Review: Back to You by Chris Scully

Note: This ARC was provided by Riptide Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

One of my author discoveries in 2016 was Chris Scully, whose Until September happily tickled my fiction-loving fancy. My second read from the author surpassed expectations, courtesy of the strong mystery suspense factor that prevailed over the story. This was a tale of discovery for journalist Alexander Buchanan, both of self and the family that he had pegged for years only to find out that what he once believed was true may have been filtered and skewed with his own preconceived notions. It's also a story of friendship, forgiveness, and knowing when to hold on and when to let go, all set with a twenty-year-old mystery that could further wreck two estranged families.

After his mother took him and his older sister upon separating from Alex's father from their hometown at thirteen, Alex Colville finds himself returning two decades later to say some semblance of goodbye to the father he had grown resentful towards, leading to an estranged relationship. Now known as Alex Buchanan, Alex may have moved on with his life, but there are a few things that now have him wondering what would have happened had he handled things differently, foremost being his friendship with his childhood best friend, Benji Morning. But the Ben who shared his most meaningful memories--especially one particular kiss--has changed in the years they were apart. Even if they make headway on rekindling their friendship--and possibly even more--could any inroads made be tossed to the wayside if the mystery of Ben's missing sister was connected to Alex in a way he never imagined?

What can I say about this standalone? The story was tight from beginning to end, with a main character who may have achieved success and may have seemed put-together on the outside but still remained the thirteen-year-old boy whose feelings for his best friend left him confused and whose feelings of love and hate for his father had him wanting distance while craving fatherly pride. Alex was flawed and at times, frustrating, but in his search to find answers as to what really happened to Ben's sister, he finds unexpected resolution to his own relationship to certain members of his family as well as the relationship he has with Ben, one that remained paused for two decades. The mystery had me guessing and Chris Scully has me wanting more from her. Five stars for Back to You. ♥

Date Read: 12 June 2017

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