Thursday, November 9, 2017

They Never Came Home by Lois Duncan

I'm not sure why this was in my in my TBR list but it still sounded good when I read the synopsis so I decided to borrow it. I checked after I finished and apparently this was written in the 1960s and it definitely shows in the writing. Still, this was a fun, quick read.

They Never Came Home starts when Dan and Larry go missing on a hiking trip and are presumed dead. Larry's family promptly falls apart, with Larry's mother falling into a delusion that her son is still alive. As Joan, Larry's sister, tries to protect her mother, she receives a phone call claiming that her brother owes this mysterious guy 50,000 dollars. As she tries her best to make up for her brother's debt (by taking on this mysterious job), she starts to discover that this disappearance may not be as simple as everyone thinks.

To be honest, I managed to guess the 'twist' in the story the first time the narrative cuts away from Joan and Frank (Dan's brother). But, I was interested in finding why and how the story was going to resolve itself, so I read all the way to the end.

As for the characters, I quite liked Joan because of the way she managed to pull herself together. I think she was a good protagonist, and I thought it was sensible of her to get help when she felt that she needed it (well, it was from her boyfriend's younger brother so it wasn't the best choice but good job for getting help and refusing to get into a stranger's car!). I also thought that the reveal of Larry's true character was quite well-done, though very predictable.

All in all, I think this is a fun, quick read. It does feel a little dated, but it's captivating enough that I read it pretty much in one go.

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