No Turning Back is the third instalment of best-selling author Sam Blake’s ‘Cat Connolly’ series. Haven’t read the others? Don’t let that deter you. A seamless overview of important events is provided in the form of memory flashbacks, along with quick introductions to recurring characters, making it possible for this novel to stand alone.
Tragedy strikes an Irish town when two university students meet an untimely end on the same fateful night. The case begins when Tom Quinn is found lifeless on the side of the road as a result of a hit and run. Shortly after, the body of his classmate Lauren O’Reilly is discovered at the bottom of a rocky cliff in an apparent suicide, not far from Tom’s house. It’s up to Cathy and her team to solve the case with the added pressure of Tom having a seemingly perfect high-profile family.
The main storyline is balanced well with the character development of protagonist Cat focusing on her will-they-won’t-they relationship with boss Dawson O’Rourke, and teamed with her ambition to move up within the police force. I found Cat to be well written and relatable. Even though she excels in her field, she still has a lot of self-doubt.
Each chapter brings with it a new development in the case, keeping the pace moving well. The heart racing conclusion was a satisfying end to the book. I particularly enjoyed the chapters which showed a chilling insight into the mind of a mysterious and twisted individual. This left me paranoid enough to cover up the web cams on my laptop and iPad. I’m even now suspicious of my phone camera!
It’s clear through Blake’s writing that she has done a lot of research into the police, terrorism and technology fields. This results in a very realistic series of events. I am not usually a reader of this genre for that very reason. It’s a sign of a good writer when I finish a crime novel feeling a sense of uneasiness over my safety – in this case, what can happen when technology falls into the wrong hands or is meticulously weaved by someone with an extremely unhealthy need to control.
This book is perfect for those who enjoy realistic mysteries.
Reviewed by Jessica Incoll
Rating out of 10: 8
Distributed by: Allen & Unwin
Released: July 2018