Title: Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz
Cutler, Sutter & Salinas Series Book Two
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 334 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
A broken promise reveals a terrifying legacy in this electrifying novel from the New York Times bestselling author of When All the Girls Have Gone.
A painter of fiery, nightmarish visions throws herself into the sea—but she’ll leave some of 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.
Promise Not to Tell is another intricate mystery that revolves around the survivors of a cult leader’s attempt to murder them over twenty years ago. This latest release from Jayne Ann Krentz is the second installment in the Cutler, Sutter & Salinas series which features three foster brothers who are convinced cult leader Quinton Zane is still alive despite evidence to the contrary.
When gallery owner Virginia Troy learns of Hannah Brewster’s death by suicide, she turns to private investigator Anson Salinas to investigate the case. Virginia and Hannah’s connection goes beyond a business relationship; both of them were members of Quinton’s cult. Hannah’s grip on reality was tenuous so she turned to art to work through her demons and although her paintings are absolutely brilliant, no one wants to purchase the disturbing artwork. Deeply troubled by Hannah’s last painting depicting the night Zane tried to murder his followers, Virginia teams up with fellow cult survivor and private investigator Cabot Sutter in hopes of uncovering the truth about the artist’s death.
Both Virginia and Cabot were rescued by Anson from the barn fire that Zane set in order to kill witnesses and destroy evidence of his illegal doings. Despite the passage of time, neither of them have managed to completely recover from the anxiety and PTSD from that horrific night. Until meeting Hannah, Virginia never suspected Zane faked his own death but once she views Hannah’s last painting, she has no doubt that he is, in fact, alive. What she cannot fathom is Quinton’s reason for stalking Hannah, but hopefully, with Cabot’s assistance, she can figure it out.
The discovery of a murder victim at Virginia’s art gallery is quite puzzling, but considering the location of the corpse, Cabot is certain the crime is somehow connected to what happened to Hannah. With Virginia as his trusty sidekick, they begin searching for the link which leads them to a start-up company that is suffering from a few financial hiccups. Going the old-fashioned route, they decide to follow an intriguing money trail that might lead back to Zane. Startling twists and turns expose shocking correlations between past and present but Virginia and Cabot quickly learn that someone will go to any lengths to keep their brazen scheme from being exposed.
Promise Not to Tell is a bit of a slow moving mystery in which readers know the identity of perpetrator early on. However, there is plenty suspense surrounding the motive for the crimes and how exactly everything is connected to cult leader Quinton Zane. Jayne Ann Krentz also sets up the perfect opportunity for romance to brew between Virginia and Cabot in the middle of their efforts to uncover the secret that Hannah was willing to die to protect. The novel’s conclusion perfectly sets up the next installment in the Cutler, Sutter & Salinas series which will most likely feature Anton’s very enigmatic third foster son, Jack Lancaster.