April 9, 2012

Don't Tell a Soul

Don’t Tell a Soul by David Rosenfelt
2008 St. Martin’s Press
Finished 3/24/12
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)

Publisher’s Blurb:

He was the only eyewitness. Tim Wallace’s wife was killed in a boating accident several months ago—and one New Jersey cop is sure he did it. He didn’t. But even if the police eventually clear his name, he’ll never get over this terrible tragedy.

But the truth is still out there… It’s New Year’s Eve. Tim’s buddies convince him to go out for the first time since his wife’s death. They’re at a local pub when, just before midnight, a drunken stranger approaches Tim—and asks him a compelling question. “Can you keep a secret?”

Soon the man confesses to a months-old murder—even offering as proof the location of the woman’s body. “Now it’s your problem.” He says to Tim before walking away. When the man turns out to have been telling the truth, Tim’s life goes from bad to worse as he is put under the microscope again by the cops—and this time they’re not giving up. But neither is Tim: He is the only one who can figure out what’s really going on—and who murdered his wife…


I began Don’t Tell a Soul while holed-up in Hawaii during one of the worst rainstorms the island of Kauai has ever seen. I was immediately drawn into this stand-alone thriller, falling for every red herring tossed into the mix. The fast pace and wry wit were initially appealing, but after a few chapters, I began to grow weary of Rosenfelt’s corny dialogue. I considered tossing the book in the DNF pile, but decided to stick with it; I was hooked just enough so that I wanted to see who was framing Tim. And why.

I had such high hopes for this author! The cheesy writing and one-dimensional characters had me shaking my head in disbelief. I was under the impression that he was another Dennis Lehane or Harlan Coben. I’m hopeful that this disappointment is just a fluke and that his Andy Carpenter series is more polished, peopled with more likeable characters and involves more realistic plots. I know SuziQ is a huge fan of the series and she and I usually enjoy the same sort of books. We shall see!

David Rosenfelt is an Edgar and Shamus Award nominee. In addition to his thrillers, he is the author of nine novels featuring lawyer Andy Carpenter, most recently One Dog Night. He and his wife live in California with their twenty-seven dogs, mostly golden retrievers that they have rescued through the Tara Foundation.


  1. Oh no! I just got one of his books last week.

  2. Don't give up on Rosenfelt!!! I recently read a standalone of his and didn't really enjoy it; however, I think his series with Andy Carpenter is terrific. And it is Coben-esque.

  3. I haven't read this one but I do know of one other fan of the Andy Carpenter series who thought this one was disappointing. Andy is certainly not literary type mysteries but he's still a lot of fun. I've shifted to audio for the last couple of books in that series and I'm a convert to Grover Gardner's reading of them. I have heard that the first couple on the series are abridged in audio but not the rest of them.

  4. Corny dialogue is a killer for me! You should treat yourself with something decadent for making it through this one!

  5. I like the Andy Carpenter books because they're a riot, but they're definitely not literary. Maybe he's just not your cuppa.

  6. Kathy - If it's one in his Andy Carpenter series, I think you're safe. This was a stand-alone.

    Joy - I won't give-up on him. I have a couple from his Andy Carpenter series that I'm anxious to try. No worries. :)

    SuziQ - Thanks for the heads-up. I don't care for abridged books, so I'll be sure to read the first in the series. I have First Degree and Play Dead in my stacks. Off to FantasticFiction.com to double-check on the order in the series...

    Staci - Is wine and dark chocolate decadent enough?! :) I'm currently reading a FANTASTIC thriller, so all is good again in my reading world.

    Nancy - Oh, I'll give his others a try. I'll just stay away from the stand-alones.


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