Promise Not to Tell

promise not to tellA painter of fiery, nightmarish visions throws herself into the sea—but she’ll leave some of her secrets behind…

Seattle gallery owner Virginia Troy has spent years battling the demons that stem from her childhood time in a cult and the night a fire burned through the compound, killing her mother. And now one of her artists has taken her own life, but not before sending Virginia a last picture: a painting that makes Virginia doubt everything about the so-called suicide—and her own past.

Like Virginia, private investigator Cabot Sutter was one of the children in the cult who survived that fire…and only he can help her now. As they struggle to unravel the clues in the painting, it becomes clear that someone thinks Virginia knows more than she does and that she must be stopped. Thrown into an inferno of desire and deception, Virginia and Cabot draw ever closer to the mystery of their shared memories—and the shocking fate of the one man who still wields the power to destroy everything they hold dear.



Virginia Troy was one of the children held captive by cult leader Quinton Zane.  Her mother was a member of the cult; her role was to keep the books for him.  When everything started to fall apart, Quinton did what he was famous for, started the compound on fire and disappeared.

Police Officer Anson Salinas saved the kids from the fire by driving his SUV into the barn and throwing each of the kids inside.  Unfortunately, most of the adults perished in the fire, including Virginia’s mother.

Fast forward twenty-two years.  Virginia is the owner of a small art gallery.  Hannah Brewster, a past follower of Zane and an artist that Virginia represents has died.  Right now it is undecided if it is a murder or suicide. But Hannah mailed Virginia her camera with a picture she painted of a man that highly resembles Zane, leading her to believe that she was murdered.

Knowing she can’t take on Zane alone, Virginia finds Anson Salinas, now partner of Cutler, Sutter and Salinas, a private detective agency he owns with foster sons Max Cutler and Cabot Sutter (also children from the cult).  Having been involved in the cult and the fire that killed his mother, Cabot Sutter does not doubt Virginia’s fears and they agree to take on the case.

I was somewhat torn after reading Promise Not to Tell by Jane Ann Krentz.  There were parts that I enjoyed:  the plotline, the cult connection, and the characters definitely kept me interested.  I didn’t care for some of the twists.  They were too unrealistic and not neatly wrapped into the storyline.  At times I felt like some of the plot outcomes were thrown in to provide the twist effect but weren’t necessary and didn’t make sense.  The other thing I didn’t care for was the length of the ending.  I felt that Krentz wrapped things up with fifty plus pages left; I got bored and skimmed the end of the book.

2.5/5 stars

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