It Never Happened

A Thriller

Fiction - Thriller - Psychological
293 Pages
Reviewed on 05/16/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

HP is a 21-year-old who has been writing stories and taking photos since before losing all their baby teeth. They graduated with degrees in professional writing and economics from the University of Oklahoma. Pike was born in Chicago, IL, and grew up in Houston, TX. "It Never Happened" is their debut novel.

    Book Review

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.

Risah Salazar

After years of being abused by her uncle every time they go for a ride, Campbell's plight ends in a car crash. She wakes up in a hospital bed badly injured, and her uncle is in a coma. Despite this, Cammy is sure that someone connected to her uncle is still out to get her. In her current condition, she misses one of the most important performances as a Houston City School of the Arts student. She and her best friend, McKinley, have had this dream of being part of the Portland Dance Company (PDC) ever since they were kids. Asher, McKinley's boyfriend, also dreams of being in the PDC so they wouldn't be apart. Cammy knows deep inside that because of her talent, McKinley can get in any world-class dance group her heart desires, not just in PDC. But she can't say the same for Asher. After the performance, McKinley and Asher immediately get an offer from PDC. Both of them are ecstatic but Campbell tells her best friend to think about it first. All goes well until McKinley mysteriously disappears.

H. Pike's It Never Happened is a fast-paced and action-packed mystery. With a unique plot and a nail-biting turn of events, this book is definitely unputdownable. The story is complex; the characters' motivations are deep and clear. The foreshadowing is done well in the first few chapters. In the latter part of the book, however, things get a bit predictable and rushed. The falling action is cut short and the resolution is squeezed into just a few sentences. In spite of these shortcomings, this heart-warming and empowering read is still worth recommending to readers looking for a short but thrilling read.

Tiffany Ferrell

When Campbell wakes up in a hospital bed, attached to machines, she isn’t sure what happened that evening. All she remembers is getting into a car for a drive with her perverse Uncle Arthur. She finds out the car was flipped and she received serious back injuries that will put her ballet career on hold. Meanwhile, her uncle is in a coma. Against hospital advice, she checks herself out to get as far away from that horrendous man as possible. Unable to dance at the end of year performance that would have landed her a place at a prominent dance company in Portland, Campbell is supportive of her best friend Mckinley and her dancer boyfriend Asher. As she tries to figure out what happened the night of the crash, her worries become a reality when strange occurrences begin happening.

I found It Never Happened by H. Pike to be a very interesting and new type of thriller mystery that is quite unique. We can tell what sort of man Campbell’s uncle is without needing to go into detail. Campbell herself is a very well-thought-out and detailed character. The plot is well written and straightforward, making it easy to continue reading and keeping the reader's focus. I’ll admit the ending really shocked me and was a real plot twist. I enjoyed that because you go through the book thinking you know how it’s going to play out and then you ended up getting your mind blown, for lack of better words. Overall, this was a fun read that I would definitely recommend to others.