Book Reviews of Promise Not to Tell

Promise Not to Tell
Promise Not to Tell
Author: Jennifer McMahon
ISBN-13: 9780061143311
ISBN-10: 0061143316
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 272
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 545

3.8 stars, based on 545 ratings
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

83 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 26
This book was in a word . . haunting. It was a whodunnit, but it was unlike anything I had ever read before. I never thought a book could give me the chills. I loved it.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 23
This book had more twists and turns than an amusement park ride. Just when you thought you had a handle on what was going on, and how things were going down, they'd take a twist and off it would go in another direction. It keeps you guessing right down to the last chapter. Although the early setting is unconventional, a commune, the essence of the story could have happened anywhere or anytime. It's about trying to fit in with the crowd, finding acceptance with the "ner' do-wells", even grudingly admiring them, but refusing to acknowledge a kinship with them or stand up for them. Then trying to live with the regret when you know you've committed a horrible wrong. This book will stay with you for a long time after the last page is read.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 243 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 18
I am glad that I didn't have any responsibilities yesterday, because I read this book in one sitting, stopping only for necessary breaks. It was a great and memorable book.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 13
I was drawn to buy the book because of the cover and the blurb on the back and I was able to read this book in a day. But.....I was a little disappointed in where the story went and the entire storyline. It wasn't quite what it was cracked up to be. Still an enjoyable read, and I at no point wanted to throw the book down and not finish it, it was just a bit of a let down.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on
Helpful Score: 8
I'm surprised by how many people loved this book. I thought it wasn't scary at all and I had to force myself to finish it. It was hokey and implausible (but I guess ghost stories are by their nature implausible). I did enjoy its unique qualities, such as the hippie commune setting, the realistic bullying scenes by school children, and the very entertaining Del character.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Quick read and grabs your attention right from the start. A little spooky, and the ending's a little hokey, but definitely worth it! Great plane read!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 159 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This book was a little different. Part ghost story, part murder mystery. Intriguing enough to make me keep turning the pages. I'm not excited over it, but yet don't feel that I wasted my time either. I'd give it two and a half stars.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 72 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Interesting, intriguing, entertaining... a fantastic read.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 71 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I don't understand why this one got such rave reviews. I was bored. Couldn't get thru it & didn't finish it. After wasting $ paying full price on a book like this, I found my way to paperbackswap and will never go back.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 204 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Promise not to tell is a great murder mystery. Kate returns home to care for her mother who has Alzheimer's to find a young girl has been murdered. It appears to be a copy cat murder of Kate's childhood friend, Del's murder. We follow the earlier murder through flash backs as Kate trys to unravel what happened both then and now as the ghost of Del guides her towards solving the mystery. This is a great story and an easy quick page turning read.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be but it is still a good read. I had a hard time putting it down and even though I figured out the killer a little more then half way through, it's still enjoyable.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 63 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I loved this book. It held my interest the entire time. I was held captive until it was done. Very hard to put down book!!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I found this book difficult to follow, yet compelling. The writing style was different, but the story was excellent.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Awesome book, story was spell binding. Fantastic story from beggining to end!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Suspenseful and very touching. Love the way the story is told
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Promise not to tell really pulled me in from the beginning. I have a love for stories that involve some coming-of-age aspects. The reader is taken back and forth in time with Kate Cypher as an adult returning home to make some difficult decisions regarding her mother and whose arrival has also coincided with a murder that is eerily similar to the murder of her childhood friend, Del.

I particularly enjoyed reading the story from young Kate's point of view. I still find myself magically drawn in when a story involves children. The friendship between outcast Del and new-girl Kate is odd at times as Del is seriously a bit of a character. Kate desperately wants to belong in her new school, but really she is a bit of an outcast herself as she lives on a commune and is pretty far off from living a normal life like the other students at their school. Del and Kate are away-from-school friends who live an adventure when they play together.

Kate as an adult her own set of challenges from the past, and has chosen to live a life-time away from the commune she spent the latter part of her childhood. She has a flood of memories as she tries to piece together what happened to her friend Del and if it is related to the murder of the young girl in the present.

