I'll Never Tell
What happened to Amanda Holmes?Twenty years ago, she washed up on shore in a rowboat with a gash to the head after an overnight at Camp Macaw. No one was ever charged with a crime.Now, the MacAllister children are all grown up. After their parents die suddenly, they return to Camp to read the will and decide what to do with the prime real estate it's sitting on. Ryan, the oldest, wants to sell. Margo, the family's center, hasn't made up her mind. Mary has her own horse farm to run, and believes in leaving well-enough alone. Kate and Liddie—the twins—have opposing views. And Sean Booth, the family groundskeeper, just hopes he still has a home when all is said and done. But then the will is read and they learn that it's much more complicated than a simple vote. Until they unravel the mystery of what happened to Amanda, they can't move forward. Any one of them could have done it, and all of them are hiding key pieces of the puzzle. Will they work together to solve the mystery, or will their suspicions and secrets finally tear the family apart?

I'll Never Tell Details

TitleI'll Never Tell
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 1st, 2019
PublisherLake Union
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery Thriller

I'll Never Tell Review

  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    Twenty years ago, Amanda washed up on shore off Camp Macaw in a rowboat with a gash on her head. Many were interviewed by the police, but an arrest was never made. Now the children of the camp owners are called together for the reading of the will. But there is just one minor thing they need to do - vote! But it's not that simple. In fact, it's complicated.Who hurt Amanda at camp all those years ago? Who had a motive? Who saw her last? Who saw something? Who has secrets? The siblings are tasked Twenty years ago, Amanda washed up on shore off Camp Macaw in a rowboat with a gash on her head. Many were interviewed by the police, but an arrest was never made. Now the children of the camp owners are called together for the reading of the will. But there is just one minor thing they need to do - vote! But it's not that simple. In fact, it's complicated.Who hurt Amanda at camp all those years ago? Who had a motive? Who saw her last? Who saw something? Who has secrets? The siblings are tasked with looking back at that summer and the events of that night to determine the culpability of one of them. As they look back, we learn bits and pieces about each of them. This was an interesting whodunit that also worked as an examination of family dynamics. About family secrets, about keeping secrets for others, about sibling relationships, and the walls we build around ourselves. You think you know your family? Think again!This was a thoroughly enjoyable book. I enjoyed all the characters and liked how the Author had each have his/her own personality and quirks. The plot was very clever and carefully woven. This book had several twists and at one point I just KNEW that I guessed it, I KNEW I was so right, to only have another twist to blow that theory out of the water. The great thing was that each guess could have been plausible and when the reveal did occur it felt authentic/believable. I am not a huge fan of reveals that come out of nowhere just for the wow factor. The final reveal here was clever, well thought out and made sense. I also enjoyed the charts/forms throughout the book that let us know where each family member was at certain times during that fateful night. I'm happiest when I am wearing my super sleuth hat while reading and this book had me guessing and trying to figure out whodunit along with the characters. I found the story to be captivating look back in time while at the same time being grounded in the present. The characters were well developed, flawed, likable yet not always reliable. I look forward t reading more books by this Author.Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Felicia
    January 1, 1970
    Me: omg girl this book is so friggin good, I was up all night.▪Friend: What's it about?▪Me: hhhmmmmm well, it's about this group of siblings that come together at the reading of their father's will only to be told that they must decide if their brother is responsible for a tragic incident with a teenage girl twenty years earlier.▪Friend: That sounds kinda ridiculous. ▪Me: Yeah I know.▪Friend: So what happens?▪Me: Nothing really.▪Friend: What do they do to decide if he's guilty?▪Me: Wellllll....t Me: omg girl this book is so friggin good, I was up all night.▪️Friend: What's it about?▪️Me: hhhmmmmm well, it's about this group of siblings that come together at the reading of their father's will only to be told that they must decide if their brother is responsible for a tragic incident with a teenage girl twenty years earlier.▪️Friend: That sounds kinda ridiculous. ▪️Me: Yeah I know.▪️Friend: So what happens?▪️Me: Nothing really.▪️Friend: What do they do to decide if he's guilty?▪️Me: Wellllll....they don't exactly DO anything.▪️Friend: We're back to my first question, what is the book about?!_______________________________Yes, there is a mystery involving a girl twenty years prior.Yes, there is a will requiring a decision on the guilt or innocence of a brother.For me, that plotline is nothing but a good premise to bring together five estranged siblings after the death of their parents.The mystery of what happened twenty years prior and the reading of the will is but a catalyst for these siblings being forced to reveal themselves to each other for the first time. Maybe that's what their eccentric late father intended, who knows? We learn that they each hold secrets, not only about what happened twenty years ago, but about themselves. It seems that none of them really knows the other. Their individual secrets and assumptions have driven a monumental chasm in this family. Man, Catherine McKenzie can develop a character. I felt like I knew these people, like they were my own family. Hell, they ARE my family. I liken McKenzie's style to that of Celeste Ng, whereas the players ARE the story. This story really got me thinking about my own secrets, we all have them so don't even try it. No matter how small or inane the closeted skeleton, it still causes tiny fissures in our relationships. If revealed, they wouldn't cause a complete break and could only serve in strengthening our bonds, so why do we keep them? I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Catherine McKenzie
    January 1, 1970
    My next book, coming out in June, 2019! I am so excited about it! More to come, but in the meantime please add it to your goodreads shelf!
  • marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    Seventeen year old Amanda was smashed on the head, twenty years ago, at the MacAllister family’s Camp Macaw. Now the five MacAllister siblings have been called together for the reading of their parents' will, after their parents died in a train accident. Everyone in this family has secrets and it seems they each know something about what happened that night, twenty years ago, that they haven't shared with the others. Now their dead father is instructing them to figure out who attacked Amanda bec Seventeen year old Amanda was smashed on the head, twenty years ago, at the MacAllister family’s Camp Macaw. Now the five MacAllister siblings have been called together for the reading of their parents' will, after their parents died in a train accident. Everyone in this family has secrets and it seems they each know something about what happened that night, twenty years ago, that they haven't shared with the others. Now their dead father is instructing them to figure out who attacked Amanda because he thinks it's one of them, and the estate can't be settled until they have done as he has instructed. This is an Agatha Christie type whodunit and it was an enjoyable and quick read for me. The short chapters are written from the point of view of the siblings and Sean, the camp caretaker, who has never wanted to anything other than to continue taking care of the camp. Whether the camp continues to be run by the MacAllisters or gets sold to build condos, also depends on what the siblings learn and decide, after a final vote, once the mystery has been solved. After reading this book, I'll definitely be reading more of Catherine McKenzie's work and I see that she has a lot of books already other there for me to read. Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for this ARC.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    McKenzie does a wonderful job of placing us front and center in the MacAllister family drama. They may be adults, but the siblings fight and bicker the same way they did as kids. Gathering at their parents’ summer camp after the unexpected deaths of their parents, they expect to hear the will and make a decision about what to do with the camp. But it’s not that simple. Twenty years before, Amanda, a young counselor was found after an overnight camp outing in a canoe, with a large gash in her for McKenzie does a wonderful job of placing us front and center in the MacAllister family drama. They may be adults, but the siblings fight and bicker the same way they did as kids. Gathering at their parents’ summer camp after the unexpected deaths of their parents, they expect to hear the will and make a decision about what to do with the camp. But it’s not that simple. Twenty years before, Amanda, a young counselor was found after an overnight camp outing in a canoe, with a large gash in her forehead. No one was ever charged with the crime. But now, the father has left instructions for the siblings to determine what happened before a decision on the property can be made. I can’t imagine a father that would put such a quandary to his kids, but I loved it as a plot device. Despite there being five siblings, I had no trouble keeping them straight. We hear from each of the siblings, along with Sean and Amanda. Each voice brings not only a different perspective but also a different batch of secrets. And half the time, they’re keeping facts to themselves thinking they’re protecting someone else. I loved how much the past colored who they still were and how they saw themselves. “That was the problem with camp. Everywhere and everything was memories. Whether they were your own or other people’s. You couldn’t escape them. The person you were, the person you used to be, it didn’t matter. All that mattered was how others saw you.” The writing is so clear and vivid I could picture everything. It was like watching a movie play out in my head. The chart of where everyone was at each hour worked well and helped keep the reader focused. With this book, McKenzie returns to the thrills she gave me in Fractured. There’s a definite creepiness factor to this book. There’s also an ending I didn’t see coming. This one gave me chills. My thanks to netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for an advance copy of this book.
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  • Theresa Alan
    January 1, 1970
    This is by far the best mystery I’ve read in a long time.Twenty years ago, Amanda washed up to shore at Camp Macaw, blood pouring from a gash in her head. She was just seventeen years old at the time, a camp counselor. Her best friend was Margaux, the second oldest of the MacAllister clan. And she had a huge crush on Ryan, the eldest sibling of the family who owns the camp.There is middle sister, Mary, and the twins, Liddie and Kate. When they are all called to convene for the reading of the wil This is by far the best mystery I’ve read in a long time.Twenty years ago, Amanda washed up to shore at Camp Macaw, blood pouring from a gash in her head. She was just seventeen years old at the time, a camp counselor. Her best friend was Margaux, the second oldest of the MacAllister clan. And she had a huge crush on Ryan, the eldest sibling of the family who owns the camp.There is middle sister, Mary, and the twins, Liddie and Kate. When they are all called to convene for the reading of the will after the deaths of their parents, secrets start to unravel as to what really happened to Amanda that night. This is such a well done novel. Thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union for the opportunity to review this book, which RELEASES JUNE 1, 2019. For more reviews, please visit: http://www.theresaalan.net/blog
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Catherine McKenzie, and Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.One can usually expect something stellar when Catherine McKenzie is at the helm and this book was no exception. Layering family dynamics with an over-arching mystery from years ago, McKenzie offers readers a wonderful treat as the story progresses. The MacAllister family have long been asso First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Catherine McKenzie, and Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.One can usually expect something stellar when Catherine McKenzie is at the helm and this book was no exception. Layering family dynamics with an over-arching mystery from years ago, McKenzie offers readers a wonderful treat as the story progresses. The MacAllister family have long been associated with Camp Macaw, the staple summer retreat they own and run for children in the Quebec Townships. However, with the death of the MacAllister parents, the adult children gather together on the property to discuss what is to come of the land they knew all too well as teenagers. Will it be sold or portioned off and who will have the final say as to what happens? At the reading of the will, the group is surprised to learn of the parameters around which all this must be decided, something that Mr. MacAllister devised to unite and divide the group one final time. This rag-tag group must decide if their one brother, Ryan, should be permitted to inherit something, but the choice must be unanimous and they have forty-eight hours before the vote. This brings to mind a tragedy from two decades before, when a young camper, Amanda Holmes, was found, assaulted on a distant part of the camp’s property. The scandal caused ripples that almost shut the facility down and Ryan was deemed responsible. Though he denies being involved, it was largely a foregone conclusion. Now, with the family back together and grown, they must face the gruesome facts again and get to the truth, or bury it once and for all, while also letting their formative time at Camp Macaw drift away on the summer breeze. With flashback chapters that help build the Amanda storyline as well