Never Tell a Lie: A Novel of Suspense

Never Tell a Lie: A Novel of Suspense

3.5 436
by Hallie Ephron

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“[A] richly atmospheric tale. You can imagine Hitchcock curling up with this one.”
USA Today


Author Hallie Ephron’s fast paced and disturbingly creepy Never Tell a Lie is a page-turning thrill ride that maestro Alfred Hitchcock would have been proud to call his own. A descent into


“[A] richly atmospheric tale. You can imagine Hitchcock curling up with this one.”
USA Today


Author Hallie Ephron’s fast paced and disturbingly creepy Never Tell a Lie is a page-turning thrill ride that maestro Alfred Hitchcock would have been proud to call his own. A descent into gripping suburban terror, this stunner by the Ellen Nehr Award-winning mystery reviewer for the Boston Globe has been called “a snaky, unsettling tale of psychological suspense” by the Seattle Times. Fans of Mary Higgins Clark, Harlan Coben, and classic gothic mystery will adore this supremely suspenseful and consistently surprising story of a yard sale gone terribly wrong.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

An innocent yard sale jump-starts this stunning stand-alone thriller from Ephron, author of Amnesia and four other mysteries written with Donald Davidoff under the name G.H. Ephron (and one of the Ephron writing sisters), as well as two nonfiction books. Ivy and David Rose, happily married high school sweethearts, are trying to clear out the junk the previous owner left in their glorious Victorian in Brush Hills, Mass., before the birth of their first child. Among the bargain hunters is Melinda White, a high school classmate who's also pregnant. Considered an oddball in school, Melinda worries about "more bad luck" after nearly knocking over a large mirror. When Melinda disappears and no one can remember seeing her leave the sale, the evidence suggests the couple murdered her. Ephron doesn't miss a searing beat as she plunges the Roses into an abyss of suspicion. A surprise toward the end provides the perfect twist to this deliciously creepy tale of obsession. (Jan.)

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Library Journal

High school sweethearts Ivy and David are expecting their first child after years of trying, they're renovating a Victorian house, and David's business has finally become successful. This debut by the mystery reviewer for the Boston Globe and author of Writing and Selling Your Mystery opens with Ivy and David having a yard sale to get rid of things the previous owner left behind. During the sale, a woman who went to school with them years ago arrives unexpectedly and begins acting rather strangely toward the couple. When this woman goes missing and her car is found nearby with the newspaper ad for their sale circled, the police begin to suspect that Ivy and David are somehow involved. As the evidence mounts and clues are uncovered, David is charged with murder, and Ivy must find the truth. Although fans of the suspense genre won't be surprised by the plot twists here, this is an entertaining read with a strong ending and a great lead character in Ivy. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ9/1/08.]
—Beth Lindsay

Kirkus Reviews

Ephron (1001 Books for Every Mood, 2008, etc.) returns with the story of a Massachusetts couple who become suspects when an acquaintance disappears after attending their yard sale.

In love since high school, Ivy and David Rose are now in their early 30s and expecting their first child. When they hold a yard sale, Melinda White, a former classmate Ivy does not recognize and barely remembers as an unpopular geek, shows up glamorously transformed and exactly as pregnant as Ivy. Melinda buys a green glass knickknack and talks incessantly to Ivy until David offers to give her a tour of the Roses' Victorian house in which Melinda says she played as a child. After the yard sale, Ivy cuts her foot on a shard of green glass in the upstairs hall. That night she notices a woman who looks like her, only in sunglasses, going through an old trunk left out on the street. Three days later Melinda is declared missing. Soon detectives question Ivy and David. The shirt Melinda was wearing at the yard sale turns up in the trunk, bloody. A knife with the same blood shows up in David's truck. And then there's David's message on Melinda's answering machine. With so much blatant evidence appearing but no body, it is obvious to Ivy and David, if not to the doltish detective, that someone is trying to frame them. Readers don't need to ask ‘But who?' since Ivy's friend Jody remembers Melinda's obsession with Ivy and David. The not terribly original twist is that Melinda really was treated badly in high school. Although Ivy was not an active participant in the meaner episodes, she never came to Melinda's defense. And as Melinda's deranged revenge plot plays out, Ivy faces uncomfortable questions aboutDavid's role in Melinda's unhappy adolescence.

Mild creepiness is overly scripted with workmanlike prose into a blend of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and a humorless Monk.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author

Hallie Ephron is the New York Times bestselling author of Never Tell a Lie, Come and Find Me, and There Was an Old Woman. She is the mystery reviewer for the Boston Globe. She grew up in Beverly  Hills, the daughter of Hollywood screenwriters, and lives near Boston, Massachusetts.

