Release date: February 19, 2019
A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun.
D. D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman—Evie Carter—from a case many years back. Evie’s father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many.
Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. She remembers a night when she was still a victim—a hostage—and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of Conrad’s murder.
But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a devilishly elusive thing. As layer by layer they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have?
For me February isn’t about Valentine’s Day, it means a new LG book which is way better than any chocolates or flowers anyway. When that LG book also happens to be a new D. D. Warren book AND features one of my new favorite additions, Flora Dane, then I’m excited beyond belief. Gardner is one of those writers that truly gets better with each book, her style gets more honed, her plot lines get more intricate and her subject matter gets darker and more bold, she’s truly one of the best crime writers around.
If you’ve been following this series then you already know that D. D. and Flora don’t agree 99 percent of the time and their contentious relationship is part of what makes reading about them so much fun for me. They have so much in common, yet at the same time they really don’t, and watching them square off is always entertaining, especially in the midst of some pretty disturbing crime scenes. You also see a little more of D. D.’s inner sweet side again, which is an aspect of her character that I’ve grown to love. She’s still a hard assed, take no prisoners woman most of the time, but motherhood has softened her a bit and made her relatable.
Besides D. D. and Flora you have a third perspective here, Evie who is found holding a literal smoking gun over her husband’s dead body. There’s always more than meets the eye in a LG book and this was no exception, this isn’t an open and shut case by any means and the race to the finish line was fast, exciting and oh so satisfying. Also, for Evie only being introduced in this book, she was shockingly well drawn, LG never skimps on character development and it always makes me even more invested in her books.
This entire series comes highly recommended by me, and it’s tough to stand firmly behind a series as long as this one. Most times there’s at least a few duds, but each of these books is downright amazing. If you’re already a fan then you’ll be happy, and if you’re new then at the very least I would highly suggest going back three books and beginning with the ones that introduce Flora. Total must reads for crime fiction fans!
Never Tell in three words: Rapid, Intricate and Unputdownable.
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.