Don’t Tell A Soul leads with two great premises. First you have Tim Wallace’s wife, who is killed in an explosion on their boat while Tim is trying to retrieve her hat in the water.
If that isn’t enough, Tim would find himself at a party where he meets a man who tells him that he murdered a woman and it’s Tim’s responsibility to decide what to do with the information. Tim would report this to the police, a place where he doesn’t seem to have friends since one of the homicide detectives believes that he killed his wife.
The plot gets better as Tim is solving two mysteries, the murder of a woman along with the murder of his wife. His obstacles include a nasty homicide detective who believes that he killed his wife and a hitman who is out to silence Tim.
I would say that there is a lot of tension and suspense in this book and it is a page turner that should remind people of a stand-alone Harlan Coben book. While that is the case, I would say that there are flaws in this book as well.
Other people who reviewed this book felt that the plot was convoluted and not believable. To a point, I have to agree with that. The book does start out well but to connect the whole thing to a government conspiracy which included the President of the United States left me shaking my head. It would have been more convincing to me if the conspiracy was at a local level since the book takes place in the suburbs.
Another blurb from the Boston Globe indicated that this was a legal thriller. Why? Yes, there was a lawyer in there named Nick who was giving legal advise to Tim and there was some legal maneuvering but there wasn’t any scenes in the courtroom so that didn’t seem right.
As far as any comparison to Elmore Leonard, there is none. Leonard doesn’t write about characters in the suburbs, he writes about criminals and his books had more humor that you would see in Rosenfelt’s book. If anything, Leonard’s books have great dialogue and not the wisecracking dialogue that is stated in a review by Booklist. As I said, Harlan Coben is more of a match even though this book unraveled towards the end with the conspiracy.
My feeling was that while this book got off to a great start, I didn’t catch the connection with the government conspiracy and I felt that that the book went downhill from there. To me, a great psychological thriller has memorable characters, a good plot, and a mystery that keeps you guessing until the end. All these elements were there to a certain extent but I can’t give this book more than three stars.