I enjoyed the book a great deal and read it over a weekend. I was intrigued as the story unfolded. It also left me really wanting to know what would become of Kate in the future. There was definitely quite a bit of adult subject matter, but it was factual rather than explicit, but the facts though fictional are still disturbing.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 333 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I ordered this book on a whim, seeing it on the home page here. Being a genre I don't usually read, and in the need of something different, I read it right away. I liked it. Sure, I guessed the killer, but only after guessing like 15 other people first. It was a bit sad, a very interesting read, and I really almost hated the heroine more than anyone in the book...but still...I recommend it. And funny, I just couldn't stop looking at the cover. I really love it, and the mood and tone of the book is really good. Going to look up the author now.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Twists & turns book of "who done it"....found myself spooked on several occasions. I've read ISLAND OF LOST GIRLS by this same author & liked both books. Hope she continues writing.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Definitely a page turner and one to make you think about the days of being a kid when the kids who were "different" in some way were often tormented. Fast paced mystery but I was slightly disappointed in the ending.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on
Helpful Score: 1
As someone who rarely reads mysteries, I have to say I am glad I picked up this book. I neglected all work until I was done reading it. The characters are true, the story full of emotions and the plot thick enough not to see thru until the time was right. I would recommend this one and hope you have some 'down time' to read it.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 907 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was so full of suspense it was hard to put it down. This is one of the better books i've read in a long time. this is the second time that i have read it. Spooky.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I found this book very hard to put down! Great twists and turns. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 52 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I devoured this book in 2 night's worth of reading - couldn't put it down. It is just my type of mystery story - one with a little paranormal twist thrown in. It's set in Vermont, where I live, so it was easy to imagine the scenery and characters - but even if it had not been, it would have caught me up with its clever storytelling and excellent writing. Recommend it highly if you like a good "ghost story."
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I so enjoyed this quick read, great book for October!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 611 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A really good murder mystery/ghost story. Well done.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was an easy read and very suspenseful. I kind of wish the ending wasn't so predictable...but definitely kept my attention and I will read more books from this author.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 41 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is the 2nd book I've read by this author. Decided to pick it up since I REALLY liked Island of Lost Girls and I was not disappointed with Promise Not to Tell!
McMahon has an overall great writing skill of making you feel like you're in the shadows of her story looking in on the characters and following them along these great twists and turns.
Fast read, but well worth the credit spent =)
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Spooky book that keeps you interested until the very end.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on
Helpful Score: 1
This book was a quick read for me, not only for the length of the book--250 pages--but because I couldn't put it down! The way the author told the story was fantastic and it kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. The characters were wonderful and very believeable. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a quick, fun and thrilling read!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on
Helpful Score: 1
This was a really great read! It definitely kept me interested, and I could not put it down until I was done! Would recommend!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 82 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A excellent debut novel. Unfortunately I did figure out the ending ahead of time. But it was very well written and I enjoyed it tremendously.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on
Helpful Score: 1
I bought this book from the bargain bin thinking it looked interesting. To my surprise and delight, this book was fantastic. A haunting story with twists and turns. I passed it on to a few friends and they all loved it as well!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 71 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A thoroughly enjoyable read. Hard to put down. A blend of teen angst, supernatural overtones, and plain old whodunit. Nicely written.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Loved this book. It was very suspenseful with a supernatural twist.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on
Helpful Score: 1
This is the first Jennifer McMahon book I've read and all the good reviews I'd seen were correct. Jennifer captures the feelings of Kate Cypher's childhood adventures with a schoolmate who everyone called potatoe girl, and who was killed. And here it is 30 years later and another girl is killed and the past comes back to haunt. Good book and more McMahon books will follow on my reading list.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was a very good read! It was a modern day whodunit..
It was a short book but like I said very good!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
So I'm 8 and a half months pregnant and chase my 21 month old toddler all day which makes mama pretty tired, but somehow I couldn't pry myself away from this book last night until I had read through to the last page in the wee hours! It completely captivated me. It was slightly spooky with dashes of mystery and really kept me turning pages. It was thoroughly enjoyable right until the very end. Great book!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
What a great book! Really makes you think about what you did to ohters when you were a kid and how it might have affected them in the rest of there lives!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was actually really good,the end was resolved neatly and it was believeable,but then there is a tacked on end that I found far fetched and sappy. But most of it was very compelling and real.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on
Helpful Score: 1
This is one of the better books I've read in recent months. Original, quirky, suspenseful, funny - all rolled into one fast read. I really enjoyed it! Recommended!!!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
i couldnt put this book down.it was so full of mystery.it felt like you were right there with them.you've got to read this.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 636 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this mystery! It was unpredictable and engrossing. The only thing that was little off were the sentences hinting towards great revelations to come... Luckily, those sentences lived up to their promise and the secrets were sufficiently satisfying. The book had a better plot than McMahon's _Island of Lost Girls_, but the characters were not as strong in this one. All in all, I enjoyed reading this and I am looking forward to reading her next book!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was excellent haunting/mystery material. If you like murder mysteries you are sure to love this book. Very fast read that you will not want to put down until you finish it.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on
Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this one, it was nicely creepy with a great story line. I really enjoyed all the different elements that she put in (paranormal, mental illness, coming of age...)Would have liked it to be a little longer though. Hope she rights more!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A good book. Lots of twists & turns. Makes you want to keep reading to see what happens next.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 150 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A great, spooky mystery that I just couldn't put down! If you like this I also recommend "Sharp Objects" by Gillian Flynn - another mystery where a woman goes back to her hometown to solve a mystery and face her past.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 175 more book reviews
This was such a good read, it keeps moving - never slows, honestly was hard to put down, I read it in two evenings.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on
I loved this book, I couldn't put it down.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 85 more book reviews
This is a murder mystery...actually 2 murder mysteries, the first one taking place 30 years earlier in the same area. Victims are young girls in rual Vermont. There is an element of a ghost story too which I was not that crazy about. We also see the effects of Alzheimers taking place which is sad. However I did enjoy the story and relationships portrayed.

