cover image Promise Not to Tell

Promise Not to Tell

Jayne Ann Krentz. Berkley, $27 (336p) ISBN 978-0-399-58527-2

A plethora of subplots unnecessarily complicates a convincing romance in this standalone contemporary romantic thriller from bestseller Krentz (When All the Girls Have Gone). After the mysterious death of eccentric artist and cult survivor Hannah Brewster, art gallery owner Virginia Troy—a fellow survivor who believes Hannah was trying to warn and protect her—tracks down private investigator Cabot Sutter. As children, Virginia and Cabot survived a fire set by evil cult leader Quinton Zane that killed their mothers. Fearing Zane may still be alive and hunting Virginia, and suspecting she unwittingly holds the key to hidden funds their mothers stole from the cult, Cabot stays close to her, allowing intimacy to build. The feisty protagonists share compassion, respect, and empathy as well as PTSD and insomnia. Their connection develops into a convincing and enjoyable romance, and a subplot involving Cabot’s runaway teenage nephew adds welcome dimension. However, despite numerous surprises, the story’s suspense falters with the addition of multiple villains connected either to Zane or to a technology firm, Nightwatch, whose owner combats an in-house embezzlement scheme. Despite these stumbles, readers may find the romance satisfying enough to carry the day. Agent: Steve Axelrod, Axelrod Agency. (Jan.)