as present-day struggles, this story will keep the reader at the centre of the action and leave them wanting to cast their own decisions before all is said and done. A great mystery that entertains in short order. Recommended for those who love Catherine McKenzie’s work and the reader who enjoys stories where family secrets turn truths upside down.I have always come to find Catherine McKenzie’s work quite detailed and her stories hit home in ways I could not have predicted. Both the characters and the plot pulled me in from the get-go and I found myself fully committed before too long. In this piece, McKenzie offers up a quaint camp community, where a family has come to remember their parents and try to put all else aside. However, there is little chance of that, with the tragedy of years before facing them during the reading of the will. The reader meets the entire group, as well as a few adopted members of the MacAllister clan, all of whom have their own lives now, but also played key roles during the summer of 1998. What did happen to Amanda Holmes and how did things go so wrong? McKenzie offers interesting flashbacks throughout this piece to develop that narrative, as well as plotting the whereabouts of each character at key points during the night of the event. The reader can make their own presumptions, though it is the truth that seems to elude everyone. With strong characters who help shape the story and a narrative that pushes the plot forward, McKenzie offers a gritty mystery that is sure to keep the reader guessing and wondering until the very end. Camp Macaw’s future may be in doubt, but it is the strength of the MacAllister family that remains the real x-factor throughout. Brilliantly devised and executed, it is no wonder Catherine McKenzie has so many fans and seems to add more with each novel she publishes.Kudos, Madam McKenzie, for another wonderful piece. I can only hope that others will see some of the nuances I found while reading this book.Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Agatha Christie goes to Summer Camp......I'll Never Tell takes us to lazy summers spent in the confines of cabin life run by budding counselors in open-air cabins by the lake. Rules stipulated on signs, schedules and endless activities filling the days, and secret hideouts in the woods. Binoculars optional.It's July of 1998 near Montreal and Camp Macaw is filled with young adults and kids who seem to come back for the same experience every year. It's owned and operated by Pete and Ingrid MacAlli Agatha Christie goes to Summer Camp......I'll Never Tell takes us to lazy summers spent in the confines of cabin life run by budding counselors in open-air cabins by the lake. Rules stipulated on signs, schedules and endless activities filling the days, and secret hideouts in the woods. Binoculars optional.It's July of 1998 near Montreal and Camp Macaw is filled with young adults and kids who seem to come back for the same experience every year. It's owned and operated by Pete and Ingrid MacAllister with their teenage kids serving as counselors. The camp grounds contain a Secret Beach with no easy access and The Island in the distance beckoning for a canoe to its shores. A map of the grounds is provided in the first pages. As the readers settles in, we come to find that a serious tragedy occured that summer at Camp Macaw involving a young counselor by the name of Amanda. Catherine McKenzie introduces us to the large MacAllister brood: Margaux, Ryan, Mary, Liddie, and Kate. There's also Sean who serves as a groundskeeper after being taken in by the family. Whatever happened that summer spins an arrow pointing at one of these individuals......or maybe not.Fast forward twenty years and we find the MacAllister bunch arriving at Camp Macaw for a memorial ceremony for their parents who passed away. Suspicion is heavy as the crime was never solved from 1998. The family lawyer arrives who reads a strange letter dictated by Pete MacAllister before his death. The clan must vote to keep or sell the property and one of them will be excluded from inheriting by the vote which must be unanimous. Agatha Christie dons her counselor's whistle from around her neck and the piercing shriek will be definitely heard. McKenzie starts to peel away cumbersome tree branches and we come to know the backstories on this family tribe. Smoke from the familiar campfires will drift away. McKenzie uses a grid that will be filled in after the chapters to locate who was where and when back on that fateful night in 1998. Very clever.....very clever indeed. I'll Never Tell is filled with multi-faceted characters and a trail of twisty events that readers will follow to the very Agatha Christie style ending.I received a copy of I'll Never Tell through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Catherine McKenzie and to Lake Union Publishers for the opportunity.
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  • Jayme
    January 1, 1970
    This is my seventh Catherine McKenzie book, so, you it would be accurate to say that I AM a fan...But, I did not really connect to this book the way I have with her others...The book opens with a lantern ceremony...a flashback from 1998, told from the perspective of Amanda Holmes, a camp counselor at the McAllister family's Camp Macaw, who was found bludgeoned in a rowboat that summer. Each year, the camp would close with campers writing their wishes on paper lanterns, and the counselors lightin This is my seventh Catherine McKenzie book, so, you it would be accurate to say that I AM a fan...But, I did not really connect to this book the way I have with her others...The book opens with a lantern ceremony...a flashback from 1998, told from the perspective of Amanda Holmes, a camp counselor at the McAllister family's Camp Macaw, who was found bludgeoned in a rowboat that summer. Each year, the camp would close with campers writing their wishes on paper lanterns, and the counselors lighting them on fire, and sending them into the sky.We then join the McAllister siblings at the camp, on Friday, where they have been gathered along with the Camp's life long groundskeeper, Sean, and the family lawyer, Swift, for the reading of their parent's Will. Ryan. Margaux. Mary. The twins, Kate and Liddie . What is it about grown siblings getting together and resorting to their childhood behaviors?The Will contains an unusual exception. It stipulates that the mystery of what happened to Amanda, be unraveled, and that the siblings have 48 hours to do so, before voting on whether or not Camp Macaw will remain in the family, and operational, or be SOLD, and on WHO will inherit? Their father has left some clues...he thinks he knows what happened.....and all of the amateur detectives out there, can also follow a "timeline" of WHO was WHERE and at WHAT TIME...as each sibling reveals what they know, and tries to figure out how each piece of the puzzle fits together.You are also privy to revelations from Amanda, from the night in question, every few chapters as well. The unorthodox characters, and their relationships, just didn't feel authentic to me, and I did not like or connect with any of them. The strength of the author's writing for me in the past has been that her other books all contain realistic characters who feel like they could be your friends and neighbors, but that was not the case for me, with this book. But, the story is clever, with one sibling finally connecting all the dots at what could be the camp's FINAL lantern ceremony, following their parent's Memorial Service. Although, I preferred the author's other novels... "The Good Liar", "Fractured" "Hidden" and "Smoke" to this one, I will continue to watch for, and look forward to reading, whatever she writes next!I would like to thank NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Catherine McKenzie for the digital ARC I received in exchange for a candid review! This title is available on June, 1, 2019!