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Never Tell a Lie 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 436 reviews.
mollyMR More than 1 year ago
It has been a long time since a book has held my interest such as this one. It brings to mind alfred hitchcock, with it's twists and turns. You do not know what really happened until you are almost done. I could't put it down. I would recommend it highly and really think it would make a great movie.
HoneyReeves More than 1 year ago
I used to tease myself and say I was the only person who could not figure out who did it on Murder She Wrote! Some fog must have cleared from my brain as I figured this plot out about half way thru the book. However,there is always the chance I could have been wrong(I was not) so I kept on going. The suspense parts near the end were done well for the type of book this is. All in all a rainy Saturday afternoon book!
breezy0203 More than 1 year ago
You know the old saying, "the suspense is killing me!"? that quote describes this book in more ways than one. From the development of the characters to the plot, the thrill ride never seemed to end. Hallie Ephron sure knew how to draw the attention toward the characters and make their situations seem so real.This is one of the many mystery books that you would not put down from page one to whenever the book ends. I highly recommend this book. It is great for summmer reading as well as when ever you have downtime. But i caution do not open this book on your busy day as you might not be able to get anything accomplished.
TommieT More than 1 year ago
Great book. It definately kept me on my toes and I wondered throughout the entire book of who did what to whom and when. But, when we got to the ending it just ended. It wasnt a run for your money kind of moment but a bam, caught you. But all in all, great book.
BookLover526 More than 1 year ago
I was intrigued by the synopsis of the plot but like my fellow reviewers, found it predictable, the characters not well delinieated and I, too, guessed where the story was going. Having said that, it's a great beach read or a good way to kill a weekend when you have nothing better to do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing more to say about this book but that it is boring and completely predictable. The story line is very simple, there are no twist and turns, and no character development.
Booklover331 More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book, the story was well thought out and it certainly had me guessing. The characters were well formed and it never lagged. It's about one small lie that blossoms into something bigger. The main characters are a husband and wife and a woman who re-enters their life briefly. It is a very good read.
Kataman1 More than 1 year ago
This is one of those thrillers where the main character has all kinds of things happening around her and she doesn't know why and evidence keeps mounting against her and her husband for something she knows nothing about. Ivy Rose is pregnant and she and her husband David decide to hold a garage sale. One of the odd customers at the garage sale is Melinda White who Ivy barely knows and hasn't seen since high school. Ivy last sees Melinda going into the house with David and thinks nothing of it. Then wierd things start to happen. Ivy comes upon her neighbor throwing away a trunk and Ivy decides to look through it before throwing it away herself. Several people come looking through the trashed trunk on Ivy's curb including a woman that looks like Ivy herself. Then the police come looking for a missing Melinda White who was last seen at Ivy's house. As David was the last person that Melinda was with and his explanation of things is strange, Ivy starts maybe suspecting that her husband was involved in the disappearance. The book moves along at a pretty rapid pace and the reader seems to feel Ivy's anxiety and fear like the blind woman in the movie Wait Until Dark. The book builds to a good tense climax and leaves you wondering about a few things at the end. A very fast read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mysterygirlSC More than 1 year ago
If you are a real mystery/thriller reader this book will do nothing for you.
I guessed the plot soon into the story. It was a quick, easy read nothing redeeming about the book jumps out at me. I bought it because I am low on reading material and didn't expect it to be numbered among my favorites.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In their thirties Ivy and David Rose have been a couple since high school. Both are excited with Ivy being pregnant and the Victorian house they have bought in Bush Hills, Massachusetts where they plan to raise their children. However, they need to rid themselves of what was left behind by the previous owner, but rather than just junk, the Roses decide to have a yard sale.

A former high school classmate, pregnant Melinda White arrives to look over the items for sale. She almost breaks a mirror before buying something. David gives a tour of the house to the excited Melinda who insists she played there as a kid. Later no one notices when Melinda left, but that night Ivy looking out her window notices someone who looks like Melinda looking through the junk left for the morning.

Three days later the local police detectives visit the Roses to question them about the reported missing Melinda. Inside a trunk left out that night is her bloodied top and a bloody knife found in David¿s truck A message by David on Melinda's answering machine further incriminates him in what the cops begin to think might be a murder though no body surfaces. Ivy trusts her David though she knows how he treated Melinda back in high school, but begins to believe someone is framing him as everything is too obvious, but who and how to prove it remains the questions.

Although the motive behind the disappearance and the evidence pointing at David has been used frequently in books and movies, Hallie Ephron uses them effectively with a terrific late spin that focuses on how far someone will go with out of control compulsive obsessive behavior. The cast is realistic especially the beleaguered Roses and Melinda; who is mostly developed by how others perceive her. Readers will enjoy this engaging dark psychological suspense investigative thriller.

Harriet Klausner
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There's a movie about this book called, "And Baby Will Fall". It's a really good movie.
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Good book but I also found it to be predictable, many of my theories were correct, like other readers I continued to read because I didn't know if I was right. I didn't really like the ending. Overall good easy read.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I saw a Lifetime movie version of this book sometime last year. As are most Lifetime movies, they aren't exceptional but they can hold your interest. I noted in the opening credits that this was based on a novel and wrote the author down. I completely forgot about it until I ran across this book in a bargain bin several months later. I picked it up and wasn't able to put it down. It was a quick read and a great story! It's rare that I stick to one author for any period of time but I'm now reviewing other Hallie Ephron options for future reads!
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