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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Day He Never Came Home

Narrator: Erin Moon

Dreamscape Media

ISBN: 9781728298108

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press

Publication Date: 07/09/2024

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)

To protect her family, one mother's lie of omission leads to another in this twisty, suspenseful domestic thriller, perfect for fans of Laura Dave's The Last Thing He Told Me.

She thought she knew her husband. She was wrong.

Regan Peters knows her husband John wants to give her and their children a good life. The long hours he puts in as a financial advisor prove his dedication, and despite how mysterious he is about his past, that's been enough for her to get through the hard days. Until the FBI shows up at their door looking for John, and Regan learns that her husband has been running a Ponzi scheme, is mixed up with dangerous criminals, and has been living under an assumed identity all these years. Everything she thought she knew about her husband has been a lie.

That includes the outrageous birthday present John gifted her the day before he disappeared—a lake house, bought with cash, and put in her name only. With her life falling apart, Regan must make a split-second decision: does she tell the FBI about the house? Or does she buy some time to forge her own path to saving herself? But one compromise inevitably leads to another, and one dangerous secret builds on the next.

When her lies of omission to the FBI agents begin to raise questions, Regan becomes inextricably embroiled in John's crimes, the true extent of which are just beginning to be revealed. Now that her comfortable life is clearly over, Regan is learning she is capable of far more than she ever imagined. She will do anything to protect herself, her children, and their future. Anything.

My Review

Andrew DeYoung's dazzling debut, THE DAY HE NEVER CAME HOME, is a riveting domestic suspense about a husband and father's secret life that unravels. With its unexpected twists, this story will keep you turning the pages into the wee hours of the morning, eager to uncover the next revelation.


Regan Peters is married to John, and they have two children, Etta and Philip. John is a financial advisor who works long hours to provide for his family.

The day before John went missing, he bought Regan a lake house as a surprise for her birthday. He even put it in her name. She could go to it when she needed to escape, and he would keep the kids for a relaxing getaway.

He was a good man, all things considered. Not perfect, but they had been through their share of storms —the early money troubles, the issues with her family, the strain of caring for the kids, but they had weathered them all. Somehow they found their way together to a safe harbor. Or so Regan thought.

However, the tranquility of their life is shattered when the FBI shows up at their home, informing Regan that her husband had been running a Ponzi scheme—a fraud where money from one investor is used to pay off other investors and the person perpetrating the scam also steals money for themselves. (Bernie Madoff)

The scheme falls apart when there is not enough new money coming in, and when that happens, the fraudster often disappears with the cash.

Several of John's clients had accused him of refusing to return their money when they attempted to withdraw from their funds. FBI Agent Armstrong and Agent Torres are on the case and have reason to believe John stole his client's money. Do they think Regan knew about it?

Now, the joint assets will be subject to possible forfeiture and seizure.

How could John do this? Does she really know her husband? What about all the people he had stolen money from? What about her family? These questions haunt Reagan, plunging her into a world of uncertainty and fear.

John is now missing, and their regular home is being searched. Is he dead? They have yet to learn about the lake house, but they will soon.

However, there is a threat from some bigger criminals connected with John and his secretary and the FBI is after him. Reagan is willing to cooperate in any way she can. Everything she thought she knew about her husband was a lie.

She was an interior designer and then stayed home to care for the kids since he was doing well. However, now it appears all their assets will be frozen, and she will need to start her own interior design business again.

Regan is also hiding some secrets. John left a bag of money, so she assumed he meant it for her to take care of herself and the kids. She is undecided about it for now.

Reagan is sharp, intuitive, creative, and smart—not the typical dumb housewife. She may figure out a way out of this fiasco. She also learns more about her husband when she receives a video. There is a crime boss. Is John dead or alive?

My thoughts...

THE DAY HE NEVER CAME HOME is engrossing and clever, and the author grabs your attention from the first page to the last. This thriller reads differently than a debut—it is twisty, sophisticated, and well-written with great characterization. I loved and read it in one sitting; I could not put it down.

A riveting tale and thrill ride about marriage, trust, greed, corruption, and secrets. A twisted original exploration of loyalty, family, and how far we'll go to protect the ones we love. A fast-paced and intense thriller, cleverly broken into three parts, each with its unique point of view: Regan, John, and a combination of both narratives.

I loved Reagan's POV and enjoyed her character. She is fearless and resilient; her story is not the typical Bernie Madoff narrative or clueless wife. Of course not as innocent as she pretended to be and quite clever.

The author's unexpected twists keep you on the edge of your seat, and Reagan's resilience, courage, creative thinking, and determination give this a nice twist in the face of adversity.

Regan and John are well-developed characters who cross moral lines, adding depth and complexity to the novel. John's troubled and insecure past, desperate to escape his life (like Jay Gatsby) and driven by his desperate need for money, prestige, wealth, respect, and security, even if it means resorting to illegal means. His childhood was heartbreaking. This moral ambiguity makes some stop at nothing to bury the truth. Can you ever escape your past?

Readers will enjoy learning how the two met, their relationship, and how they got to where they are in the present. Regan learns she is far more capable than she imagined and will do anything to protect herself, her children, and their future.

Andrew DeYoung's skill in crafting a compelling, thought-provoking, twisty domestic suspense of moral corruption and betrayal is evident in THE DAY HE NEVER CAME HOME. His ability to keep the reader on the edge of their seat is commendable, making this book highly recommended. I look forward to seeing what comes next.


For fans of Hank Phillippi Ryan, Carter Wilson, Mary Kubica, Christina McDonald, Kimberly Belle, Laura Dave, and Harlan Coben.

Thanks to Poisoned Pen Press/Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for a digital advanced reading copy for an honest opinion. #CoverLove

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: July 9, 2024

My Rating: 5 Stars


“Wonderfully compelling and wildly intelligent…a powerful, cautionary thriller!” —William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author

"A wonderfully compelling and wildly intelligent exploration of moral corruption. The fateful story of John and Regan Peters is a powerful, cautionary thriller, a reminder that the road to hell is, indeed, a slippery slope. And DeYoung does a fine job of mapping the way."

― William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author

"Surprising and smart and wonderfully original, this page-turner of a thriller is completely entertaining."

― Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today bestselling author of One Wrong Word

"Brimming with suspense and secrets, this top-notch thriller asks vital questions about identity, marriage, and the stories we tell ourselves. Perfect for mystery-loving book clubs!"

― Mindy Mejia, USA Today bestselling author of To Catch a Storm and Everything You Want Me To Be

"DeYoung writes with a smart, calculated urgency that makes the pages fly by. The perfect summer thriller to keep readers on the edge of their seat."

― Nicole Baart, bestselling author of Everything We Didn’t Say

"The real deal. Andrew DeYoung sets up his characters with a tactiful grit that skillfully mirrors real life even as situations careen out of control."

― Tim Lane, author of The Neighbors We Want

About the Author

Andrew DeYoung is the author of The Temps, a speculative novel about the end of the world. He works as an editor at a childrens book publishing company, and he lives with his wife and two children in the Twin Cities area in Minnesota. The Day He Never Came Home is his first domestic thriller.







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