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Never Tell    by Selena Montgomery order for
Never Tell
by Selena Montgomery
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2004 (2004)

* *   Reviewed by Rashmi Srinivas

When journalist/newspaper-owner Gabriel Moss first sees dowdy criminal psychologist Dr. Erin Abbott, he wonders why this attractive young woman is hiding herself. Little does he know that Erin's dark and traumatic past has left her unable to trust anyone. Then a sadistic serial killer sends taunting letters to Erin, hinting at her past and bragging about murders. A petrified but determined Erin decides to investigate, especially when the cops don't believe her.

Gabriel feels that the story could provide the headlines that might save his struggling newspaper from going under. He dogs Erin's heels and, although he is initially hurt and angered by her constant 'hands-off' attitude, the two soon form an uneasy alliance. Though the attraction between them is irresistible, neither is able to trust the other. When the time comes to choose, will Erin select safety over love and will Gabe's ambition win the war with his heart?

Selena Montgomery's atypical story deals with many sensitive subjects, and yet has an entertaining undercurrent of suspense and romance. Erin's strength in overcoming her abusive past, and her resultant anti-social behavior are inspiring. Gabe isn't as appealing at first sight, with his violent, hot-tempered ways and overabundant confidence. Later on, as we understand him better, the growing passion between Gabe and Erin appears natural and tender.

As the story progresses, Montgomery takes readers deeper into the labyrinthine psyches of both protagonists and killer. The suspense is relentless, though it falters towards the overdramatic ending. Overall however, Never Tell is a well conceived, absorbing read.

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