Never Tell (Detective D. D. Warren Series #10)

Never Tell (Detective D. D. Warren Series #10)

by Lisa Gardner


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524742089
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/19/2019
Series: Detective D. D. Warren Series , #10
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 585
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Lisa Gardner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty novels, including Look for Me, Right Behind You, Find Her, Crash & Burn, Fear Nothing, Touch & Go, Catch Me, and The Neighbor, which won the International Thriller of the Year Award. She lives with her family in New England.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1




By the time I pull my car into the garage, my hands are shaking on the wheel. I tell myself I have no reason to feel so nervous. I tell myself I've done nothing wrong. I still sit there an extra beat, staring straight ahead, as if some magic answer to the mess that is my life will appear in the windshield.


It doesn't.


With a bit of care, I can still slide out of the driver's seat. I'm bigger, but not that much bigger. I fight more with my bulky coat and the strap of my oversized purse, as I ease out from behind the steering wheel. Conrad bought me the purse as a Christmas gift last year. From Coach. Real leather. At least a couple hundred dollars. At the time, I'd been so excited I'd thrown my arms around him and squealed. He'd laughed, told me he'd seen me eyeing the bag in the store and had just known he had to get it for me.


When I'd hugged him then, he'd hugged me back. When I'd laughed that day, and giddily opened up the huge, gray leather bag to explore all the compartments, he'd laughed with me.


Christmas morning. Nearly one year ago.


Had we hugged since? Laughed since?


The bulge in my belly would argue we'd found some way to connect, and yet, if not for the streams of bright colored lights and gaudy decorations covering my neighborhood, I'm not sure it would feel like the holidays at all. As it is, we're one of the last undecorated houses on the block. A wreath on our door; that's it. Each weekend, we promised to get a tree. Each weekend, we didn't.


I take my time hefting my purse over my shoulder. Then I turn and face the door leading from the garage into the house.


Dead man walking, I think. And something crumples inside me. I don't cry. But I'm not sure why.


The door is open. Cracked slightly. As if on the way out, I didn't pull it hard enough shut. Letting out all the heat, my father would say, which causes me a fresh pang of pain.


I push through the interior door, close it firmly behind me. That's it. I'm home. Standing in the mudroom. Another day done. Another night to begin.


Hang up the purse. Shrug out of the coat. Ease off the boots. Jacket on the coatrack. Shoes on the mat. I fish my cell phone out of my bag and set it up on the side table to charge. Then, I take a final moment.


Breathe in. Breathe out.


Listening for him.


The kitchen? He could be sitting at the table. Waiting in front of a cold dinner. Or pointedly taking the last bite. Or maybe he's moved into the family room, ensconced in his recliner, feet up, beer in hand, eyes glued to ESPN. Sunday is football. Go Patriots. I've lived in Boston long enough to know that much. But Tuesday night? I never got into sports. He'd watch; I'd read. Back in the days when we spent so much time glued together, it seemed natural to also have some time apart.


I don't hear the clinking of silverware from the kitchen. Nor the low rumble of TV from the family room.


Door open, I remember. And my left hand flattens on the relatively small, but noticeable, curve of my belly.


The hall leads me to the kitchen. A spindly table sits in front of the back window. No sign of dinner. But then I notice a rinsed plate lying neatly in the sink.


Breathe in. Breathe out.


I should have a story, I think. An excuse. A lie. Something. But in the growing silence, my thoughts churn more, my brain spinning wildly.


Dead man walking. Dead woman walking?


I'm going to vomit. I can blame it on the baby. You can blame anything on pregnancy. I'm sick, I'm tired, I'm stupid, I lost track of time. Baby brain, pregnancy hormones. For nine whole months, nothing has to be my fault. And yet . . .


Why did I come home tonight? Except, of course, where else do I have to go? Ever since I first met Conrad ten years ago . . . He noticed me. He saw me. He forgave me.


And I loved him.


Ten whole years, I have loved him.


I leave the kitchen. It's small and, like the rest of the 1950s house, still in desperate need of updating. We purchased the place with hope and aspiration. Sure it sat on a postage stamp yard, and each room was tinier than the last, but it was ours. And being young and handy, we'd fix it up, open it up, then sell it for oodles of money.


Now I walk down a narrow hallway where half the wallpaper hangs down in pieces and do my best not to notice.


