Book Review: Never Alone (A Megan McGinn Novel), C.J. Carpenter

Never Alone (A Megan McGinn Novel) C.J. Carpenter

Summary from Amazon.com

“NYPD detective Megan McGinn has just solved the most important case of her career, and yet she has reached her breaking point. Struggling under the weight of her broken family and the brutality of her job, Megan is ready to walk away from the force—until the bizarre, ritualistic murder of a young woman brings her back.

When the killer gets too close, stalking her from the shadows, Megan becomes trapped in a highstakes game of cat and mouse. To understand the mind of a murderer, Megan must walk a treacherous path. And the danger is only beginning.”

A good mystery novel, especially a murder mystery, is not one I will ever run from – this one is no exception!  The story jumps right in from the moment the book is opened, there’s one chapter, just one chapter of character introduction, setting the story, so to speak and then BAM right after her father’s funeral Meg McGinn is pulled into the scene of a murder that will turn her whole way of thinking about life, love, and her job on its head.  We work through the case with her, the scene is clean of every possible clue – no fingerprints, no DNA, no hair out of place, no nothing.  She and her team have very little to go on and yet they have to find out who murdered this young woman.  Just as she thinks she’s getting to the bottom of the case and is hot on the heels of the murderer BAM there’s another twist in the case.

I have not had the privilege of reading a “light” book in a while, recently I have had a lot of heavy reading memoirs to review and it was nice to switch genre’s and pick up on something that I have come to love while doing these reviews –  a murder mystery! This book is fast paced, compelling, and keeps the reader questioning the twists and turns within the pages of the novel.  We wonder what has happened, who committed this heinous crime, and how does it tie back to Meg McGinn and her family.  I cannot say enough about this wonderfully told story, I will say that it ranks right along the same lines as some of the others I’ve read lately, including the James Patterson Women’s Murder Club series, and Rachel Grant’s Body of Evidence. A good female detective brings the reader in; we latch onto her and her story and want nothing more than to see her succeed!  Meg McGinn is no different, she presents herself as a strong woman who truly does not need anyone, or anything, yet we know that deep down she’s cracking, and we begin to see her for who she truly is.  This book not only shares her story, but keeps the reader on their toes until the very end when a twist of major proportions is thrown your way!

Definitely one I am recommending to anyone who reads James Patterson and Rachel Grant, or anyone looking to dip their toes into the world of murder mysteries!

Five out of Five Stars for Never Alone

**I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
About the Author
C.J. Carpenter was born during a year and season made famous in a song by Bryan Adams. She grew up in Upstate New York, the same area where Mark Twain reportedly lived, though C.J. never met him. She hasn’t met Bryan Adams either. But there’s still time.
C.J. was raised by her mother, and shared a house (and unwillingly, all of her belongings) with her three older sisters.
She attended Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY where she studied communications/public relations. For her final thesis in public speaking, she constructed a beer funnel and demonstrated it for the class. C.J. received her first good review: an A-!
In the early 90’s the bottom fell out of the beer funnel making market so C.J. moved to London and later Oslo, Norway where she worked in public relations for a shipping firm.
She eventually returned to the States and settled in Manhattan working in the high-stress/high-reward world of advertising. Being the multi-tasker that she is, C.J. used this time to complete her design degree at New York’s revered School of Interior Design. Ultimately, the rewarding world of advertising wasn’t enough for C.J. She made the transition to the even more rewarding world of television production. She craved the long hours, the low pay and the additional bonus of developing insomnia. This, unbeknownst to C.J., was part of a larger plan. The bouts of insomnia gave her the opportunity to continue her first love; writing. She began writing short stories, long stories that became short, short stories that became long. One day after a morning commercial shoot C.J. walked the talent of the commercial (ten golden retriever puppies) around midtown Manhattan. Now, when she looks back on it C.J.’s not sure which life changing moment propelled her to follow her dream; the realization ten dogs were getting paid better than her or the fact she’d run out of pooper-scooper plastic bags. Probably a little bit of both.
C.J. immediately began attending writing workshops, evening classes, weekend classes on developing her writing. She bought every book she could find on writing (her favorite was Stephen King’s, A Memoir of the Craft On Writing, if you’re interested) Reading work by John Steinbeck, Larry McMurtry, Graham Greene, Michael Connelly, Jan Burke were all major inspirations for C.J. to complete her first novel and fuel her passion for the craft of writing.
Currently, C.J. spends her free time working with the NorthEastern NY Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation—a cause very close to her heart. C.J. divides her time between Manhattan and New Jersey, always with her faithful, Jack Russell Terrier (and proof reader) Mackie. She enjoys listening to music from U2, Keane, Annie Lenox, Coldplay, Van Morrison, The Killers, Dinah Washington –and she is not afraid to admit it….Neil Diamond.
 
CJ is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.
 
Connect with CJ Carpenter via her Website/Blog, Here and her Facebook Page here
 
Obtain Your Copy of Never Alone via Amazon.com
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