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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Promise Not to Tell

Promise Not to Tell

Jennifer McMahon
Harper, 2007

Kate Cypher is forced to relive the murder of her childhood friend when she returns home to Vermont to care for her mother who's afflicted with Alzheimer's. On the night she arrives, a young girl is murdered - a horrific crime that eerily mirrors the brutal murder three decades earlier of Del, Kate’s dirt poor friend who was shunned and bullied by the other children. Nicknamed “Potato Girl,” the victim has since achieved immortality in local legends and ghost stories, but her killer was never found. Because her mother was seen wandering around the woods the same night the second girl was murdered, Kate must do some investigation of her own in order to clear her mother’s – and now her own – name.

Told in alternating chapters, this story is eerie, compelling, and suspenseful. Strangely enough, the paranormal developments are skillfully woven into the story so that it is very believable and frightening. It is hard to stop reading because the reader learns early in the book that Kate feels guilty over her treatment of Del when they are children, and, in addition, feels as though she contributed to an incident that led to her murder – but we don’t find out what that incident is until towards the satisfying and predictable ending. Nevertheless, this is a quick and undemanding reading experience that will please most readers, even if you wouldn’t normally pick up a ghost story like this one.


This is the author’s first novel.

Other novels you may enjoy:

Body Surfing by Dale Peck (2009)
While a typical teen gradually realizes that a dark force has taken over the body of his best friend, prompting the latter's dangerous and reckless behavior, a member of an elite and secret organization of hunters investigates the sinister activities of human-possessing demons.

Tick Tock by Dean Koontz (1997)
After stumbling upon a mysterious rag doll on his doorstep, Tommy Phan finds himself hunted in his own home, as the doll begins to grow into a monster that is determined to kill him.

The Ethical Assassin by David Liss (2006)
Working as a door-to-door salesman in a South Florida trailer park, teenager Lem Altick witnesses the murders of two of his would-be customers and is forced into an alliance with the assassin, an extremist dedicated to animal rights.

1 comment:

  1. I think I'd like this one! I like to mix things up every once in awhile!