Family room. Den, really. With Conrad's beloved La-Z-Boy, a modest sofa, and of course, an enormous flat-screen TV. The recliner is empty. The TV is off. The room is empty.


Door open, I remember again.


Our garage fits only a single vehicle, and even that is a perk in a Boston neighborhood. Conrad parks his Jeep on the street. Which I check now. Because I'd spotted it pulling into the driveway and, yes, there it is. Black Jeep. Situated at the curb straight outside. A prime spot I can already imagine he was thrilled to get, as even with parking permits, there's more demand than supply. Hence his kindness in giving me the garage.


It's okay, honey. I don't want you walking down the street alone at night. I like knowing that you're safe.


Dead woman walking. Dead woman walking.


Don't vomit now.


And then . . .


Then . . .


"Door open," I whisper. And I finally notice what I should've noticed from the very beginning.



Smell. I'd been listening for the sound of my husband. The clatter of silverware in the kitchen. The thump of his recliner banging back in the family room. But there aren't any sounds. No sounds at all.


The house is hushed. Quiet. Still.


As if it were empty.




The stairs leading to the second floor are like the rest of the house, narrow, confining, creaky. Conrad tightened the bannister three months ago. When I broke the news. When we both stood in our bedroom and stared at the little stick. My hands had been shaking so hard he'd had to take it from me.


I remember feeling ill then, too. Willing myself not to vomit, though it had been the near-constant queasiness that had led me to take the pregnancy test. A marriage is a mosaic of a thousand moments, a hundred precious memories. That day, watching his hands close around mine. Strong fingers, seamed with calluses. Steady, as they took the pregnancy stick away from me, held it closer to him.


I had that surreal feeling I sometimes get. Where I'm not present in my own life, but even all these years later, standing in my parents' kitchen again. Holding the shotgun. Smelling all that blood.


And Conrad, being Conrad, looked right at me. Looked right into me.


"Evie," he said. "You deserve this. We deserve this."


I loved him again. Just like that. In that moment, I adored him. We held hands. He cried. Then I had to pull away to vomit for real, but that made us both laugh, and afterward he'd wiped my face with a washcloth and I'd let him.


A thousand moments. A hundred memories.


That pain again, deep inside me, as I lean heavily against the wall, away from the bannister I no longer trust, and work my way up the narrow staircase.




The odor hits me hard now. Nothing faint, teasing, ambiguous. This is it. Had I known all along? Turning into the drive? Pulling into the garage? The interior door open, open, open.


What had my subconscious suspected, long before the rest of me had paid attention?


Upstairs, not the bedroom, but the second tiny room, Conrad's office, looms to the left. That door is open, too.


Sounds to go with the smell. Sirens. Down the street. Growing louder. Coming closer. But of course.


My parents' kitchen.


My husband's office.




Dark, viscous. A spray. A pool.


I can't help myself. I'm sixteen. I'm thirty-two. I reach out. I touch the spot closest to me. I smear the red across my fingertip. I watch the way it fills in the whorls of my fingerprints.


My father. My husband.




More noise. Banging. So far away. Shouts and demands and orders.


But up here, none of it matters. There is just me and this final moment with Conrad. His body fallen back into the desk chair, the back of his head sprayed on the wall behind him.


I fear what I will see on the computer screen before I even look. But I force myself to do it. Take it in. Register the images. This is my husband's computer. This is what my husband was looking at before he died.


Harder banging now. The police. Responding to reports of shots fired. They will not be denied.


"It was an accident," my mother whispers urgently in my ear. "Nothing but an unfortunate accident."


I reach over to the computer. I close out the images. Then, because I have enough experience to know it won't be enough, I pick up the gun from my husband's lifeless hand. I curl my palm around the checkered grip. I slip my finger into the cold trigger guard.


And I start shooting.



When the police finally burst through the door, I stand at the top of the stairs, both hands up, gun in plain view, while turning slightly so that the curve of my stomach can't be denied.


"Drop the weapon, drop the weapon, drop the weapon!" the first officer shouts from the base of the stairs.


I do.


He scrambles up the stairs, cuffs in hands. I hope for his own sake that he doesn't stumble against the bannister.


A marriage is a mosaic. A thousand moments. A hundred memories.


