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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
It Never Happened by H. Pike is an admirable debut novel. To venture into writing a credible psychological thriller can be a challenge even for seasoned authors, but H. Pike has pulled it off. The author has created an engaging protagonist in Campbell Richards, whose past provides a credible basis for a young woman struggling to overcome her nightmare-filled fear of her Uncle Arthur. Young female readers who have experienced mental and possibly sexual abuse will easily relate to Campbell as she tries to move on with her dreams of dancing on the big stage.
Her best friend and room-mate, McKinley, shares her dream but Campbell’s hopes come to an abrupt halt when that evil Uncle Arthur loses control of his car and lands both Campbell and himself in the hospital. While her uncle is in a coma, Campbell races to get away from the hospital and him, completely believing that when he recovers, he will come after her. If she can just get away from him, perhaps to Europe, she will be safe. But on the eve of flying out, McKinley disappears. Campbell puts all thoughts of her own safety and plans on hold while she tries to find her friend with the help of McKinley’s boyfriend, Asher. What Campbell and readers learn by the end of the story is that most predators don’t come with warning lights. I won’t tell you more for fear of spoiling your enjoyment of It Never Happened, but you will find yourself turning pages quickly to see how well H. Pike tosses in red herrings and pulls this plot together.
One of the best parts of this novel, for me, was the scene in which Campbell chatted with her self-absorbed mother who was having a wonderful time in Paris while Campbell was laid up with back injuries. This conversation and the way in which it revealed character was brilliantly done, making H. Pike’s ease with dialogue one of the author's strongest writing skills. The audience for It Never Happened would most likely be teens or younger adults who will readily relate to the plans, dreams, fears, and activities of the two girls and Asher, and who won’t have the patience for an intricately complicated plot. A promising start to a new author’s writing career.