NEVER TELL A LIE by Hallie Ephron


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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 about David’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.

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-156715-5
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2008


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