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  • Kendall
    January 1, 1970
    I fell in love with Catherine McKenzie's writing after I read "The Good Liar". My goodness was that one of my top reads last year!! So, naturally I was ectastic... first person in line to request her new book via Netgalley!I'll Never Tell is a suspenseful thriller that takes you on a journey to find out what happened to Amanda at Camp Macaw. This is a multi-layered story that explores family dynamics to it's core. Family secrets, family lies, sibling relationships, and the stories we tell our ow I fell in love with Catherine McKenzie's writing after I read "The Good Liar". My goodness was that one of my top reads last year!! So, naturally I was ectastic... first person in line to request her new book via Netgalley!I'll Never Tell is a suspenseful thriller that takes you on a journey to find out what happened to Amanda at Camp Macaw. This is a multi-layered story that explores family dynamics to it's core. Family secrets, family lies, sibling relationships, and the stories we tell our own selves to cover up lies. This was a carefully woven plot intertwined to the story of Amanda. The story was enjoyable but it felt a bit too drawn out for my tastes. I was getting confused of the siblings and found myself having to go back to remember who was what etc. I'll Never Tell isn't my favorite by this author and felt a little disappointed upon the ending. I was hoping for a bigger bang to the buck. But, I'll give McKenzie this her characters are all unreliable which leaves you guessing what the heck is going on! Overall, this was a decent read and am always coming back for more from McKenzie!!3.5 stars for I'll Never TellThank you to Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.Publication date: 6/1/19Published to Goodreads: 5/22/19
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  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 STARSI have really enjoyed some of this author's past books and was looking forward to this one.The setting of Camp Macaw and a twenty year old unsolved murder case sounded intriguing.  The reading of a father's will takes five siblings back to camp. They learn that the murder of Amanda will have to be solved before anyone can collect on the will.Secrets and drama, a past/present timeline, some insights from Amanda herself all start to add up.... which of the siblings was responsible for Ama 2.5 STARSI have really enjoyed some of this author's past books and was looking forward to this one.The setting of Camp Macaw and a twenty year old unsolved murder case sounded intriguing.  The reading of a father's will takes five siblings back to camp. They learn that the murder of Amanda will have to be solved before anyone can collect on the will.Secrets and drama, a past/present timeline, some insights from Amanda herself all start to add up.... which of the siblings was responsible for Amanda's death?Although there is a mystery, I stopped caring who did it at some point. The siblings were unlikable and I grew bored reading about them. It was a struggle to finish this one and probably one that I should have given up on at the half way mark.Thanks to NG and the publisher for my copy. 
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  • Susan's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.The first few chapters started off interestingly enough, but there was too much repetition of both internal thoughts and plots for my taste. Five siblings and one faithful family employee gather at the family home (which doubles as a summer camp) in north eastern Quebec to attend the reading of their parents' last will. The five siblings are dismayed to discover that there is a complex t My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.The first few chapters started off interestingly enough, but there was too much repetition of both internal thoughts and plots for my taste. Five siblings and one faithful family employee gather at the family home (which doubles as a summer camp) in north eastern Quebec to attend the reading of their parents' last will. The five siblings are dismayed to discover that there is a complex trust created in the father's will, giving his four daughters the right to disinherit their brother Ryan if they believe he was responsible for their friend Amanda's terrible accident twenty years ago.Note: After all the twisted subplots and backtracking by the author, Ryan is now officially a sainted martyr in my mind - he went from a totally selfish cad to a selfless doormat by the end of the book. This was such an unbelievable about-face that I had to put the book down and groan- and this is a problem throughout this narrative. Too many odd things pop up out of nowhere in this novel: at one point, I was unsure whether Ryan had actually suffered a heart attack, because he was up and about, punching poor Sean in the face almost the very next day. Now that was a fast recovery!The author may have gotten lost in her own attempts to throw dust in her readers' eyes: at two different points in the novel, she has Margaeux experience a sudden flashback memory of her own hands and a paddle stained with blood, leading the reader to believe that she may been the one who attacked poor Amanda. And what gives with the alternate narrator, Amanda? At first, I wondered if Amanda was dead, and that her ghost was speaking to us from Beyond - but no, I was wrong. - and don't worry, I won't even hint at any spoilers here..In the end, the final few chapters were such a mishmash of misdirection that I almost didn't care "whodunnit". I also found the incestuous longings of a couple of the characters, even after the big reveal of the underwhelming twist, to be a bit of a turn off. There wasn't much new or exciting, plot-wise, going on here - nothing we haven't all seen or read before. Very few of the characters in this story felt true to life and I had to force myself to finish this one.. I did enjoy the descriptions of eastern Quebec - that part of Canada is truly spectacular. I have often said that even God must go on vacation in that neck of the woods - it is such a lush, green paradise. This was just about the only redeeming aspect of this novel for me.Sorry, not my cup of tea, but fans of this author's books will likely enjoy it much more than I did.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley and Simon&Shuster Canada for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. My seventh Catherine McKenzie read was eagerly anticipated and did not disappoint. When the five McAllister children gather at their family camp for their father's memorial service and will reading, they are startled by his reference to the 1998 cold case of a murdered teenage girl. Pointing the finger at his only son, Ryan, the four sisters are left to decide whether or not they have been l Thanks to Netgalley and Simon&Shuster Canada for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review. My seventh Catherine McKenzie read was eagerly anticipated and did not disappoint. When the five McAllister children gather at their family camp for their father's memorial service and will reading, they are startled by his reference to the 1998 cold case of a murdered teenage girl. Pointing the finger at his only son, Ryan, the four sisters are left to decide whether or not they have been living beside a murderer all these years. But is it a far reach that Kate, Liddie, Margaux, or Mary may also be guilty? Or is it possible that long time employee and McAllister wannabe, Sean, is the culprit?Told through the eyes of all six characters in the present and flashing back to the victim's final hours, Catherine McKenzie weaves a suspenseful tale. Although I read it in one sitting, I do find myself taking one star off for a few elements of the storyline that slowed down the storytelling. I won't delve into specifics since that would be spoilerish. Add this to your beach reading list !Publication Date: 04/06/19Goodreads Review 01/06/19