The officer twists my arms behind my back. He cuffs my wrists tight, pats me down as if expecting even more weapons, as more uniforms pour through the door.


"My husband," I hear myself say. "He's been shot. He's dead."


"Ma'am, is there anyone else present?"




A thousand moments. A hundred memories.


"Ma'am, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning."


The officer escorts me down the stairs, out of the house, away from my husband's body.


"Do you think I'll be allowed to plan the funeral?" I ask him.


He looks at me funny, then deposits me in the back of the patrol car on a hard plastic bench seat.


More cops. More sirens. The neighbors appearing to watch the show. I know what will come next. The trip to the police station. Where my hands will be swabbed for blood, tested for GSR. Fingerprinting. Processing.


Then, when my past appears on the computer screen . . .


"An accident," my mother whispers again in the back of my mind. "Nothing but an unfortunate accident."


I can't help myself; I shudder.


She will come for me now, I think. And because of that, as much as anything else, I curl my hands around my belly and tell my baby, this fragile, fluttery life that hasn't even had a chance yet, how sorry I truly am.

Customer Reviews

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Never Tell: A Novel 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I love Lisa Gardner books so much I hate when I get to the last page!
Anonymous 4 months ago
Another thrilling, page turning read! Kept me guessing until the end. Highly recommend anything by Lisa Gardner!
Anonymous 5 months ago
Love this series. Lisa Gardner books always leave me wanting more. Love the D.D. Warren series. This is a must read. Thrilling, suspenseful.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I couldnt put this book down! I have read every one of her books and they are all fantastic! I am already looking forward to the next one:)
Anonymous 2 days ago
I liked it.
Anonymous 10 days ago
Loved it
Teri1957 17 days ago
I received an ARC of this book to read and give an honest review. FANTASTIC book!!! If you have been reading the D.D. Warren series you must feel like D.D. is part of the family. She seems like the aunt that comes to visit every so often with fabulous takes of murder and adventure. Lisa Gardner makes D.D. Warren come to life in every page. Enjoy!!!
Anonymous 20 days ago
Anonymous 21 days ago
Great read
Anonymous 24 days ago
Anonymous 24 days ago
Philomath_in_Phila 25 days ago
I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review. I was not my parents' favorite child. I was not even the favorite daughter. Let me say my family has a strange sense of humor so my dad bought me Lisa Gardner's novel "The Other Daughter". I laughed and let the book sit for a few years. When I eventually read it, I knew I found an author I would definitely read again. Never Tell by Lisa Gardner can stand alone. The multi POV thriller is the 10th novel in her Detective D.D. Warren series. It includes Flora Dane who was first introduced in Find Her, the 8th novel in her Detective D.D. Warren series. In Find Her, Dane was kidnapped while on spring break and held for 472 days. Since then, she in now working as Warren's unpaid Confidential Informant). The agent who was instrumental in rescuing Dane was FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy, daughter of FBI Profiler Pierce Quincy, a main character in Gardner's FBI Profiler series. Kimberly Quincy also returns to assist with Warren's case. It might be difficult to understand the connections I mentioned if you have not read prior books. The book does stand alone and will make you want to go read the others. Review published on on 3/28/19.
Anonymous 25 days ago
MeganLeprich 3 months ago
Thank you so much to Dutton Books and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I have devoured every single Lisa Gardner book there is and I have loved every single one of her books, especially the ones with D.D. Warren as the main character. I was so glad when I saw her new book featured my favorite detective and her crazy sidekicks back at it again. When Evie returns to her house she finds the last thing she would ever expect, her husband Conrad shot dead in his office chair, still holding the murder weapon. It immediately throws Evie back sixteen years ago when she walked into a similar scene at her parent’s home except it was her father she found shot in the kitchen that time. Evie takes the blame for shooting her father and even though she didn’t shoot and kill her husband, the police arrest her when they find her holding the gun. Flora is still trying to heal six years after escaping her kidnapper and is helping D.D. Warren as her CI. When D.D. starts working Evie’s husbands case Flora realizes she knows Conrad and knows he’s somehow tied to her kidnapper. With the help of Flora, Evie, and a crime-obsessed blogger named Keith, D.D. Warren solves her case but no one expected what the outcome would be. I love Lisa Gardner continues to have D.D. Warren such a huge character in her series and I love that she is bringing back Flora in her stories as well. This book continuously made me gasp, laugh, and want to be in the pages along with the characters. Her writing style constantly makes me feel like I can’t read the book fast enough and she always makes you think you know the outcome and then you’re blown away at the end. Thank you so much to Lisa Gardner for writing another amazing book and Dutton books for giving me the opportunity to read it.
