Book Review: Never Look Back

27 Jan

Forgiveness is one thing, but who really forgets?

Ivy Griffith has been released from jail after serving time for covering up the strangulation death of a high school classmate ten years earlier. She’s paid her debt to society. Kicked her drug habit. And asked God to give her a fresh start.

Problem is, everyone in her hometown of Jacob’s Ear, Colorado knows what she did. And her seven-year-old son, Montana, won’t stop probing about the father he has never met—the man Ivy was too stoned to even remember.

Plagued by her own shame and her little boy’s cries for male affirmation, Ivy is thrilled when Rue Kessler takes an interest in Montana and her. Maybe, just maybe, he’s the answer to prayer she’s been waiting for.

But Rue has a shadow hanging over his past and is suspected in a rash of bizarre, brutal beatings. He denies any involvement, and Ivy believes him—until she discovers he and Montana have kept a secret from her.

At a loss for what to believe or where to turn, Ivy’s on the verge of despair and wonders if even God has turned His back on her. Or is something bigger at play here being orchestrated outside of her control that’s about to bring down the curtain on everything including her past?


Suspense novelist Kathy Herman is very much at home in the Christian book industry, having worked five years on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and eleven years at Better Books Christian Center in Tyler, Texas, as product buyer/manager for the children’s department, and eventually as director of human resources.

She has conducted numerous educational seminars on children’s books at CBA Conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served a preliminary judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association , and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market.

Since her first novel, Tested by Fire, debuted in 2001 as a CBA national bestseller, she’s added sixteen more titles to her credit, including four bestsellers: All Things Hidden, The Real Enemy, The Last Word, and The Right Call.

Kathy’s husband Paul is her best friend and most ardent supporter and manages the LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas. They have three grown children, five almost-perfect grandchildren, a cat named Samantha–and an insatiable fascination with hummingbirds.  They enjoy world travel, deep sea fishing, and bird watching, sometimes incorporating all these hobbies into one big adventure.

My Impressions:

Never Look Back by Kathy Herman is the second book in her Phantom Hollow series.  Known for suspenseful writing and good characterization, Kathy serves up another satisfying read for those looking for a clean suspense novel.  Ivy Griffith has just been released from jail and is ready to prove to herself and others that she can handle life as a single mom despite her past drug abuse.  But are others ready for her to succeed?  Just how much are we to forgive and forget?   Rue Kessler is trying to make a fresh start after his stint in rehab for alcoholism.  But he is soon the target of an investigation because of his past.  Can anyone really make a fresh start?

It is clear from scripture that God forgives totally and wants us to do the same.   When we recite the Lord’s Prayer we are vowing to forgive others as God forgives us.  But what about forgetting?  Is that something that we are called to do?  Often the consequences of our sins are mistrust and doubt. People always wonder if we are going to mess up again or are even capable of making a good decision.

Never Look Back calls us to examine our views on God’s forgiveness and our own call to forgive others.  This book would make a great book club pick for this very reason.  It is sure to spur a lively discussion.


One Response to “Book Review: Never Look Back”

  1. Howard January 28, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    The book I’m most expecting in 2011 is by an author I crossed off my “Favorite author” list.

    He’s back on that list now.

    Who’s the author? Raymond Feist? What’s the book? A Kindgom Besieged.

    Hop on over to my website to read all about it –

    Howard A. Sherman, Implementor
    Get Inside a Story

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