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

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

by Lisa Gardner


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#1 New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner returns with an unpredictable thriller that puts fan favorites D. D. Warren and Flora Dane on a shocking new case that begins with a vicious murder and gets darker from there.

A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun.

D. D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman—Evie Carter—from a case many years back. Evie's father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many.

Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. She remembers a night when she was still a victim—a hostage—and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of Conrad's murder.

But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a devilishly elusive thing. As layer by layer they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524745134
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/06/2019
Series: A D.D. Warren and Flora Dane Novel Series , #10
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 12,108
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Lisa Gardner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty suspense novels, including The Neighbor, which won Thriller of the Year from the International Thriller Writers. An avid hiker, traveler and cribbage player, she lives in the mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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. 68 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Lisa Gardner books so much I hate when I get to the last page!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another thrilling, page turning read! Kept me guessing until the end. Highly recommend anything by Lisa Gardner!
Anonymous More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 19 days ago
I am crazy about Lisa Gardner!! Everyone knows as soon as her books come out I am off the hook and not doing a damn thing until I'm done with the book lol!! Thank you so much for the sleepless nights because I have to read one more page!! lol
LeeNCLD 3 months ago
WOW!!! 10 STARS!!!! Couldn't put it down! This book was absolutely fantastic!!! Job well done!!!! Thank you.
CherryPie0420 3 months ago
Detective D.D. Warren and Flora Dane are back on another case, and this one hits close to home for Flora. Evie Carter finds her husband shot dead in his office and she is the prime suspect. Sadly this isn't the first time Evie has found herself standing in the middle of a crime scene. Sixteen years prior she accidentally shot and killed her father and ever since has had to shoulder this incredibly heavy burden. Secrets abound in this heart pounding novel and even when you think you know the answers you find yourself realizing that nothing is as it seems. What I love about Never Tell is that you really get more insight into Flora and what she had to endure during her time in captivity. There are a few characters that were introduced in this novel that added quite a bit of depth. All the details surrounding the case were utterly fascinating and the novel truly kept me on the edge of my seat. This series continues to be one of my favorite suspense series and I can't wait to read what's in store for Detective D.D. Warren. *I have reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are completely honest, and my own.
TarrahMarie 3 months ago
Both first-time readers and veteran fans alike will appreciate this gripping new novel in the D.D. Warren series. The fast paced, multi-perspective narrative combined with Gardner’s unique writing style is captivating. In a genre that is often saturated with familiar plot thesis, Lisa Gardner has risen above the fray to produce an original, thought provoking piece of literature. Highly recommended. 5 stars.
HollyLovesBooks4 4 months ago
Another solid DD Warren read from Lisa Gardner. Fun and quick read that is enjoyable as a suspenseful thriller. Well done. I always look forward to another book by this author. #NeverTell #NetGalley #PenguinGroupDutton #Dutton
RobinLovesReading 4 months ago
My Rating: 4.5 Stars D. D. Warren and Flora Dane join forces when a man's death ties them together. Evie Carter has just found her husband dead and sees a gun lying there. She computer several times. This begs the question: Why? Detective D. D. Warren recognizes Evie immediately when she arrives on scene. Several years previously, when Evie was a teenager, she was exonerated in the shooting death of her father. Is the death of Evie's husband another accident? D. D. is hard put to believe in coincidences. She not only begins an intense investigation into the death of Evie's husband, but she reopens the case of Evie's father. When Flora Dane sees the news of the murder of Conrad Carter she is shaken to the core. Flora survived a horrid year in the clutches of an insanely abusive kidnapper. On one rare night, the kidnapper took her to a bar, and that is when she first saw Conrad Carter. Determined to make the connection with Conrad Carter and her former captor, Flora decides to investigate his murder. Working with D. D. once again is about to open up an incredible can of worms. This story had me in knots! It was incredibly multi-layered. For starters, there is Evie and what happened to her husband. Conrad was a man with secrets. Also, there is much more to what happened to Evie's father all those years ago. Furthermore, Flora has never gotten over her past, and that certainly comes as no surprise. What is a surprise, what is shocking, however, is the connection between the man that took Flora and Evie's husband Conrad. Deciphering that connection will take quite a bit of work and reveal some painfully disturbing facts. Although this is the tenth book in a series, but only my first time meeting D. D., I found the story quite easy to follow. Quite naturally, all attention was placed on the crimes both past and present, so becoming invested in the story presented no difficulty. Admittedly, I would have loved to see how D. D. and Flora met and I hope to one day backtrack and read the previous titles in the series. I was captivated by Never Tell. This was a fast-paced book with more than one story. Everything blended together seamlessly and thus this was quite an engaging read. Many thanks to Dutton Books and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Honolulubelle 4 months ago
Favorite Quotes: D.D. gave the childless detective a look. “If pregnancy hormones led to homicide, there wouldn’t be a husband left alive.” You know, anyone will hang with the lit department, but tell someone you teach math or science, and it’s like you’re personally reminding them of every test they ever failed. In movies, everyone loves the kickass heroine. I’m less convinced the average man wants one in real life. I do not shoot my exes. Frankly, I couldn’t afford that many bullets. My father was brilliant, my mother was melodramatic, my husband was a hero and a liar, my family was complicated. My Review: Never Tell was a cleverly crafted, maddeningly paced, complicated, and slowly developing tale with multiple POVs and complex storylines full of secrets, lies, and manipulations. Other than the recurring police offices none of the other characters were as they were initially presented; I couldn’t decide where several fell on the spectrum of good vs. evil. I spun wild theories that spiraled, flamed, and flip-flopped every other chapter. Sigh, this deviously talented author bested me, I couldn’t get a firm handle on a number of her compelling and intricately fabricated characters; they were so annoyingly slippery. The plot evolved at a fiendishly slow pace while each new hard-won yet oddly intriguing revelation just seemed to add several additional layers of complexity and confusion and led nowhere but a new itchy and brain-teasing rabbit hole. I was fully vexed and taut with tension yet deeply engrossed and fully invested. It was exceedingly cunning, and while I should be ashamed to admit that I was so very wrong, I’m actually not. Lisa Gardner has mad skills, although she must be a bit scary to know.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I absolutely love Lisa's books I have read every one. This is the first I found wasn't as intriguing but was definitely still enjoyable.
