Book Review: Don’t Look Back
Reviewed by Chika Anene
A crime-mystery perfect for thrill-seekers and fans of the hit TV-show CSI
After losing his girlfriend Jamie to a horrible car accident, Mackenzie Sampson, a top investigator with Boston Homicide, turns to drinking and Xanax to numb the pain of his loss. However, his excessive drinking causes him to turn up to his job drunk most of the time. It’s only a matter of time before he is let go and becomes a failure to both his family and friends.
Unemployed and struggling to make ends meet, Mack teams up with two other friends to start his own private investigation firm, Mackenzie Investigations. However, finding work isn’t an easy feat—especially when there’s competition.
When Mack is approached by a new client, John Whiting, who is mistrusting of the police and who is willing to pay Mack and his team handsomely—$100,000 to be exact—to find out who murdered his friend Bill Stewart, Mack wants to do everything in his power to see to that the mission is completed.
As the plot thickens and Mack starts drawing closer to getting to the bottom of this mysterious murder that has been so expertly carried out, he finds himself, his team, and the people he cares about the most in grave danger.
Winn’s novel excels in displaying the grief of the main character and how it bleeds into his work life. While Mack struggles with making ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic, he also develops unhealthy addictions to cope with the pain he suffers from losing his girlfriend, something bound to hit quite close to home for a lot of readers.
As the story unfolds, the reader is not only given a glimpse into the main character’s background, but they are also introduced to strong side characters like Emilio, known as M to his partners, Paulina, their big-shot client John Whiting, and his murdered friend’s wife Maggie.
The relationship that Mack and his partners M and Pauline have can be likened to that of a close-knit family. Not only do they work together, but they also spend time with one another outside of work. Mack is quite confident about their skills even when they are questioned by their client.
At some point, while being in the middle of uncovering the mystery of Bill Stewart’s murder, M grows more suspicious of the victim’s wife, Maggie, which leads him in an unexpected direction. Despite this, Mack trusts that his partner knows exactly what he is doing.
Don’t Look Back is not for the faint of heart. Certain descriptions, like the intricate details in the murder case at the beginning, may be triggering to some people. However, it does promise to be a joyous ride for anyone who enjoys crime and murder mysteries. For me, it was an absolute thrill to read.
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense / Detective
Print Length: 304 pages
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