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Feature book: Promise Not to Tell

1 January 2020

Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz

Series: Cutler, Sutter & Salinas #2
Subgenre: romantic suspense
Release date: 2 Jan 2018
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Format: ebook and print
Length: 338 pages
RRP: $11.99 (ebook); $19.99 (print)

Book 2 begins when one of those surviving children from the cult (introduced in Book One) takes her own life by leaping into the sea off her isolated island. Some say she was mad anyway. But fellow cult survivor and gallery owner Virginia Troy believes that the poor woman sent her a message in a painting before she died, and that she did not die willingly.

Virginia seeks out PI Cabot Sutter, fellow cult survivor, to help her solve the mystery of what is true, and what danger might be lurking out there. Virginia knows that Cabot will believe there is an element of doubt in the spin that the poor woman committed suicide, due to their shared history.

Again, there are some trigger elements here: cults, suicide, panic attacks, PTSD and the accompanying horrific flashbacks that can paralyse people. This bleeds into ongoing situations where people think they might be going mad because their mind plays tricks on them, doesn’t let them sleep at night, and completely spooks them into second-guessing themselves. However, JAK deals with it very well.

The horrific thing that emerges in this book—and it’s not really a secret—is that the insane cult leader may not be dead (as previously presumed by the authorities) and is coming to get the remaining survivors. Enough to chill anyone!

JAK solves this mystery with so many twists and turns along the way, the pace becomes dizzying. What you think gets turned upside down, and the revelations don’t stop coming.

I love the way Virginia and Cabot work together. She is intelligent, cool and rational most of the time, but underneath is struggling to keep things together. Still, her strength and grace under fire is impressive. Cabot is horrified as his past crashes back but is also challenged to rise high and strong as faces his childhood worst nightmares. Oh my, what a hero.

These two come together in a meeting of the minds which is truly awesome. That they need to be a couple is blindingly obvious, so it’s a relief when they take that step and come together. It’s also a comfort they don’t need to keep explaining why they are the way they are, because they both ‘get’ what’s happened in the past with each other—and that is yet another way they ultimately become stronger, together.

The mystery here is a cracker, fast-paced with a high-stakes ending. The villain is totally insane, so the ending was electric. The mystery of this book is solved, but the overall arc of the trilogy is obviously going to feature in Book 3.

Reviewed by Malvina

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

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