The most recent Advanced Reader Copy, which was received through a First Reads Goodreads giveaway, that this pedometer geek reader had the pleasure of reading, was David Bell’s Bring Her Home. This is the second of his novels that this reader has read, but it won’t be the last. In fact, there are a couple more sitting on my shelves just waiting to be read, but I digress. This is the extended review.
Bring Her Home
by David Bell
Published by Berkley, 2017
an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC
As the cover blurb of this thriller states, “the fate of two missing teenage girls becomes a father’s worst nightmare.”
For single parent Bill Price, his missing daughter Summer is his worst nightmare. Not only has his wife died in a tragic fall in his kitchen a year or so earlier, but her death was first witnessed by said daughtert,the one who discovered her body. With this tragedy in both of their pasts, Summer and Bill have had a somewhat strained relationship ever since. Bill wants to hang on even more tightly to protect her; she is acting out in typical teenage rebellion fashion with friends, Haley, Todd, and Clinton.
That is, until the day Summer and Haley go missing.
As the novel opens, two girls have been found in a nearby city park…both badly beaten beyond recognition. One girl is dead (Haley) and one is clinging to life (Summer), and Bill is at Summer’s side as slips in and out of a coma. Will she remember her attackers? Will she be able to let the police, Detective Hawkins, and her dad know what happened?
Disturbing allegations and questions about the teens emerge as one family buries their daughter, and another wants answers especially when the circumstances change.
What seems like an open and shut situation suddenly morphs into a twist-filled read. Bill sets out on his own to find out what happened, and his loosely controlled anger over events sets him on a collision course with the police, Summer’s friends and classmates, parents and neighbors, and his sister Paige. Searching for the truth may cost him everything…and leads this reader to wonder how much we really know about our own children (and what secrets they may be keeping).
The title comes from the plea written on a sign posted at the makeshift memorial in the park where the girls are found, yet isn’t that what every parent says when a child disappears, “Just bring her home.”
The review is purposely vague in order to avoid spoilers; however, suffice it to say, that the main character of Bill Price is a flawed human being, often acting out as a distraught parent might. His decisions, good or bad, are understandable by anyone in a similar situation.