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  • DJ Sakata
    January 1, 1970
    Favorite Quotes:She leaned toward Liddie. She smelled like her father used to, a mix of coffee and marijuana. “Waking and baking these days?”“Have you ever thought about what they must’ve been like before all of us? … I think about it. They met. They fell in love. They were regular people once.” “And what? We made them into irregular people?”They always got the leftovers. The things left in the lost and found. If Liddie wrote a biography of her childhood, it would be called Nothing Was Ever Mine Favorite Quotes:She leaned toward Liddie. She smelled like her father used to, a mix of coffee and marijuana. “Waking and baking these days?”“Have you ever thought about what they must’ve been like before all of us? … I think about it. They met. They fell in love. They were regular people once.” “And what? We made them into irregular people?”They always got the leftovers. The things left in the lost and found. If Liddie wrote a biography of her childhood, it would be called Nothing Was Ever Mine.That was the bargain of being a twin. You didn’t need to talk about it; you simply knew that sometime in the not too distant future, you’d be living together in some old-age home, dressed alike the way you’d been as children.He always smelled the same— slightly refrigerated. It was a smell Mary liked because it meant coolness to her. Not in a fashion sense but in the temperature way. He was calm, steady. Of everyone in their family, the person she’d understood the least had been her mother. When Kate thought of her, she always seemed diaphanous. Like one of those Instagram filters had been applied to her, washing her out, smoothing away the lines. Nothing ever seemed to stick to her, not criticism or her children, not even her husband. She simply floated around, photographing it all, removed. My Review:Quite a clever gal, that Catherine McKenzie! This well-crafted mystery was full of simply explained yet brilliantly placed twists and turns that kept me on edge and off-center. The storylines were highly eventful and ingeniously paced with tension and intrigue steadily ratcheting up the scale, and I was sucking it all in like the latest and greatest vacuum on the market. I enjoyed the shrewdly discerning tale as much as the skill and cunning in the telling of it. This family was well beyond quirky, they were each oddly peculiar and self-absorbed. I didn’t care for any of them by the time I finished the book, yet I was driven to know all about them. I had great empathy for the stalwart employee and held my breath for him and cringed each time evidence pointed his direction. Each character was fascinatingly flawed and I enjoyed unearthing their many secrets. This was only my second time reading her work but I am eager to see what Ms. McKenzie comes up with next, she now has a rather rabid fangirl on her hands.
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  • Zoe
    January 1, 1970
    Secretive, pacey, and compulsive!I’ll Never Tell is a riveting, intricately woven, character-driven whodunit that takes us to the rugged wilderness of Camp Macaw and into the lives of the MacAllister family where tensions are high, fingers are being pointed, and a twenty-year-old tragedy will finally be solved.The writing is seamless and precise. The characterization is spot on with a cast of characters that are secretive, driven, selfish and flawed. And the plot, told from differing points-of-v Secretive, pacey, and compulsive!I’ll Never Tell is a riveting, intricately woven, character-driven whodunit that takes us to the rugged wilderness of Camp Macaw and into the lives of the MacAllister family where tensions are high, fingers are being pointed, and a twenty-year-old tragedy will finally be solved.The writing is seamless and precise. The characterization is spot on with a cast of characters that are secretive, driven, selfish and flawed. And the plot, told from differing points-of-view, keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish as it whips you through well-timed twists, unforeseen surprises, deception, abuse, guilt, jealousy, violence, and murder.Once again, I’ll Never Tell has proven that when it comes to writing exceptionally clever, deftly plotted, fast-paced, domestic thrillers with exquisite character development and deliciously sinister storylines McKenzie is definitely one of the best.Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • ABookwormWithWine
    January 1, 1970
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5I don't know how she did it, but Catherine McKenzie managed to take 7 different viewpoints and make them all clear and unique in the engrossing novel I'll Never Tell. What it's about: The MacAllister children are all grown up and back at Camp Macaw after the sudden death of their parents in a train accident. Now the 5 of them - Ryan the oldest, the twins Kate and Liddie, Mary, and Margaux - all need to hear their parent's will being read and decide what to do with the camp. Out of all of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5I don't know how she did it, but Catherine McKenzie managed to take 7 different viewpoints and make them all clear and unique in the engrossing novel I'll Never Tell. What it's about: The MacAllister children are all grown up and back at Camp Macaw after the sudden death of their parents in a train accident. Now the 5 of them - Ryan the oldest, the twins Kate and Liddie, Mary, and Margaux - all need to hear their parent's will being read and decide what to do with the camp. Out of all of them, Ryan is the one that most wants to sell, while the other 4 would rather hold on to their parent's legacy. The groundskeeper Sean who has been at the camp since he was little, just doesn't want to have to leave. But when the will is read, they find out they are going to have to do more than make a quick decision. In order to decide what to do with the camp, they must first figure out who committed a long-ago crime when they were younger. Margaux's friend Amanda washed up in a rowboat at the camp with a blow to the head, but no one was ever charged with a crime. The siblings are all hiding secrets from that time, and any of them could have done it. . . I have to say that I have really enjoyed every McKenzie book that I have read so far. She really knows how to craft a story, and she is adept at giving characters unique voices, even a bunch of them, while not confusing the reader. There is a grand total of 7 viewpoints in this book so you would think it would be confusing, but they all felt very clear to me and I was able to picture each character individually. I love the route that McKenzie takes with exploring family dynamics in I'll Never Tell. I found it really interesting to read about a family of 5 siblings, especially when they all have things to hide from each other. She really brought their stories to life in this book as well as the setting at the camp. I think this would make an excellent beach read with the camp setting, plus the mystery and family dynamics make for very beach-appropriate reading. Song/s the book brought to mind: Let You Down by NFFinal Thought: If you are looking for a fast read, I'll Never Tell is going to be a good one. Even though it has over 350 pages I was able to read it in about 4 hours and 15 minutes. It has taken me much longer to read shorter books so I think that is a testament to how great the flow is in this book. The 7 perspectives made everything go quicker as well, and there was a fun table that I hope makes it into the finished copy. Overall, I really enjoyed this one and as always, I am looking forward to reading many more books from McKenzie!Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advance review copy of this book via NetGalley, all opinions are my own.
