Monday, 11 June 2018

Promise Not to Tell

Finished May 29
Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz, narrated by Susan Bennett

This thriller takes place in and around Seattle, with two main characters who have a shared traumatic past. Virginia Troy was only a young child when she survived a deliberate fire at a rural cult compound. Her mother died in the fire, and Virginia still has nightmares about that night, despite being raised by a loving grandmother. Cabot Sutter was a bit older than Virginia when he survived that fire, and he also lost his mother. His mother's family wanted nothing to do with him, and he was raised along with two other young male survivors by a man who had his own terrors from that night, Anson Salinas, the police detective that saved them. Anson and all three of the young men have now joined together in a detective agency, and they have reason to believe the cult leader Quinton Zane is still alive despite the boat fire that was supposed to have killed him.
Virginia has made a good life running her own art gallery, and recently made contact with a couple of older women who also survived that night. They were friends of her mothers, and one of them found her truth through painting. The pictures she painted of that night are dark and haunting, even disturbing, but also very good. Virginia has taken the paintings, but it is the last painting, sent to her just as the artist died in a very suspicious manner, that has made Virginia seek out Anson and his agency as people who won't dismiss her suspicions that Zane is still alive. She is correct, and as Cabot returned to the office as she was describing the situation, he is the one that works with her on the case. It doesn't hurt that there is a spark between them, and that they both understand the other's PTSD symptoms.
At the same time this is all happening, Xavier, a younger cousin in Cabot's estranged family approaches him out of curiousity and rebellion wanting to know more about this cousin his father and grandfather hated so much. At first Cabot doesn't want to deal with him, but Virginia and Anson convince him to give the young man a chance without blaming him for his family's actions.
The cult element is very interesting, showing the tactics and personal characteristics of a sociopath intent on his own interests. This is the second book in a series, and I haven't read the first, but had no issues with that.

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