Flora Dane, the tough-as-nails survivor of a traumatic kidnapping, is back in Never Tell, the twisty new thriller from the always reliable Lisa Gardner.
For the unfamiliar, Flora leapt into readers’ hearts in Gardner’s 2016 bestseller, Find Her. In Never Tell, Flora, though still haunted by the abuse she endured while captive to Jacob Ness for 472 days, is working as a confidential informant for the Boston Police Department. But when businessman Conrad Carter is shot dead at the alleged hands of his wife, Evie, Flora’s past trauma comes racing back. Flora dimly recalls having met Conrad once before, in the company of her previous tormentor. But how Conrad and Jacob were connected—and what, if any, role Conrad had in her abduction—remains a mystery.
Gardner gives plenty for readers to ponder as Flora’s ordeal is only part of the myriad mysteries and surprises in store in her latest novel. There’s also Evie to consider—turns out, she’s an enigma as well. Over a decade ago, the now-pregnant teacher was implicated in the shooting death of her father. Evie escaped prosecution as the death was ruled accidental, but she’s an even stronger suspect in her husband’s shooting. Evie, though, contends she found Conrad shot in the office of their suburban home and only shot Conrad’s laptop computer after seeing a collection of sordid pictures he kept on it.
Gardner’s favorite recurring police detective, D.D. Warren, who previously investigated Evie’s father’s death, has a difficult time believing her innocence this time. It’s only after Flora reveals her possible connection to Conrad that D.D. begins to suspect there may be something more lurking behind both shootings and Flora’s kidnapping.
Told in emotionally gripping chapters from each character’s perspective, Never Tell is layered with the type of mystery, surprise and suspense that Gardner is rightfully acclaimed for.