Only Ever You by Rebecca Drake

Reviewed by Richard Goldman
Hardcover March 2016

Buy it at Mystery Lovers Bookshop

It’s a delight to see Pittsburgh author Rebecca Drake back with a new book after an absence of nearly eight years. She’s obviously put the time to good use in crafting an excellent novel of suspense filled with plot twists, memorable characters and a slam-bang finish.

David and Jill Lassiter are typical suburban couple living in the Pittsburgh suburb of Fox Chapel with their three year old daughter Sophia. David is an ambitious attorney with a large downtown firm and Jill has a small photo studio.

But beneath the surface, things are not entirely as they seem. Jill and David lost a son to SIDS, a tragedy that David seems to have moved on from but which haunts Jill in her grief. As a result she has been making bereavement albums for parents who have lost children; an activity that David thinks just prolongs her grief.

Against this fraught background we begin a parallel narrative that follows the activities of an older woman named Bea who is planning a kidnapping. A kidnapping which we soon realize is aimed at the Lassiter’s daughter. Interspersed entries from a journal begin to provide other clues as the strands of the plot begin to converge.

Soon enough Sophia is abducted and a frantic search ensues. After several weeks the police begin to turn their attention to the Lassiter’s and come to believe that one or the other of them, each for their own reason, murdered Sophia.

I’ll not continue with the plot to let you enjoy it on your own.

A compelling read with some terrific suspense that also combines revealing insightful about the dynamics of a marriage strained to the breaking point and beyond. The development of Jill as a character is especially well done as we see her move from passivity to action as she grabs hold of her destiny and her future.