On a side note: I do not recall any character saying "I killed someone tonight". This statement is on the cover of the book along with a picture of a ten year girl. I am not too sure how to take that.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 19 more book reviews
This book was fantastic! A real page turner, not one of those you know who done it all along.....a total shock at the end!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 3 more book reviews
Fast read - nice, interesting story.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 8 more book reviews
This book was well paced and kept my interest.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 12 more book reviews
When I started to read this book I didn't know if it would hold my interest. I thought it was going to be something a young teen would enjoy not an adult. I was very wrong. After a few pages I was hooked. I found it to be a good ghost story. It was a fun read.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 58 more book reviews
Great story, great whodoneit that kept me interested right to the end. It wasn't what I was expecting but I like a book that keeps me interested even if I don't believe what's happening in the story. It wasn't so far out that I would stop reading because once I got into the story I wanted to know how it was going to end and just why that one character acted the way she did. I knew if I stuck with it, I'd find out. Quick read.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on
I really enjoyed this book and was unable to put it down. I read it in a little over four hours straight through. Every time I thought I had it all figured out there was another curve ball that shook it up. It kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on
I enjoyed the pace of this mystery.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 22 more book reviews
I would consider this a thriller. The story is about a woman who when she was a girl was an outsider. Her mom was a "hippy" type person who drug her around and lived in a very unconventional way. She meets another couple of "outsider" kids. One was a girl named Del. Del was murdered when she was about 10 years old. Guilt and regret have filled her life regarding Del. Now her mom has early dementia and she has returned to help figure out what to do with her mom. She is haunted by Del's death. Also, now another girl has been murdered just like Del was. You will devour this book. You might figure it all out. You might jump from suspect to suspect. One thing is you wont forget Del.
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Could not put this book down. Breath of fresh air at the end.
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I really enjoyed this book! Well written and a great story.
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good book
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 9 more book reviews
Gripping! I couldn't put it down!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 31 more book reviews
Keeps you guessing to the very end. Very good book
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Incredible twists and turns throughout the story, with many unexpected surprises.
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A page-turner with well-developed, interesting characters. I stayed up too late to finish it and was satisfied with the interesting ending.
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This book had too much profanity for me. Didn't get past the first 3 pages.
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Promise Not to Tell by Jennifer McMahon is my favorite type of thriller: a dark mystery that dances between the present and the past, with just a sprinkling of the supernatural dusted in. It's a rare formula, and one McMahon nails in her debut novel.

Promise Not to Tell follows Kate, a 41-year-old school nurse, through the murders of two young girls in her hometown. The first, her childhood friend Del, has haunted Kate -- and the community -- for thirty years. The most recent death coincides with Kate's return to town to care for her ailing, commune-living mother, and bears suspicious similarities to Del's grisly killing many years before.

The mystery is managed masterfully by McMahon -- especially considering this is a first novel. The storytelling is superb, and alternates seamlessly between present and past. Both mysteries are compelling, with characters that aren't always likeable in the traditional sense, but intriguing nonetheless. I found the ending very surprising, with a resolution that is satisfying even if it isn't wrapped up with a pretty red bow.

