Book review: Never Tell by Lisa Gardner

Saturday, March 16, 2019 Permalink

My reading of Lisa Gardner’s DD Warren series has been shockingly inconsistent. In fact I was surprised it’d been three years since I read Find Her, in which we first meet Flora, former kidnap victim turned vigilante… who’s since become DD’s confidential informant.

Flora’s back in this outing with someone else from DD’s past.

Book review: Never Tell by Lisa GardnerNever Tell
by Lisa Gardner
Series: DD Warren #10
Published by Century
on February 21st 2019
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Crime Fiction
ISBN: 1780897715, 9781780897714
Pages: 416

A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun.

D.D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman--Evie Carter--from a case many years back. Evie's father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many.

Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. She remembers a night when she was still a victim--a hostage--and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of Conrad's murder.

But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a devilishly elusive thing. As layer by layer they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have?

This book unfolds from the points of view of all three lead females. Interestingly (as I’d noticed this in Find Her) from Evie and Flora’s points of view in first person, but third person from DD’s.

Gardner didn’t include much from DD’s private life in this book,¬†though she does bounce ideas off crime-scene specialist husband Alex.

I started off a little confused as the book opens with Evie arriving home feeling on edge or nervous. I assumed something had already occurred or there was some big secret / reason to dread coming home, but it’s not the case. I wish I’d realised that sooner as I’d been waiting to find out where exactly she was coming home from or waiting to uncover some sordid secret she’d been keeping. (Well, other than the obvious….)

Either way, her husband’s body greets her and – thankfully the whole ‘did she do it?’ thing isn’t drawn out as there’s evidence that clears her. Subsequent crimes also make it kinda obvious there’s something bigger at play.

We get hints of that via Flora who recognises Evie’s husband from her days in captivity. It feels like Evie shows mostly antipathy towards her husband Conrad so it’s easy for readers to see him as a villain of sorts, with secrets Evie feels she needs to keep.

And then there’s the original case from sixteen years earlier, in which Evie ‘accidentally’ killed her father. She wasn’t charged. Her devastation and shock was obvious and even now the maths genius / professor seems to have been idolised equally by both his wife and his daughter.

I liked that the case took an unexpected turn and Conrad, Evie’s husband, was not who he seemed to be. I mean, that was obvious, but Gardner took us in an entirely different direction.

I should mention – for fans of Gardner’s work – FBI agent Kimberley Quincy pops up here, looking for links between the murder of Conrad and Flora’s kidnapper. It’s a chance to unpick that storyline a little more and touches on other potential victims (before Flora).

Never Tell by Lisa Gardner was published by Century (Penguin Random House UK) and is now available. 

I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.


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