A painter of fiery, nightmarish visions throws herself into the sea—but she leaves 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.
A woman’s leap to her death off the cliff of Lost Island in the San Juans of Washington State brings the past back into glaring detail for art gallery owner, Virginia Troy, and private investigator, Cabot Sutter. Deadly focus turns onto Virginia and a fiendish cult leader from her past may be at the heart of it. I was sucked into this story and couldn’t put it down through all the tension, danger, and twisting end.
Promise Not to Tell is the second book in the Cutler, Sutter, and Salinas series, but I was able to easily read it out of order as a standalone. The connection is an older man and his three foster sons running a private investigation firm together and staying on the trail through the years for elusive cult leader who destroyed so many lives.
This was only my second venture into the author’s writing and I was struck once again how she creates an atmosphere and not just a setting. She allows the reader into the mind of protagonist and antagonist both without diminishing the impact of the story.
Virginia and Cabot both suffer PTSD from their brutal childhood of living as captive hostages in a cult compound and narrowly escaping being burned alive in a locked barn. Cabot and his brothers work their PI business, but on the side pursue the possibility that the cult leader actually survived and is still doing his thing elsewhere. I liked seeing these two people who know they are not in healthy places in their lives or anywhere near able to have normal relationships find each other while they are investigating the death of one of Virginia’s artists.
The romance is slow-burning just like the case because all the psychological damage that the pair has suffered. It’s balanced and paced well with the suspense portion of the story.
There are two mysteries through the book- a past and a present one. I untangled much of it, but still managed to get startled by some twists which was great.
All in all, I enjoyed the characters, the series premise, the twisting thriller-like suspense and I definitely want more. Romantic suspense and thriller fans should definitely give this one a go.
My thanks to Penguin-Random House for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #343 RS
New Release #306
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