I liked Promise Not to Tell even more than Island of Lost Girls. It cements my assumption that McMahon would soon be one of my new favorite authors. I'm off to seek out another of her books now.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 92 more book reviews
What a great read! Part murder-mystery, part ghost-tale, this book is the perfect combination lit with vivid characters. Lightening paced, i read this in just 2 days...I loved the author's style, and while im not a complete skeptic, i loved the way the ghost-story was intertwined...Would definately recommend!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 5 more book reviews
Kept me on the edge of my seat!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 3 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this book. It was creepy and had a good storyline. Some of parts of the book actually gave me the chills. There are so many twists and turns; and the author supplies the reader with many suspects. It was easy to figure out the ending, but I don't think that detracts from the story at all. I'm off to find Jennifer McMahon's other novels, and I'm hoping they'll be just as good.
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I do not like ghost stories and when I picked it up I was not aware that this had supernatural in it. Athat being said I did not like it, I just cannot realte to the mystical stuff and therefore I was put off by the book, but of course others who enj9oy that would likely enjoy it.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on
I am not a novel reader, typically. Biographys and true stories are my favorites. I ordered this book by accident, decided to give it a go, and could not put it down.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 42 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book, but if you're looking for a scary creepy ghost story, it's nothing like that. Yes, it is slightly spooky, but only slightly. Well done, I didn't suspect the right person, even if some reviews said it was obvious. In fact, I was kept more or less guessing until the end, even looking back through the book for the name and who they were!! Quite well written, but the f word is used quite often and so are a couple of other derogatory terms that were well placed but still made me feel uncomfortable. If for any other reason, this isn't for children to read at all because of the language. But don't let that little bit of language discourage you, because it is well worth it. I just don't think I'd ever read it again.

Was it tantalizing, so much so I couldn't put it down? No. I could put it down, quite often in fact. The fact it jumps from the past to the present every other chapter was a bit boring at times and lost my flow of each individual story. It's unfortunate, but this was just bland in a lot of ways. Worth the read, but I'd never buy it at the store for full price.
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 26 more book reviews
This book was awesome, i read it in less than 12 hours! I couldn't put it down, for her debut novel, Jennifer McMahon, did an great job! Loved this book!
reviewed Promise Not to Tell on + 57 more book reviews
A fun easy to read murder mystery with a little ghostly intrigue. Fast reading and not too deep or thought provoking.
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This book was no where near as mysterious as the cover makes it sound. The potato girl is not particularly scary - just pathetically tragic. It may have been a better read if my expectations had been something other than a haunting, murder-mystery. The psychological aspects were definitely key to the development of the characters and much more prominent than the ghost story which actually seemed to be a minor sub-plot. Overall, it was not the intense read I hoped for, but approach it with a more casual "good gossip" kind of attitude and the characters may make for a quick and somewhat interesting read. Oh, and watch out for the clunky clues about who-done-it.
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This was a good book - it's creepy, but not Stephen King or "The Exorcist" type of creepy, at least not for me. It kept my interest, though - finished it in a weekend.
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When reading a book which I am unsure as to whether or not I want to continue, I usually give it 50 pages or so before making my decision. I contemplated with this one but I opted to finish it. Even though it is not a true story, in my opinion, it is so far fetched and a little hard to get into. I liked this book enough to finish it, but I was left with a sense of disappointment.
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Very good read. I couldn't put it down once I started.
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I was riveted by the story. Two girls die, one in the 70s and one right after the main character returns home. Could she be the killer? This book was not full of red herrings like cozies. It was chilling and scary in all the right ways. Add to that that almost everyone is a suspect and they are all seeing the ghost of the girl who died in the 70s. The connections from the past to present are well done. You will not get confused in the least from the 70s to the present day. You may be so anxious to get to the answers that you dont put it down till you get to the end.
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This book was AMAZING!! It had my attention to the very end. I can't wait to read more by this author.
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I sat down to read this book today, and literally did not put it down until I was finished. This isn't to say it's a perfect book, because at times it's a little hokey, but the characters and setting are refreshingly unique. The action moves quickly throughout the book, which keeps you wanting to find out what's going to happen next.
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thouroughly unimpressed with this book. the dust jacket promised way more than the book delivered.
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Kirkus Reviews- " Well-plotted, suspensful fun."