Never Tell a Lie - Hallie Ephron (Suspense)
Released January 2010
With the birth of her first living child just weeks away, Ivy Rose is excited and nervous. During a yard sale, a former classmate, also in the last weeks of pregnancy, shows up. Ivy is rattled by the woman's odd behavior. When Ivy's husband David offers to give Melinda a tour of the house, Melinda gladly accepts. The problem is no one ever sees Melinda again and evidence of her murder is found on David and Ivy's property.
Now Ivy is dealing with the stress of pregnancy, as well as the suspicion being cast upon her and David. When it's made clear that David is the prime suspect in Melinda's disappearance and probable murder, Ivy is no longer certain who or what to believe.
Never Tells a Lie has its moments. It's definitely fast-paced and easy to read in one sitting. I'll give the author kudos for that. However, if you want a story that is going to throw twists at you, you won't find them here. I had most of the plot figured out in the first half of the book. There are very obvious snippets of foreshadowing scattered throughout.
Another issue I had, and it's probably the one that weighed heaviest on me, involves the police work. When I was a junior in high school, a freshman disappeared on her way to school. Police came to school, went to different businesses, people's homes, etc., asking questions about her behavior the days and weeks before school. They didn't just ask during a phone call, they went with face-to-face meetings. I'm really kind of shocked no one went to Melinda's family in another state to ask questions or spent more time asking her co-workers about her activities. Once they found out that Melinda was seen at David and Ivy's their investigation seemingly ended and to me that seems sloppy.
While reading, I also found at least one inconsistency. On page 6, Ivy tells Melinda that her due date is "December." The later on page 77, Ivy sends an email to her friend stating her OB/GYN appointment "Went fine. Confirmed, giving birth to a water buffalo. ETA April 1." There's a big gap between a December and an April birth, so someone missed a big typo there.
Maybe investigation work has changed drastically in 20 years, but I really kind of doubt it. I was entertained by Never Tell a Lie, but mostly it was to pick out things that niggled at me.