Monday 7 October 2019



One death might be an accident.
Two deaths looks like murder.

A man is shot dead in his own home, and his pregnant wife, Evie, is found with the gun in her hands.

Detective D.D. Warren instantly recognises her. Sixteen years ago, Evie also shot her own father. That killing was ruled an accident.

D.D. doesn't believe in coincidences. But this case isn't as open and shut as it first appears, and her job is to discover the truth.

Evie might be a victim.

Or she might be about to get away with murder again.

'Never Tell is raw, visceral, emotional, the sentences come at you like MP5 rounds, and features three incredible characters, D.D., Flora and Evie, who, alone, could carry any narrative.' - DAVID BALDACCI

'Lisa Gardner has outdone herself with this powerful novel about three women, two murders, and uncountable secrets! From its stunning opening to its last thrilling page, Never Tell will captivate, surprise,and satisfy you.'- LISA SCOTTOLINE

An author my wife likes and after reading this one, someone who I could probably be convinced of to read more by myself. Just as well I suppose as we have four or five in the communal stash.

Never Tell is the 10th in Gardner's Detective D.D. Warren series but worked well without me feeling like I was missing out on 9 books-worth of back story.

We have a dead husband and a wife with a smoking gun. Evie, the wife claims to have found her husband and all she will admit to is destroying her husband's computer by firing several rounds into it with the gun.

Warren and Evie go way back. One of Warren's early cases involved Evie and her father. Evie accidentally killed him with a shotgun in their kitchen. Lightning never strikes twice.

It's quite a twisty turny book..... old history, secrets, lies, unhappy marriages, major tensions between husband and wife, mother and duaghter, affairs, pregnancy, kidnap, abduction, abuse, investigations - official and otherwise, the FBI, a fast and free confidential informant, true crime fan nerds, family lawyers, a controlling mother, mistrust, grief, arson, answers.

It's a busy book and its one where you feel forced to keep turning the pages. A month on from reading, I'd struggle to remember major character names, but the plot and main events still resonate. I enjoyed it while crashing through it in just over a day.

One of the main characters, Flora Dane has led an eventful life and struggles to interact in everyday society after the traumas of her past. These get explored here in one of the plot strands. As the novel progresses she assumes more importance. I'd be keen to meet her again in my future reading.

Pace, plot, characters, read-ability all present in spades. Setting - can't remember without looking it up, a bit of time spent in Florida I think with some historic events. Present day events - memory failure!

A little bit of a stretch with the resolution. I wasn't totally convinced by the rationale for the guilty, but overall an ideal holiday read.

4 from 5

Lisa Gardner has been read once before in the dim and distant past apparently - pre-2010 Say Goodbye according to Goodreads. I can recall nothing about it.

Read - September, 2019
Published - 2019
Page count - 416
Source - owned copy
Format - paperback


  1. It does sound like a good 'un, Col. This might be one where your taste, your wife's taste, and my own come quite close. It certainly sounds like a lot's going on in the story, and that can work if it's done well. Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. I bought my wife this for her birthday and to read on holiday. I thought I would read it myself after her, without particularly looking forward to it, but I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to Margot. I hope you do if you squeeze it into your busy schedule!

  2. I have not ever tried this author, Col. Maybe some day.

    1. You'll have plenty to choose from, Tracy.

  3. I've read two or three by Gardner and enjoyed them: she's a cut above most of her generation of generic thriller writers, I think. But it's been a while.

    1. I think I'm on the same page as you. I'm sure I'll enjoy the next one of hers I cross paths with.