Saturday, October 15, 2022

Promise Not to Tell by Jennifer McMahon


DNF @ 25%

I will say that I am honestly delighted at how many female-fronted thrillers are available now, because when I was young (high school), there weren't really a lot of books like that except for police procedurals like the Kay Scarpetta or Bones series, or old school gothic novels. Jennifer McMahon was one of the first of these sorts of authors I'd read (pre-Gillian Flynn, even), so I have really warm feelings towards her work.

PROMISE NOT TO TELL is her debut and I'm sorry to say it shows. I remembered really liking one of her earlier books but I couldn't remember which one it was. Now that I've gotten about a quarter of the way through, I know it wasn't this one. The premise is interesting. It's set in rural Vermont with dual timelines in a hippie commune, and when Kate returns as an adult she's haunted by the disappearance and murder of her very strange and very dysfunctional friend, Del.

This story just didn't grab me. I felt like the structure was shaky and I wasn't really compelled by the main character's narrative voice the way I have been by some of this author's other offerings. 

2 to 2.5 out of 5 stars

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