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    Camp Macaw. Twenty years later. 1998 - An unsolved murder. 2018 - Reading of daddy's will. Five grown siblings + one camp caretaker....each....with their own agenda....each....with big time family secrets....even the recently dead. I'LL NEVER TELL alternates between past and present revealing secrets....and lies to solve the murder of a young counselor. I really liked the premise of the storyline, and Amanda's voice (from the beyond) but didn't much care for any of the other characters....or th Camp Macaw. Twenty years later. 1998 - An unsolved murder. 2018 - Reading of daddy's will. Five grown siblings + one camp caretaker....each....with their own agenda....each....with big time family secrets....even the recently dead. I'LL NEVER TELL alternates between past and present revealing secrets....and lies to solve the murder of a young counselor. I really liked the premise of the storyline, and Amanda's voice (from the beyond) but didn't much care for any of the other characters....or their seemingly banal lives, but stuck with it to find out what actually did happen to Amanda. Am sorry to say, I'LL NEVER TELL turned out to be a long and tedious read for me unlike many other reviewers....unlike THE GOOD LIAR and FRACTURED that I really enjoyed. ***Arc provided by Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for review***
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  • Selena
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free e-copy of I'll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie from NetGalley for my honest review.Wow, what a crazy roller coaster of a read this was. I love how this story was told from multiple perspectives. This is the story of a family and five children. The parents owned and operated a summer camp. Twenty years ago a horrible accident happened to one of the sisters friends, Amanda, but no one ever knew what happened or who was to blame. The parents have died and one year after the anniv I received a free e-copy of I'll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie from NetGalley for my honest review.Wow, what a crazy roller coaster of a read this was. I love how this story was told from multiple perspectives. This is the story of a family and five children. The parents owned and operated a summer camp. Twenty years ago a horrible accident happened to one of the sisters friends, Amanda, but no one ever knew what happened or who was to blame. The parents have died and one year after the anniversary of their deaths the siblings get together with the attorney at the camp to make the decision to continue the camp or sell it. Their father's will stipulates that they must solve the mystery of Amanda's death before they can proceed. Did one of these siblings have something to do with the sisters friend, Amanda? A wonderful who done it with lots of twists.
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    I flew through this! I’m beginning to realize that I love camp books. This was no exception. I agree with another reviewer that stated this was like an Agatha Christie book if she had wrote about camp. A family owns a camp but when the father dies, who inherits? And what exactly happened to a girl years ago? When the siblings return to camp, secrets come to the surface . Is one of them the killer? I was on the edge of my seat to find out. Fast paced with alternating chapters with each sibling an I flew through this! I’m beginning to realize that I love camp books. This was no exception. I agree with another reviewer that stated this was like an Agatha Christie book if she had wrote about camp. A family owns a camp but when the father dies, who inherits? And what exactly happened to a girl years ago? When the siblings return to camp, secrets come to the surface . Is one of them the killer? I was on the edge of my seat to find out. Fast paced with alternating chapters with each sibling and Amanda, the girl that was killed. Loved this!!*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Linda Strong
    January 1, 1970
    The MacAllister family's camp had been rocked when Amanda Holmes was bludgeoned and found in a rowboat. No one has ever been brought to justice.Twenty years later, it's all comes out again. Five siblings are all that remain of the family. When the father's will is read, it comes as quite a shock to them all.The will states that all 5 siblings will have to decide unanimously what to do with the camp. But it's more than just a will .... they have to find the one who attacked Amanda .. and he is su The MacAllister family's camp had been rocked when Amanda Holmes was bludgeoned and found in a rowboat. No one has ever been brought to justice.Twenty years later, it's all comes out again. Five siblings are all that remain of the family. When the father's will is read, it comes as quite a shock to them all.The will states that all 5 siblings will have to decide unanimously what to do with the camp. But it's more than just a will .... they have to find the one who attacked Amanda .. and he is sure it is one of his children.Ryan, the only son, is the first suspect. Then come Margaux, Kate, Mary and Liddie. Also thrown in the mix is Sean Booth .. the caretaker of the camp for many years.This seems to have always been a dysfunctional family ... can they, for once, work together to solve the mystery?One by one, the reader gets to hear about their childhood ... the coldness of the father, the mother who didn't seem to care, and the sibling rivalry among them all. The reader also gets a glimpse into the minds of Amanda and Sean. They all have secrets of one kind or another.Many people simultaneously love and hate their families. The interaction between family members is at the core of family dynamics... and this well-written story. With so many suspects at hand, there was no easy way to see "who done it". The ending was so unexpected, it sort of took my breath away.Many thanks to the author / Lake Union Publishing / Netgalley for the digital copy of this Psychological Suspense. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    𝗙𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝘆. 𝗦𝗲𝗰𝗿𝗲𝘁𝘀. 𝗟𝗶𝗲𝘀. Catherine McKenzie has crafted a stellar who done it with dynamic characters and a creepy setting. Siblings Ryan, Margot, Mary, Kate, and Lydia have gathered for the reading of their fathers will. The family owns a camp and the will will determine its future, but it is far more complicated than that. 20 years ago Amanda Margo’s best friend was found bloody and bludgeoned in a boat washed up on the shore of the camp. It is the siblings job to vote and determine whether or n 𝗙𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝘆. 𝗦𝗲𝗰𝗿𝗲𝘁𝘀. 𝗟𝗶𝗲𝘀. Catherine McKenzie has crafted a stellar who done it with dynamic characters and a creepy setting. Siblings Ryan, Margot, Mary, Kate, and Lydia have gathered for the reading of their fathers will. The family owns a camp and the will will determine its future, but it is far more complicated than that. 20 years ago Amanda Margo’s best friend was found bloody and bludgeoned in a boat washed up on the shore of the camp. It is the siblings job to vote and determine whether or not Ryan the oldest sibling is guilty of this tragedy. So what happens when your siblings are your judge and jury? What a book! Catherine Mckenzie seamlessly weaves together this tale told from seven different perspectives. Not only do we get the perspective of the five siblings, but we also get that of Sean the camp caretaker and Amanda the victim of the tragedy years ago. Each character was skillfully crafted with their own unique voice, characteristics, and quirks. The character development in the story was exceptional I felt as though I had a personal relationship with each of these characters. This was a complicated story about family drama, family secrets, and family history. Each of the siblings had something to hide. Really makes you wonder how well do you actually know your own siblings? There were definitely some twists and turns in the story and an ending I did not see coming. But what truly drove this book was the characters and their relationships to one another. This really is my favorite kind of book. The kind of book that completely draws me in, the kind of book that I can fully escape into, the kind of book that gets me completely invested in the characters lives. Another well told story from Catherine McKenzie! An author who is A definite autoread for me!*** huge thanks to Lake Union for my copy of this book ***
