NEVER COME BACK (available from NAL/Penguin October 1st) tells the story of Elizabeth Hampton a twenty-five-year old graduate student whose mother is found dead in the opening chapter. The police suspect homicide almost right away due to the bruises on her mother’s body, but who would have a motive to murder a quiet, retired, sixty-nine-year old widow? Suspicion falls on members of the family, most notable Elizabeth’s older brother, Ronnie, an adult with Down Syndrome. Ronnie can’t fully account for his whereabouts on the night of the crime, and in the past he has had violent outbursts directed at his mother.
But is Ronnie really guilty? Or is he just a convenient target for the police? Elizabeth’s life gets more complicated when she reads her mother’s will and discovers that her mother’s small estate is being shared with a woman Elizabeth has never heard of before. And this woman’s name also happens to be Elizabeth.
Let’s be honest…when we’re kids, we’re pretty self-centered. We can’t imagine that our parents had lives before we were born. But do we really want to know everything about our parents? What if the things we find out about them are things that change our lives forever? Elizabeth Hampton faces this dilemma in NEVER COME BACK, a book that Kirkus Reviews called “an intriguing psychological thriller” and Publishers Weekly added that “Bell does a good job of exposing the steaminess underlying seemingly placid smalltown life…sensational.”