Title: In Place of Never
Author: Julie Anne Lindsey
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play
Summary: Can the truth set her free?…
A part of Mercy died the summer her sister tragically drowned. Now Mercy has a chance to discover if Faith’s death was an accident—or murder. Her first step is to confront the lead suspects: a band of traveling gypsies—the last people who saw her sister alive. But Mercy finds an unexpected ally in Cross, the soulful musician in their ranks. He’s a kindred spirit, someone who sees into her heart for the first time in, well, forever. Yet stirring up the past puts Mercy in danger…
Suddenly someone is shadowing Mercy’s every move, making her even more determined to uncover the facts. With Cross by her side, she is ready to face it all, even if that means opening up to him, knowing he may one day leave her. What she discovers is a truth that rocks the foundation of her small river town—and a love worth risking everything for….
First off, I should mention that there are a couple of trigger warnings; the story deals with self-harm, abuse, suicide, and depression. It’s not for the light-hearted, and it’s not something I’m usually the first in line to read, but to say this book surprised me is a bit of an understatement. I mean that in a good way.
I have to admit that it took me a while to get into the book. About a quarter into it, I wanted to drop it and move on to the next, but something about the tone and the way Lindsey writes compelled me to keep moving forward. The story is very much set up as a mystery, taking place after the death of Mercy’s older sister. A few years have passed but the impact still exists in their household. The need to know what happened to Mercy’s sister and the progression of the events after kept me interested ’til the very end.
There are several other themes in this book including religion, music, and culture. I’m not one to usually lean towards books dealing with religion, just because I’ve seen it go totally wrong and get really preachy and/or discriminatory. Now, In Place of Never also deals with Roma and their culture. Mix the two, and again — could go totally wrong. But Lindsey did a good job in keeping the content appropriate.
A lot goes on in the book, but what I enjoyed most about this book was Mercy’s personal growth. In the beginning, Mercy shut herself out from the world, including her family. It’s not until she meets the travelling sideshow made up of the Lovell family — and a boy named Cross — that she starts coming out of her self-contained shell and demands answers and closure from Faith’s death. A huge part of this growth came from her interactions with other characters: her younger sister, her father, Cross, and the rest of the Lovell family. It was also interesting to get to know the other characters, because every single one of them is so different from each other, but they were all tied together by one life-changing event.
In Place of Never gives readers a glimpse of the effects of a tragedy in a small community where it’s easier to make assumptions than it is to find the truth. All in all, the story is about healing and forgiveness, wrapped up in a pretty engrossing tale full of mystery, justice, and a healthy dose of romance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Mother of three, wife to a sane person and Ring Master at the Lindsey Circus, most days you’ll find her online, amped up on caffeine and wielding a book. Julie started writing to make people smile. Someday she plans to change the world.
Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW), Sisters in Crime (SinC) and the Canton Writer’s Guild.