diane92345 3 months ago
Another awesome entry in the Sergeant Detective D.D. Warren series. Both D.D. and Flora Dane have a past connection to a new murder case in Never Tell. Evie is happily married to Conrad and four months pregnant with their first child. Coming home after work, she finds Conrad shot dead in his study. Something on his laptop disturbs her so much that she calmly picks up the murder weapon and shoots the computer twelve times. The police find her holding the gun and arrest her for murder. Evie was D.D.’s first murder case sixteen years earlier. Evie had shot her father. Her only comment, “It was an accident. An unfortunate accident.” Evie was not charged. Flora Dane, now working as D.D.’s confidential informant, recognizes the victim, Conrad, from her days with her abductor, Jacob. What secrets are hiding behind Evie’s and Conrad’s seemingly normal facade? Never Tell is another gripping thriller by Lisa Gardner. Told from the viewpoint of Evie, D.D., and Flora, Flora’s sections were the ones I was racing toward. Flora describes more of what happened to her during her abduction. In addition, Flora shows almost a human side in this book, which is nice to see. While this book is a highly recommended thriller, I would suggest strongly to read Find Her, where Flora Dane’s story is initially told, before reading this one. It will increase your understanding of Flora’s story (plus it’s a great book on its own). With that sole caveat, Never Tell is highly recommended to all thriller lovers. You won’t be disappointed! 5 stars! Thanks to Dutton Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Barb Ponter 3 months ago
I just finished reading Lisa Gardner's new book - "NEVER TELL" and boy oh boy!!!! She is a phenomenal writer with an amazing grasp of what mystery-crime thrillers should be. Her plots are riveting with stunning twists and turns which lead to incredible surprises! I think this is her best book. I did not want it end but could not put it down! If you have not read her, start right now with this fantastic book. I HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS!!!
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 3 months ago
Another enjoyable read by Lisa Gardner. Thanks!
LawladyCase 3 months ago
A complicated, chilling and extremely well written novel. There are two stories going on simultaneously and Ms. Gardner manages to intertwine them beautifully. The first deals with a murder in which the wife is the chief suspect – one who shot her father when she was 14. The other involves a kidnapping and sexual assault. Even though the perpetrator has been dead for 7 years, Flora continues to search for answers. When she discovers that the murdered man was someone she met while kidnapped, more questions arise than answers. This book will keep you up all night. You will not want it to end and the “just one more page” will not suffice. The characters are intricate and well developed. You are exposed to their flaws and surprised by their strengths. The dialogue is smooth and spot on. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am a huge fan of Lisa Gardner. Never Tell will not disappoint and has become my favorite of her books.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 3 months ago
Non- stop action and unexpected twists.
Anonymous 3 months ago
runnergirl83 3 months ago
I was so excited to see that Lisa Gardner had a new book out, as it's always a good story that will pull you in. This one was another page turner. The novel rotates chapters between Evie, D.D. Warren and Flora. Sometimes rotating between so many characters might confuse me of which chapter I'm reading, but Lisa Gardner is such a good writer, that was never a problem. Evie is found holding a gun in her hand and her husband shot dead, the computer near him also being shot 12 times. She looks guilty, but of course there is more to the story than what you see at first glance. D.D. Warren recognizes Evie from a case years ago when she was first starting as a detective. She was accused of shooting and killing her father and it was ruled an accident. How many accidents can one person have? Flora has the television on in the background when she turns and recognizes Evie's husband. She saw him when she was held against her will and tortured by Jacob. How did Evie's husband and Jacob know each other? I have liked the addition of Flora in the past couple novels, and I hope she is in the next one too. We still need answers from her story, and after that I think she might be able to move on and start living her life. I liked how something looked one way, but there was always more to the story. When the police walk in, Evie sure looks guilty as she is holding a gun and her husband is dead. Evie knew her husband was keeping a secret, but she didn't know what it was. They really have to dig to find out.
Anonymous 3 months ago