Not To Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz is a breath-taking story.
While the first in the series, When All the Girls Have
Gone, was spell-binding this book leaves the readers’
heart pounding as it is more of a thriller than a mystery.
Krentz delivers an impactful series by focusing each novel
on one of three brothers. Each book can be read as a stand-alone,
but in not reading the first people will miss out on the engaging
story of the Max.
The premise for the series has police chief Anson Salinas
rescuing eight children trapped in a blazing barn, but unfortunately,
he was unable to save their mothers. They were entrapped in
a compound, part of a cult run by a manipulative, controlling
psychopath Quinton Zane. Now, over twenty years later, Salinas
has a private investigative service with two of the three
boys he rescued and then adopted.
Krentz noted, “Even though I do not know anyone in a
cult, I wanted to write about that whole notion of getting
sucked in and used. This was not a religious cult, but one
based on technology and the desire to change the future of
the world. It was more of a pyramid scheme cult based on money
and power. I was very careful to show that the children were
not sucked in, just the parents. The mothers were very smart
and intelligent people who became entrapped as they feared
for their lives as well as their child’s life.”
One of the children, Virginia Troy, has tracked him down to
uncover what happened to her good friend, Hannah Brewster,
a reclusive artist, who died under suspicious circumstances.
After agreeing to take the assignment he assigns his adoptive
son, Cabot Cutler to the case. He and Virginia suspect that
the death could be related to the cult since Hannah was one
of a few adults who escaped. The intensity takes off from
there and never lets up.
On the surface, it appears Cabot and Virginia only have in
common their past. What does the owner of an art gallery have
in common with a former law enforcement officer? The hero
and heroine share the inability to sustain a relationship,
putting a wall between themselves and others. This is due
in part to their suffering from PTSD, reliving the fire in
their nightmares, panic attacks, and strange sleeping behaviors.
Throughout the story they overcome their emotional scars and
begin to connect with each other intimately, sharing a mutual
understanding of respect, empathy, and tolerance of their
Comparing Cabot and Virginia Krentz sees both similarities
and differences. “Cabot appears aloof and unemotional.
Very literal, serious, and curious. A complicated character.
As with so many of my characters, he is reinventing himself
with a new job and a new life, starting over emotionally and
professionally. In order to navigate his world, he needs a
mission, which is why he became a part of the private investigative
business, to help people find answers. All my characters are
complicated and reserved emotionally because they have been
burned in some way. With Cabot, the burn is literal and goes
back to his childhood drama while in the cult. Virginia is
in the same boat as Cabot. They both looked at the world in
two ways, seeing the humor and the dark side. She is outwardly
reserved, sharp, polished, and sophisticated. She likes to
size up people.”
This book is action-packed and fast-paced. It has everything
a reader can desire: suspense, romance, and riveting characters.
Readers will be left yearning for the concluding story of