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Catherine McKenzie does it again!!! The Good Liar wowed me earlier this year and I’ve really been looking forward to I’ll Never Tell and it did not let me down! Family drama set amidst a crime years before at a sleepaway camp - the premise alone sold me, having attended a sleepaway camp for seven years myself. Told in alternating perspectives that will have you questioning anyone and everyone, this book is a fun, suspenseful ride from start to finish! Capped off with another excellent ending, I Catherine McKenzie does it again!!! The Good Liar wowed me earlier this year and I’ve really been looking forward to I’ll Never Tell and it did not let me down! Family drama set amidst a crime years before at a sleepaway camp - the premise alone sold me, having attended a sleepaway camp for seven years myself. Told in alternating perspectives that will have you questioning anyone and everyone, this book is a fun, suspenseful ride from start to finish! Capped off with another excellent ending, I highly recommend you grab this one in 2019! I received an advance copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Jeanette
    January 1, 1970
    If Agatha Christie had ADD or ADHD then this would have been the result. It's complex and intersected like a Christie. And yet could have been written well in 100 less pages if the language was pertinent and shaded to more than the repetitive characterized stereotype for each sibling and side character. It's not bad in plot line, don't get me wrong, but the points of reveal and the system to expand this was 2 star. At the most. As if you were a 3rd grader who needed the points on a chart to "vie If Agatha Christie had ADD or ADHD then this would have been the result. It's complex and intersected like a Christie. And yet could have been written well in 100 less pages if the language was pertinent and shaded to more than the repetitive characterized stereotype for each sibling and side character. It's not bad in plot line, don't get me wrong, but the points of reveal and the system to expand this was 2 star. At the most. As if you were a 3rd grader who needed the points on a chart to "view" where everyone was at any o'clock mentioned on the map. (Also provided.) Have we come all the way to the finish line now in whodunits? To be dumbed down to this level? Honestly, where is the readers' work in all this for intrigue, beyond the chapter ending cliff hanger of "Perils of Pauline" cartoons. For my taste it switched narrators too quickly, too often and repeated too much in emotion and stereotype for each over and over again. Although the dynamics of the family were such that I rounded it up from 2.5 stars. Her style is not for me. YA level is saying it mildly. The characters had nearly no depth- they are noted for one or two characteristics. Either "their anger" or "their love obsession" or their "bohemian taste" etc. I need characters that are far, far more well rounded then these in such length of minutes or hours for two periods of time when the author needs to repeat clues constantly.No subtlety whatsoever. Action and nasty and invective swear language abounds. When you have a decent plot, I have high hopes that the execution follows at least to average. This is for the short attention span readers' delight.
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  • MissBecka
    January 1, 1970
    Well that was certainly a great ride!This book was highly addictive. I had trouble stopping for sleep and nourishment.Being human is sometimes a hindrance.I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a fantastic summer read!Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for my ARC.
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  • Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to Lake Union for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review| Goodreads | Blog | Twitch | Pinterest | Buy
  • BookLover
    January 1, 1970
    ARC requested through Netgalley, and kindly provided by Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. “Why the hell did he come over here?”“You know why.” My favourite read so far this year!! I read this book a little over a week ago and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Catherine McKenzie, one of my favourite authors, crafted a perfect story, centred around the mystery of what happened to Amanda Holmes twenty years ago at Camp Macaw, a summer camp owned by Mr. and Mrs ARC requested through Netgalley, and kindly provided by Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. “Why the hell did he come over here?”“You know why.” My favourite read so far this year!! I read this book a little over a week ago and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Catherine McKenzie, one of my favourite authors, crafted a perfect story, centred around the mystery of what happened to Amanda Holmes twenty years ago at Camp Macaw, a summer camp owned by Mr. and Mrs. MacAllister. “Three simple words. Her family’s motto.I’ll never tell.” There was definitely an element of mystery around “what happened that night” but what really hooked me for this book was the dysfunctional family dynamic. The MacAllister siblings, Ryan, Margaux, Mary, Liddie and Kate, along with the camp caretaker, Sean, were back at camp for the reading of Mr. and Mrs. MacAllister’s will. Each of them had their emotional walls up, holding on to so many secrets – secrets that kept them at a distance from one another. “If Liddie wrote a biography of her childhood, it would be called Nothing Was Ever Mine.” I really enjoyed the way the story was told, revealing just enough information at a time so that your mind could speculate on potential theories about what had happened and why. It was fun trying to work it out as more and more pieces of the puzzle were filled in, keeping me turning the pages quickly to find out what happened next. But mystery aside, my favourite parts of the story were in getting to know each of the characters and their journey to the current moment in time. “Why was his existence always such a surprise?” I came away from reading this story, shaking my head and thinking about just how much harm well-intentioned secrets could cause, no matter that they came from a place of love. It made the story feel almost like a tragedy and the mystery surrounding Amanda, though always in everyone’s peripheral vision, often took a back seat to everything the MacAllisters and Sean were going through.Similar to other favourite books of mine, such as Everything I Never Told You and Crow Lake, this story left me feeling emotionally rung out but totally satisfied. Simply put, I loved it.
