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Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Unconventional story for those liking something a little different in their reading matter. (Review by Keith Millar)

Never Let Go by Gareth Crocker is a difficult book to categorise. It starts off as a crime thriller, complete with a kidnap and murder, it then moves on to be a paranormal drama, and finally ends up in the realms of science fiction.

Along the way, there is a story of an unwavering friendship, a underworld mystery with shadowy characters and amazing electronic technology, and even a budding romance. But dominating it at all, and tying everything else together, is the account of a father’s overwhelming and all-encompassing love of his daughter.

Never Let Go tells the story of Reece Cole who is a famous American author. He is also the single father of a five year-old daughter named Ruby. They have a very special bond and are completely devoted to each other.

So when Ruby is kidnapped, and then murdered, his whole reason for existing is lost and he sinks into a state of suicidal despair. In his desperation he first turns to a psychic for help. Then, while planning his suicide, a stranger arrives at his gate and leaves a small grey envelope which contains a white card inscribed with the fateful words, I can bring your daughter back.

This leads to a rollercoaster journey of intrigue, mystery and hope as Reece embarks on a quest to make the words on the card come true. It is chilling tale which will resonate with any parent who has feared losing a young child.

Gareth Crocker is a South African author who lives in Johannesburg with his wife and two daughters. This is his third novel, having previously published Finding Jack and Journey From Darkness, both of which were stories about animals.

Never Let Go is a departure from that theme and is an action-packed, human story which moves at a cracking pace. Crocker style is to employ simple sentences, short paragraphs and believable dialogue which makes the book easy to read and difficult to put down.

My only concern is that there seemed to be several angles and sub plots in the story which were never fully explored. However, this may mean that there is a sequel in the offing which would not be a bad idea at all as the overall concept could be further investigated. This book offers an unconventional story which should be enjoyed by all those who like something a little different in their reading matter.

Never Let Go is published by the Penguin Group. The ISBN number is 978-0-14-353085-4 and the suggested retail price is R165. – Keith Millar