Friday, May 06, 2011

Promise Not To Tell by Jennifer McMahon

Promise Not To Tell by Jennifer McMahon begins when forty-one-year-old school nurse Kate Cypher returns home to rural Vermont to care for her aging mother who is suffering from Alzheimer's. Her return home coincides with a brutal murder of a young girl, an event eerily similar to one from Kate's childhood. Thirty years earlier, Kate's best friend Del- nicknamed and bullied as the "Potato Girl"- was killed and the murderer was never found. Still, the legend of the Potato Girl lives on and as a new investigation opens up it will undercover ghosts Kate never imagined.

I'd had my eye on McMahon's books for awhile now, even going as far as to purchase her second novel, Island of Lost Girls, but I hadn't actually read anything by her until I picked up her debut, Promise Not To Tell. What I found was a thrilling mystery that was both creepy and intelligent. McMahon has the reader totally hooked on figuring out what happened to Del and what kind of secrets Kate is keeping- after all, the novel begins with Kate admitting "I killed someone tonight..." before going backwards in time. Not only is the mystery component exciting, but the details of growing up dirt poor, trying to fit in at a new school, even life during the seventies, all felt genuine.

Promise Not To Tell was a deliciously exciting book, as a reader you'll be happy it's only 250 pages because you won't be able to put it down from start to finish. As a ghost story and mystery, McMahon hits the nail on the head especially when it comes to mysterious objects and signs present in the story, things like an old sheriff's bad and an unexplained tattoo which give just the right amount of spookiness to the story. I honestly can't believe I waited so long to pick up a book by McMahon. Overall, Promise Not To Tell is an exciting and creepy novel, easy to devour and liable to leave you looking to pick up McMahon's next book. I will definitely be delving into Island of Lost Girls soon.

Release Date: April 1st, 2007
Pages: 250
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This review was a part of TLC Book Tours. Click here to read what other tour hosts thought. For the purpose of this review I was provided with a copy of the book which did not require a positive review. The opinions expressed in this post are completely my own.


  1. This sounds so good -- and I'm glad it didn't disappoint. You've got me super excited for this -- I think it's going to be one of my summer reads. I can't wait!

  2. Sounds like a good read! I've been trying to find a good mystery/thriller but nothing has really caught my eye ... I will definitely be adding this to my wishlist!

  3. I recently read and reviewed another of Jennifer McMahon's books, Don't Breathe a Word, and really enjoyed it and have been meaning to get round to another of her books. This sounds really good too.

  4. I love that you were buying her books before you'd read them, just knowing that you'd love them!

    I'm not usually a mystery reader but this one sounds like one I'd enjoy. Thanks for being on the tour!


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