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  • Esil
    January 1, 1970
    A tepid 3 starsI’m a bit hot and cold with Catherine McKenzie’s novels. I’ll Never Tell was not my favourite. Five adult siblings are called to return to the children’s camp owned by their recently deceased parents to hear the reading of their parents’ wills. This takes them back 20 years to an unresolved tragedy at the camp. Over a period of three days — with lots of flashbacks — the mystery is resolved. I liked the setting — a camp in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. But overall I didn’t find A tepid 3 starsI’m a bit hot and cold with Catherine McKenzie’s novels. I’ll Never Tell was not my favourite. Five adult siblings are called to return to the children’s camp owned by their recently deceased parents to hear the reading of their parents’ wills. This takes them back 20 years to an unresolved tragedy at the camp. Over a period of three days — with lots of flashbacks — the mystery is resolved. I liked the setting — a camp in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. But overall I didn’t find myself particularly taken by the story. The characters were a bit indistinct and not very likeable, and the mystery wasn’t that intriguing. I won’t give up on McKenzie because I have really liked some of her previous books, but again this was not my favourite. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
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  • Amy Bruestle
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book ARC from a giveaway in return for an honest review...⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Wow! What a great read! Full of suspense, twists and turns, drama, and a family with many secrets. This is definitely my type of book! 😀I really enjoyed reading this, and I wish there was a sequel so I could keep reading about this troubled family! One of my favorite things about this book was how the author kept you interested by adding bits of suspense in all the right places, ALL THE WAY through the ENTIRE book, all I won this book ARC from a giveaway in return for an honest review...⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Wow! What a great read! Full of suspense, twists and turns, drama, and a family with many secrets. This is definitely my type of book! 😀I really enjoyed reading this, and I wish there was a sequel so I could keep reading about this troubled family! One of my favorite things about this book was how the author kept you interested by adding bits of suspense in all the right places, ALL THE WAY through the ENTIRE book, all the way to the end! That doesn’t happen very often. Usually there’s a suspenseful introduction, a bit of nonsense, a climax, another bit of nonsense, more suspense, another bit of nonsense, and a conclusion. But not this book! It keeps throwing suspense at you from all different angles in all different ways throughout the whole book. How awesome is that?! AND...the author was able to do all that without making it sound super cheesy too! 🧀 There were some spelling errors, but other than that, the book was great! Definitely recommend! 👍🏻
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  • Kimberly Belle
    January 1, 1970
    When it comes to psychological thrillers, lies and dark family secrets are the very best kind, and Catherine McKenzie handles them both with skill in I’ll Never Tell, a riveting story of siblings linked by long-ago tragedy. Suspicions swirl, and the truth is revealed in steady, page-turning increments that culminate in a whopper of an ending. A smart and surprising story you won’t want to miss.
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  • Aga Durka
    January 1, 1970
    Ok, here is the thing...I am not sure if I liked this book or not! I have been thinking about this book for past 24 hours because I really wanted to give it a fair review. So here it goes. Things I liked:The setting: I really enjoyed the summer camp on the lake setting. It had an eerie and sinister feel to it. However, I wish there was more description of the camp and the island, I think it would make a difference for me if I had a better “picture” of the landscape (and NO, the map of the camp a Ok, here is the thing...I am not sure if I liked this book or not! I have been thinking about this book for past 24 hours because I really wanted to give it a fair review. So here it goes. Things I liked:The setting: I really enjoyed the summer camp on the lake setting. It had an eerie and sinister feel to it. However, I wish there was more description of the camp and the island, I think it would make a difference for me if I had a better “picture” of the landscape (and NO, the map of the camp at the beginning of the book was not enough for me). I think it would make the whole story more real and believable.Story told from different perspectives: I think the author did a great job in interweaving stories of 7 different characters to paint a clear and suspenseful tale. Often times novels written in multiple POVs can be confusing and distracting, however this was not the case. The suspense and mystery of the plot: Yes, I found this story suspenseful and intriguing even with the plot being less than perfect. The question of “who did it?” kept me going till the end and at one point I think I suspected almost every character in this book, which in my opinion makes a good mystery book.Now things I did not love: Honestly I thought the overall idea for the story was good, but I found that there were some things in this book that were just “thrown in” to make it more shocking for the reader, but instead it actually became distracting, unnecessary, and less believable. I will not list the things that, in my opinion, were written for a “shock effect” as not to include spoilers. Another issues for me; the characters had no depth and I hated all of them equally. Yes, I know!...not every book has likable characters, but ohh man, was I struggling to connect with any of them. I didn’t even feel bad for the victim (*gasp*) as I did not like her character at all! Usually I find at least one character that I can connect to at some level, and here we have 7 main characters and not one of them makes me feel...well...anything really. So after long hours of pondering this book and trying to give it a genuine review, I will give it 3 stars. It was just average for me. However, I will read more books from this author as I am curious if this one was just one off for me. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher, Lake Union, for giving me an opportunity to read a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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