Like it Never Happened: A Novel (Hardcover)

Like it Never Happened: A Novel By Jeff Hoffmann Cover Image
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Decades ago, four friends concealed a deadly secret–but not all lies stay buried in this psychological suspense for fans of Ashley Winstead and Alison Gaylin.

Thirty years ago, Tommy, Malcolm, Henry, and Kevin were best friends graduating high school, brothers almost, until the night they did something terrible. The decision to keep hidden what they did in that parking lot shattered their friendship and warped their lives. But when Kevin, struggling with a heroin addiction, drives his motorcycle into the side of a truck, the other three find themselves together again—at Kevin’s funeral.

When they meet Kevin’s wife Naomi at the wake, they can tell that she knows everything, and when they learn that she’s a reporter, they’re terrified. When she sends them to visit one of their victims from that night—at the nursing home where he’s been suffering for decades—they do as they’re told, even though they know it won’t stop there.

After watching her husband pay a steep price for keeping the friends’ secret, Naomi has crafted a plan to make Tommy, Malcolm, and Henry pay their fair share. When the three men decide to fight back, they’re forced to decide just how far they’ll go this time.

About the Author

Jeff Hoffmann's debut novel was Other People’s Children, and his writing has been published in The Sun, Booth, Harpur Palate, and Publishers Weekly. He was the winner of the Madison Review’s Chris O’Malley Prize in Fiction and a finalist for the Missouri Review’s Jeffrey E. Smith Editor’s Prize. He is a passionate proponent of the Oxford comma, a mediocre men’s league hockey player, and a fair-weather fan of the Chicago Blackhawks. He was born and raised in St. Louis and now lives in Elmhurst, Illinois, with his wife and two children.

Praise For…

Praise for Like It Never Happened:
“A compelling and deftly crafted novel . . . Like It Never Happened reveals author Jeff Hoffmann's extraordinary flair for originality, the vivid creation of characters, the construction of unexpected plots twists and turns, and the kind of narrative driven storytelling style that makes for a great read from start to finish.”
Midwest Book Review

“A surprisingly heartfelt novel.”

“A tense psychological thriller that clearly defines the characters, what happened and where they all stand today . . . starts out strong and keeps going.”
Red Carpet Crash

“[Hoffmann's] portraits of Tommy, Henry, and Malcolm are brilliantly drawn, each becoming a fully realized character as the book progresses, and the plot and its conclusion are masterful.”
Marilyn's Mystery Reads

Like It Never Happened is a thoroughly gripping, deeply disturbing, yet incredibly insightful novel about innocence lost and the consequences of violence. Brilliant, fast-paced, and very powerful!”
—Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Cave 13 and The Sleepers War

Like It Never Happened is an engrossing and insightful tale that delves deep into the endless ripples of trauma, lies, and ruined hearts left in the wake of even one moment of violence.”
—Victoria Helen Stone, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Jane Doe

“Hoffman is a master at replicating the minutia of domestic life and how small betrayals can build and cause destruction over time . . . A wonderfully compelling read!”
—Garnet Kilberg-Cohen, author of Cravings

“Jeff Hoffmann’s novel Like It Never Happened teems with interesting characters who quickly pull you into their troubled lives. Steadily building tension keeps the pages turning, and I found myself rooting for these characters and hoping for a positive resolution to their heart-breaking situations. Hoffmann’s novel is well-written and absorbing and will keep you riveted to the end.”
—Terri Parlato, author of What Waits in the Woods

“A gripping tale of trauma, betrayal, and the price a group of friends must pay for one long-ago night of unspeakable violence. Engrossing and suspenseful in equal parts, this slow-burn mystery will hook you from the first page!”
—Aggie Blum Thompson, author of I Don’t Forgive You

Like it Never Happened winds compelling suspense through and around ordinary people and their ordinary lives. Jeff Hoffman knows the inhabitants of middle-class, middle-aged, middle-America, and he knows the power and potential destruction of secrets and unchecked violence. Hoffman's Like it Never Happened combines these things to create a page-turning narrative of class, grief, trauma, family, and marriage. This story would make a great streaming mini-series. It makes a heartbreaking—yet hopeful—addictive read.
 —Patricia Ann McNair, author of Responsible Adults
Product Details
ISBN: 9781639106998
ISBN-10: 1639106995
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English