Book Review: Promise Not To Tell

Promise Not to Tell
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Title: Promise Not To Tell
Author: Jennifer McMahon
ISBN: 0752882988
Source: Library Copy
Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: Kate Cypher, a nurse working in Seattle, receives a call from her old friends, who tell her that her mother’s health is deteriorating. Back home in rural Vermont, her mother is suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. Kate reluctantly returns home to confront the situation with her mother who doesn’t want to be put up in a home. There are other issues waiting for her. Kate’s best friend from school, Del Griswold, was murdered 31 years earlier and the killer was never found. When Kate returns home, there is another murder that is frighteningly similar to her friend’s. Is this just a coincidence or is it the same killer who murdered Del? What really happened the day Del was murdered?

My Review:

To say I enjoyed Promise Not To Tell would be an understatement. This fast paced gripping novel never has a dull moment. The foreshadowing, the increasing anticipation only added to the thrilling suspense without giving away too much. I have read books which were frustrating when the author reveal’s too much and it ruins the book due to poor placement.

This page turner was a little bit creepy, not to scary but definitely spooky. It is not a full-blown horror novel but the entire time I was reading it, I felt a chill running down my spine as the writing is so hauntingly beautiful.

This book alternates between flashbacks and present and both the timelines are perfectly merged. I never felt confused about the time period I was reading. This is a story about Kate and Del and their unexpected friendship and what happens when you deny it to be part of a popular group and hurt the one true friend along the way – a story about family, friendships, devotion and betrayal.

McMahon has done a brilliant job portraying school children. As much as we like to think of kids and angels, they can be incredibly cruel. The rare friendship between Kate and Del is beautifully written. The author shows the extent to which children can be cruel and what happens when you are at the receiving end of taunting and bullying at the hands of your friendship.

It is rare for me to find books that I like so much, apart from Agatha Christie’s and this is one such book that kept coming back at me after I was done reading it. Highly recommended!

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