Lisa Gardner's Never Tell brings D.D. Warren and Flora Dane back together in a powerful mystery that kept me glued to the pages. The story is told in three voices: D.D., Flora, and Evie Carter.
Evie Carter's husband is shot three times at his desk. Evie takes the gun and shoots his computer twelve times just as the police arrive.
When D.D. is notified, her interest is amplified because 16 years ago, Evie killed her father. That death was ruled accidental. D.D. vividly remembers this case and how sixteen-year-old Evie behaved at the time. Now D.D. has to wonder whether the death of Evie's father was really accidental.
When Flora sees the news and recognizes the photo of Conrad Carter as a man who met with Jacob Ness, Flora's kidnapper, she is stunned. (There is a lot of back story on how D.D. and Flora met and how Flora became a vigilante and D.D.'s confidential informant. Flora's first appearance in this series begins with Find Her.)
Evie, who has been subject to suspicion and media scrutiny for years, tries to figure out what happened to her marriage and to her life. The answers are surprising, and Gardner carefully introduces them while still keeping the reader in suspense.
Gardner's introduction of Flora Dane into an established series was a brilliant move. In Never Tell, she introduces two new characters that will give her a broader range of stories to tell. Evie's character has enough depth to make it possible she may appear again in future works and the computer geek and crime buff Keith Edgar will provide another aspect to future works.
Never Tell is an excellent, well-plotted, and fascinating addition to the series. I had to slow myself down with this one--it moves quickly and skillfully from one voice to another, but without leaving each chapter as a cliffhanger. I finished each chapter ready to switch to a new perspective, not frustrated at being cut off in the middle of a story.
If you've already been involved with these characters, you will love this one. If not, it functions well as a standalone, but you might want to go back to Find Her to get all of the background on Flora Dane.
Crime Fiction/Suspense. Feb. 19, 2019. Print length: 416 pages.