Never Tell (2019) by Lisa Gardner

Once upon a time, a young girl accidentally shot her father in their kitchen. At least, that was the story that Evie Hopkins and her mother told. No charges were ever bought.

Today, another man lies dead, shot to death in his own study. His wife is found in the room holding the gun, with residue on her hands. His wife denies murder, claiming only to have shot his computer. But is she telling the truth? Why would she have put eight bullets into the computer?

And more importantly, has Evie Hopkins got away with murder once again?

I first came across Lisa Gardner’s work with Find Her. While it is the eighth book to feature police detective D D Warren, it was the first (I think) to feature Flora Dane, a survivor of a traumatic long-term kidnapping. Both characters reappeared in the excellent Look For Me and it seems that Flora has become an established co-lead in the series.

This is an excellent idea, given that Flora is an extraordinary character, struggling to come to terms with her ordeal, both during and following her kidnapping. The book follows the point of view of D D, Flora and Evie – which does establish very quickly – perhaps too quickly – that she’s innocent of at least one of the crimes.

The book moves forward in various directions, with two separate crimes – three if you count a spate of possibly-related arsons – that may or may not be related. Indeed, it seems very unlikely that there could be a connection between the perpetrators of the crimes, but I’ll just say that Lisa Gardner does a very impressive job of weaving the strands together into a single cohesive story, something I didn’t think would happen, I’ll be honest.

There’s some chilling stuff here, in part due to revisiting Flora’s kidnapping ordeal, but Gardner does a good job of making it chilling without being prurient. I’ve no idea how accurate the bits about the dark web are, but as they are both believable and, more importantly, understandable, I’m willing to go along with it.

At the end of the day, I think a lot of readers will spot the primary villain of the piece, but putting all of the pieces into the right places would be an impressive piece of work. There are even a few clues there for the very alert reader…

The third of three strong thrillers in a row from Lisa Gardner, this is obviously Highly Recommended.

Availability: Never Tell is released in the UK by Century as a hardback and an ebook on Thursday 21st February 2019. Many thanks for the review copy.

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