I’ve always been an obsessive person, meaning that I tend to keep thinking about the same things over and over again, especially if it’s something bad. This also means that books I’m interested in tend to stick in my head, and I tend to keep thinking about whether I should buy, borrow or request them.
When I saw No Exit by Taylor Adams on a library’s website, it instantly got caught up in my mind. As soon as I saw the cover, I Googled its premise and instantly knew I needed to read that book. I’m glad that I did, too, because it quickly became one of my favourite reads of ‘all-time.’ That book enraptured me, and was so memorable that it’s been one of my most recommended novels ever since. Hell, I even came close to buying a brand new copy, before I noticed that someone was giving away a used copy on Kijiji. One that remains in practically brand new condition. That said, I wouldn’t mind picking up a hardcover sometime.
Taylor Adams is back now, with a brand new story called Hairpin Bridge. While some seem to think it’s his second published novel, the truth is that it’s at least his fourth. I’ve yet to read the first two, but I did buy them when they were deals of the day last spring.
Hairpin Bridge is another close quarters thriller from an author who’s great at writing them. It centres upon a young woman named Lena Nguyen, who’s travelled from Seattle to middle of nowhere Montana in order to find out what happened to her twin sister, Cambry. You see, the Nguyen family received devastating news three months prior, regarding the ‘fact’ that Cambry had died by suicide near a remote bridge.
Unsatisfied with the report, Lena heads out to discover exactly what happened to her nomadic twin sister, whom she was never very close with. To do this, she contacts Corporal Ray Reycevic, who not only discovered Cambry’s body but also pulled her over an hour before she perished. They agree to meet at a roadside diner, before making the drive to Hairpin Bridge, which has been blocked off and mostly unused for numerous years.
The result is a story filled with questions and danger, which jumps between Lena (in the present) and Cambry (months prior). The only confusing thing is that Lena says she’s going to write a book about her sister’s last day, and it soon becomes apparent that she’s the one who’s written Cambry’s passages despite not being there. She’s done so based on the officer’s answers, though. This is the only thing about this novel that I didn’t like, because I wish Mr. Adams had given us a Cambry narrated timeline as opposed to two told by Lena, albeit through different viewpoints.
Cambry’s passages are all about that night, and span the course of about an hour. She first sees something fishy, then finds herself being chased through the Montana backroads, before being pulled over by the cop in question. Meanwhile, Lena’s portions almost exclusively take place on Hairpin Bridge, apart from some memory and dream sequences.
It honestly took me a bit of time to really get into Hairpin Bridge by Taylor Adams, but once I did it was very hard to put down. Once the story gets good, it’s tough to stop reading, which is typical of Adams’ books (based on my experience with them, at least). This is another hit and a second quality read from this talented author, though I will always prefer No Exit. It was simply that good.
Something I really appreciated was the depth that Taylor Adams gave his characters. I truly felt as if I knew Lena and Cambry, and started to care about them. This is a sign of good writing, which this new release is full of.
If you’re looking for a very good summer read, look no further than Hairpin Bridge by Taylor Adams. It was well worth the wait!
This review is based on a copy of the book that we were provided with digitally. Thank you to NetGalley and its publisher (William Morrow) for sending it out to us.