Never Alone by C J Carpenter (Megan McGinn #1)

Never Alone is the first book in the Megan McGinn crime mystery series by C.J. Carpenter. When browsing Netgalley for something new to read, I came across this book and I liked the blurb, so I requested it. It took me about a month to get to it, but finally I’ve read it and here is my review.

Megan McGinn is an Irish catholic police detective with the NYPD. She comes from a family of police officers, her father having been one in his time as well. Megan has just solved a major crime, putting behind bars a very dangerous serial killer (I’d love to read a book about that particular case), so now she is quite famous nationwide.

Having just lost her dad, and with her mom ready to be institutionalized due to Alzheimer’s, Megan is ready to turn in her badge, and retire from the police force. However her partner, Sam Nappa (half Italian, half Hungarian with awfully good looks attributed to him) knows just how to lure her back into action: with a new case that Megan simply can’t say no to.

Especially when it looks like the crime is the work of a serial killer and the undertone seems to be religious – Irish catholic nonetheless.

The actual crime story is suspenseful and fast pacing, something that I really enjoyed, as I love turning the pages to see what comes next. The crimes are horrific and honestly I don’t think I’ve ever read anywhere about this type of MO before. I shuddered just to think about it. Definitely not scenes for the faint of heart.

My only gripe about story line in the book is the hurried ending. I would have never thought that the killer would end up being the one who was, as there was truly nothing leading up to that conclusion. I actually had to read the last few pages twice to see whether I missed a clue somewhere along the way. The second time it was just as puzzling as the first.

The writing is quite well done, although if you don’t like swearing in books, this might put you off a bit. Megan is definitely not a saint with her words. She drinks, swears, brings one night stands to her home, only to discard them like thrash the next day…

The hunt for the serial killer was alternating with Megan caring for her mom who was by now admitted to a nursing home, since neither Megan, nor her wealthy brother could care 24/7 for her. Megan is guilt ridden, along with feeling the intense pain stemming from her father’s loss, with whom she used to be really close.

I did enjoy reading about her spontaneous and less than perfect character, and had fun seeing the choices she made throughout the book.

For the romance part, Nappa definitely piqued my interest, and there is a clear attraction between Megan and him, but somehow this book never really developed this relationship in the way I expected. At some point Megan’s abrupt way towards Nappa actually put me off a bit. I’m hoping that I can read more about the two of them in the next book in the series, and hopefully Megan will be a bit ‘tamer’ towards him, as Nappa does more his share of being a good partner – and so much more – to Megan.

Overall a great whodunit crime novel with lots of action, great characters that can easily be developed in the next book, and a fun writing style that I enjoyed following.

To read more about Never Alone or get the book, head over to Amazon. The book is available from June 1, but it can be already preordered.


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  1. Caught my attention with this review! I agree, this sounds like a great read and something I must dive in to! If you like crime type books, you should look at “Hypocrisy” by D.M. Annechino, there’s more info on his website. I just finished it and thought it was fantastic. Technically it’s classified as a medical thriller, but it has the murder and crime aspect to it and it was an awesome page turner. My girlfriend recommended it to me and I thought I’d pass the recommendation along! Thanks for this review, adding it to my summer reading list!

    1. Thanks Jackie for the recommendation, I’ll add it to the ‘check out’ books for TBR.

  2. This sounds like a book I have to read and I love that it’s the first so I’m not missing out on anything. Adding this to my Kindle list.

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