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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

#ATBR2019 Review: Layover by David Bell @jessmapreviews

by David Bell

Publisher: Berkley Books
Publish Date: July 2, 2019
416 Pages
Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense

Joshua Fields takes the same flights every week for work, his life a series of departures and arrivals, hotels and airports. During yet another layover, he meets Morgan, a beautiful stranger with whom he feels an immediate connection. When it's time for their respective flights, Morgan kisses Joshua passionately, lamenting that they'll never see each other again.

As soon as Morgan disappears in the crowd, Joshua is shocked to see her face on a nearby TV. The reason: Morgan is a missing person.

What follows is a whirlwind, fast-paced journey filled with lies, deceit, and secrets as Joshua tries to discover why Morgan has vanished from her own life. Every time he thinks one mystery is solved, another rears its head--and his worst enemy might be his own assumptions about those around him.

My Review:

I'm a huge fan of David Bell.  Most of the books I've read of his has centered around daughters so
color me intrigued when I get something a little different with The Layover.  Joshua meets Morgan 
in the airport and their brief, but intriguing, conversation causes him to stop playing it safe in life
and start tracking her down.  Why is she so secretive? What is she hiding behind her hat and big 
glasses and why, even though she's a stranger, does she insist he'll never see her again?  You'll think
 Joshua is nuts and/or creepy for going after her but we wouldn't have this story without his
 impulsiveness, now would we? ;)

As usual, the short chapters and writing style of Bell keeps you turning the pages.  The first parts are
 extremely compelling and have me right inside Joshua's head while being introduced to Kimberly, a
 cop looking into the disappearance of a man and becomes involved.  The first little reveal of why 
Morgan is on the run was a bit underwhelming but I knew Bell had more in store for us readers and I
 was right.  Towards the middle to last third of the book, things took a little bit of a back seat and the
 intensity waned a bit.  And where did Kimberly go? Her storyline almost became nil and I needed 
more from this character.  It all comes together towards the end and I can appreciate where Bell took 
Joshua's character.  (I mean, how often do we sit where we're comfortable in life even if we're not 
exactly the happiest?)

I love the nod to Kings Island in the book since I used to go to this amusement park when I lived in 
Ohio! And cheers to Joshua's dad - the most understanding of all fathers EVER. While I do think 
certain parts of the book could've been a bit more fleshed out, I did enjoy this story, even though I 
thought Joshua was incredibly nuts to continually go after this stranger.  I like where Bell took
 Morgan, but I also wish I had more insight to her story as well.  It's not a bad thing to want to know 
more about these characters, right?  Looking forward to what Bell brings us next.


Jessica's Review:

I've read a couple other books by Bell and I've loved them both. His writing style and ability to 
weave a great thriller is what keeps me coming back! For those of you looking for a fast-paced
 thriller, you might end up a little disappointed with LAYOVER. It's good to know going into 
it that it's a little more along the lines of a slower burn suspense novel. That being said, the short 
chapters keep you flipping the pages and pulling you along.

We all have those little encounters with people throughout life. Ones where you have an interesting
 conversation with and then you go about your lives, well, that's a little different in the case of Joshua 
and Morgan. While at the airport, the two have a brief conversation that has Joshua immediately
 intrigued with the woman. So much so that he decides to follow her. Just a tad on the creepy side, 
right? Why is he so obsessed with this stranger? Why does he need to know more about her and why
 she was so mysterious? So many questions and Bell does a good job getting us into his head.

The beginning of the book had a good pacing to it but that started to slow down after the first half of 
the book. Which kind of took me out of it, but I liked how he tied together the story in the end. I
 didn't necessarily connect with the characters but I couldn't stop reading to see what would happen 
to them in the conclusion. Overall, if you're looking for something on the lighter side of the suspense
 genre, then this will be perfect for you. Those that frequent the thriller/crime fiction genre might
 find themselves a little bored. I will continue to pick up Bell's work and I have plenty of his previous 
releases to keep me busy until his next release!

3 stars

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