Friday, June 14, 2019

Review: I'll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie (audio)

Title: I'll Never Tell
Author: Catherine McKenzie
Narrator: Julia Whelan, Timothy Andres Pabon, Whitney Dykhouse
Published: June 2019, Brilliance Audio
Length: 8 hours 38 minutes
Source: Publisher

Deeply buried secrets make for a disturbing family reunion in bestselling author Catherine McKenzie’s tantalizing novel of psychological suspense. 

What happened to Amanda Holmes?

Twenty years ago, she washed up on shore in a rowboat with a gash to the head after an overnight at Camp Macaw. No one was ever charged with a crime.

Now, the MacAllister children are all grown up. After their parents die suddenly, they return to Camp to read the will and decide what to do with the prime real estate it's sitting on. Ryan, the oldest, wants to sell. Margo, the family's center, hasn't made up her mind. Mary has her own horse farm to run, and believes in leaving well-enough alone. Kate and Liddie—the twins—have opposing views. And Sean Booth, the family groundskeeper, just hopes he still has a home when all is said and done.

But then the will is read and they learn that it's much more complicated than a simple vote. Until they unravel the mystery of what happened to Amanda, they can't move forward. Any one of them could have done it, and all of them are hiding key pieces of the puzzle. Will they work together to solve the mystery, or will their suspicions and secrets finally tear the family apart?

My thoughts:  I have become a fan of Catherine McKenzie of late and this latest one was no exception. She really has a knack for creating such thrilling reads that pull you in right away and keep you captivated all the way through.

I loved that even though this latest book was more of a character-driven thriller than an action-driven one, I was still completely hooked right from the beginning. And I absolutely loved the camp setting - it totally gave off that locked-room vibe, which I am really coming to like in my thrillers. And don't be thrown off with the number of characters in this book - believe me, I know that can be off-setting, but each and every character serves a purpose and they each have distinct personalities that you get to know them pretty quickly. 

I loved the way this story was told. It starts with a snippet from Amanda's POV twenty years earlier and then moves to the present. Throughout the book, we go back to Amanda and that fateful night, eventually getting that whole story...but let me tell you, the tension is building up to that final reveal and as it is getting there, your mind will be running in a million directions as to what happened. With all the theories I came up with, I never figured out what ultimately happened...and I'm totally ok with that...I like being surprised!

I love books about families and I love when families have secrets. Coming from a large family myself, I know not everyone gets along 100% of the time, so I felt the relationships between these siblings were totally relatable. I felt the sibling rivalry was so spot on. These characters were so well drawn. They were all deeply flawed and that made them each stand out so you could keep them separate.

This was a fun, thrilling read and it just reinforced my love of Catherine McKenzie's writing. It is a clever, wickedly plotted story that will keep you engaged from start to finish. I definitely suggest adding this to your summer reading list!

Audio thoughts: I loved this audio production...the three narrators did a fabulous job with this audio. They each narrated different sections and I had no problem keeping track of which character's section was being narrated at any point. The pacing and intonations were spot on and I felt that each narrator used just the right amount of tension and emotion in their voices as needed. This was a great book to listen to on audio and I really enjoyed it.



  1. I liked this one--partly because I kept suspecting one character after another. Although I didn't think much of the characters in the beginning, the more I felt empathy and understanding of each one and the situation in which they found themselves.


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