3no7 6 months ago
“Never Tell” by Lisa Gardner sets the tone for readers through grammar and construction, opening with a first person narrative by a woman. She talks to herself “I tell myself I’ve done nothing wrong.” She talks to readers, “and I finally notice what I should have noticed from the very beginning” Short choppy construction, brief sentences, and single word exclamations illustrate her rising panic, disbelief, and disassociation. “No one home. Now I remember…Blood. Dark. Viscous. A spray, A pool” The point of view shifts, but the short construction continues, adding to the overall atmosphere. Sargent Detective D. D. Warren, three of them, one target, silent, prepared to enter as they have done before. But then, there is a sudden and unanticipated shift. Later, A woman has been arrested for shooting her husband, and Warren will be investigating the murder. This case is personal because Warren had investigated this woman previously. ”Seriously, how many shootings can one woman be involved with?” Again the scene changes, now to a first person narrative by Flora who might have answers. She also talks directly to readers, sharing her traumatic background, her current outlook, and her opinioned thoughts. The investigation starts at a predictable pace, examining the crime scene, collecting statements, and analyzing evidence, but nothing about the murder of Conrad Carter by his wife Evelyn is usual or normal. There are lots of questions, and some immediate answers, but those answers may have been found too easily. “What would motivate a wife to kill her husband?” Warren suspects that something else is going on here. Gardner continues with the narrative alternating points of view chapter by chapter. The construction maintains the tense mood while different versions of past and current events are revealed. Readers get to know the participants, their troubling backgrounds, their disturbing histories, and their unusual connections to each other. The past holds secrets that characters would rather the world did not know. The tale takes several dramatic turns along the way, and readers wonder who is truthful, who is deceptive, and who is guilty. Actually, no one is innocent, no one is truthful, and no one is left unscathed. Gardner took what appeared on the surface to be the tragic but uncomplicated case of a wife killing her husband and developed it into a tumultuous tangle of lies, deception, fraud, and murder. The librarian at the Raymond Public Library recommended that I read this book. She was absolutely correct; I could not put it down until the end, and Evie summed it up well, “My husband is gone. We loved each other. We created a home together. We made a life together. And we lied, and we lied, and we lied.”
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous 8 months ago
TheBibliovert 9 months ago
Tragic. Captivating. Emotionally Charged. Intense. I absolutely devoured this book! I'm officially a huge Lisa Gardner fan!
Anonymous 11 months ago
It's hard to believe that my book binge of this series is finally over! I am looking forward to the next installment already! And all the more so because of how much I enjoyed this addition to the D. D. Warren series. This tenth book in the series picks up sooner than the usual gap between the books (maybe due to worrying about the series' title character aging out too soon?). Flora Dane is in this one, too, which just adds to the overall fun - especially since she is my favorite addition to this series. But, the newly introduced characters here are interesting, too - and all the more so because of the connection to Flora. And Flora herself sees some additional changes in her character arc. that are promising for future books. From a police procedural perspective, this is probably the most unconventional installment so far in the series, but but that really helps add to the excitement and drama of it all! This is definitely one of the stronger additions with multiple plot twists, timelines and perspectives that all combine to turn this into a genuine page turner! I have been an admirer of Gardner's writing for quite a long time now (for over 15 years!) and she continues to rank among my most favorite authors as she provides consistently entertaining and fast-paced books. I have thoroughly enjoyed catching up on this series by re-reading the first half, and experiencing the second half for the first time! I am excited as ever to see what will come next in this series, and also looking forward to catching up on the two other series' that have some books that I haven't gotten to yet! Gardner is just a terrific writer!
Anonymous 11 months ago
CraigHart 12 months ago
#1 New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner returns with an unpredictable thriller titled Never Tell, another book in the D.D. Warren and Flora Dane series. Gardner’s skill of characterization shines bright in this installment, as the book opens with a murder and gets ever darker from there. A pregnant wife finds her husband dead in his office and when the police arrive, they find the victim shot three times ... and his computer twelve. D.D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the wife from a case many years back when the wife’s father was killed in a shooting--for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many. When Flora Dane sees the murder on the TV news, she recognizes the victim and remembers a night when she was still a victim--and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of this new murder. Never Tell is a bona fide page-turner that packs an emotional punch well worthy of its bestselling author and easily earns a full five star rating.
Kristin975 12 months ago
I love Lisa Gardner and I love the D.D. Warren series! This is another awesome book in the series. A woman is caught holding a gun and accused of shooting her dead husband. But years ago when she was 16, she was accused of shooting and killing her father. Is she a murderer? Or is there something more sinister happening? I cold not put this book down!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a great read with twists and turns!
LorrieThomson More than 1 year ago
Compelling and Immersive. I enjoyed after page of this fast-paced novel. Gardner, once again, manages to combine the inner life of fascinating characters with a twisty you'll-never-guess mystery. Get ready for a slew of secrets and a novel that you'll want to, but won't be able to, savor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Teri1957 More than 1 year 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!!!