Rose was damaged by her past but I felt that she wasn’t being entirely truthful, come to that, neither was Luke, at times he seemed too perfect to be true and I felt they were both keeping secrets. I was never quite sure if I could trust one, or both, as the author cleverly drip feeds doubt and suspicion throughout the story.

With its Caribbean setting of Saint Thérèse, interrupted by visits to London and Ireland and flashback chapters to the recent past, this is a well paced read with surprises and twists, great supporting characters (looking at you Inspector Alleyne and Elliott) and a sense of place to draw the reader in. I really liked Mickey from the start, she had some personal issues of her own but with her many contacts was helpful to have on your side and someone that instilled confidence with her feisty but considered manner. I would love to see her return. There is a background theme to the story, which is handled quite well and adds an element of fearful suspense.

I’ve always enjoyed books by Jo Spain and this was one of those addictive and entertaining reads that I kept wanting to go back to.

Jo Spain is the author of the bestselling Tom Reynolds detective series and several No.1 bestselling standalone thrillers. She began writing full-time when her first book, top ten bestseller With Our Blessing, was chosen as one of 7 finalists in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition.

Jo is a full-time screenwriter. Her first show, critically-acclaimed crime series ‘Taken Down’, aired in 2018. In 2021, she co-wrote Harry Wild, starring Jane Seymour, with its creator, Emmy-award winning David Logan (to air 2022). She is currently working on several international productions, including adaptations of her own novels.

A graduate of Trinity College, Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and four children.

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