Review I Will Never Leave You: A novel by S. M. Thayer

Laurel Bloom, one of the three narrators of the pseudonymous Thayer’s engrossing debut, should be deliriously happy after giving birth to a daughter, Anne Elise, but she isn’t. Patricia “Trish” Wainsborough, an heiress descended from four generations of prominent Washington, D.C., bankers, wants the baby, who’s the daughter of Trish’s husband, James. On the day of Anne Elise’s birth, James brings Trish to Laurel’s hospital room, hopeful that when she sees the baby, Trish will give James a divorce so he can marry Laurel, his mistress. Instead, Trish holds a prenuptial agreement over James that stipulates that if he leaves the marriage, or even threatens to, he will give up any claim to her fortune. Having become used to their luxurious lifestyle, James knows it’s unlikely he’ll deliver the divorce he promised Laurel. The suspense rises as the three employ various machinations to achieve each of their respective goals. The twist and turns of the plot make this a fascinating psychological thriller.


“A fast-paced story of toxic love and shocking deceptions that will have readers huffing and puffing until the final page.” Kirkus Reviews

“Engrossing…The twists and turns of the plot make this a fascinating psychological thriller.” Publishers Weekly

I Will Never Leave You by S. M. Thayer builds the story like a set of stairs until the reader reaches the top and sits down exhausted, but fulfilled.” The Daily Press

“When a novel starts the way this one does, you just know things are going to get worse. In this fast-paced, chilling novel, S. M. Thayer invokes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s characters from The Great Gatsby as both a nod to the age-old compulsion to choose money over everything, and a cautionary tale to its ruinous powers. I Will Never Leave You is a dark and addictive read.” —Kaira Rouda, USA Today bestselling author

“This sly and sinister novel explores just how wrong a love triangle can go. Chilling.” —Peter Swanson, author of Her Every Fear

About the Author

S. M. Thayer is a pseudonym for an award-winning fiction writer and McDowell Fellow whose work has appeared in numerous publications and received several Pushcart Prize nominations. A native of New York, Thayer lived for decades in the Washington, DC, metropolitan region before moving to rural Virginia and earning an MFA from Virginia Tech. I Will Never Leave You is Thayer’s debut novel.

Top customer reviews

Ron B.
Kept my attention. well written, easy to follow the individual characters their interaction with each other. I honestly was looking forward to the another book by this author but am disappointed that this is his first. At any rate I hope he continues to write.
Roma Sharma

I’m conflicted on the rating I want to give this book. But I was highly engaged with the story and hence I’ve rated it a 4. All the characters are highly dislikable; flawed, selfish and creepy. The characters make your skin crawl at times. The book shows you that nastiness exists across different social strata. There are a few twists and turns throughout the book that keep you engaged. The story is interesting and you want to see how it plays out. As the story progresses you realize that there is no real happy ending possible to this tale. When all the characters finally come together and collide destruction is the only possible outcome. All in all it’s a good easy read and I enjoyed it.

This book was a free book of the month via amazon prime.


First, I’ll be totally honest. I don’t really like thrillers. I don’t read them as a rule. I am not crazy about books that make me anxious. I get enough of that in the real world. But I had read short stories by this author. His work is distinctive and often rather haunting, even disturbing. I was interested in seeing what he did with this novel. I’m glad I did.

SM Thayer’s writing is strong, more literary than the few page-turner, plot-driven novels I’ve read in recent years. If you want to get a taste of it before you buy the book, jump on Amazon and read the first eight pages that are offered for free. The descriptions are vivid and original — sometimes more than a bit troubling. (A woman’s reaction to a newborn baby–not the usual cuddly baby talk.)

Generally, with mysteries and the like I feel like I am one step ahead of the writer. The plot points often seem predictable and formulaic. I was surprised more than once where both the characters and the story arc went in this book.

In the end, I can’t say that I really liked any of the key characters. I had moments of sympathy and understanding as each one told his/her story in alternating chapters. But, ultimately, as human beings they were too flawed and too quick to betray, well, everyone. Of course, that’s part of what keeps this book interesting. People who are kind and happy and make good choices would make for a pretty dull storyline.


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