Title: Bring Her Home by David Bell
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 458 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
In the breathtaking new thriller from David Bell, bestselling author of Since She Went Away and Somebody I Used to Know, the fate of two missing teenage girls becomes a father’s worst nightmare….
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…
Bring Her Home by David Bell is a suspenseful mystery about a missing teenager.
Widower Bill Price’s fifteen year old daughter Summer and her best friend Haley Rodgers have been missing for two days when they are discovered in a local park. Summer is severely injured while sadly, Haley succumbed to her injuries. The police are at a loss as to what happened to the girls but Bill is convinced three of the girls’ classmates are somehow responsible after disturbing information comes to light about their activities. A shocking discovery then turns Bill’s world upside down and he immerses himself in the ongoing investigation.
Bill is still grieving the death of his wife, Julie, eighteen months after her death. His relationship with Summer is somewhat troubled and in order to preserve the peace, he takes a very hands off approach to parenting. After her disappearance, he beats himself up over his lack of involvement in life and for not asking more questions about her activities. Bill is prone to angry outbursts and he also has definite impulse control issues as he rushes headlong into rash decisions without thinking through the possible consequences for his actions. While his worry and concern for his daughter and his need to find the person or persons responsible for hurting her are understandable, Bill is not exactly a sympathetic character due to his over the top reactions and poor decisions.
The mystery surrounding what happened to Summer and Haley is quite intriguing but astute readers will most figure likely zero in on the correct suspect almost right away. It is also relatively easy to guess that another incident involving Bill’s family is not what it appears which raises suspicions that the two events might be connected. One of the earlier plot twists is not completely unexpected but there are few unforeseen surprises that will catch readers off guard. Bill is a loose cannon whose impatience with the police eventually becomes a little repetitious and somewhat annoying. A few of the scenes and some of the dialogue fall flat and parts of the storyline are rather formulaic.
Despite a few flaws and a somewhat slow paced first half, Bring Her Home is a compelling mystery. With a few well-paced red herrings and some interesting twists and turns, David Bell brings the novel to an exciting conclusion which neatly ties up all of the loose ends.