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I'll Never Tell


I'll Never Tell

Summer camp. Everyone loves it. Everyone, that is, except the MacAllister kids, whose parents own Camp Macaw. Ryan, Margaux, Mary and the twins, Liddie and Kate, spent their childhoods at the camp. Back then, it was a way of life for them. Now, decades later, they have mixed emotions. Growing up, it felt like fun and games --- until the night it all went wrong. That was 20 years ago. Margaux and her best friend, Amanda, were in charge of some young campers. Amanda decided to sneak out after dark, and was found on the beach the next morning, her head bashed in. Theories about what happened vary widely. But the case remains unsolved.

Now, the MacAllister children have been notified that their parents died in a freak accident. They must return to Camp Macaw for the reading of the will. It should be pretty cut and dried. If all goes as Ryan expects, he hopes to convince his sisters to sell the property. He and his wife need the money. His sisters, though, are split in their opinions. Some want to keep the camp running; others don’t care. They can address what to do with it once they hear their parents’ last wishes.

"I’LL NEVER TELL is a fiendishly clever twist on a story of family members pitted against each other.... Who did it? Prepare to be shocked."

But when the lawyer reads the will, there’s a catch --- a big one --- that sends them reeling. Apparently, their father believed that it was Ryan who attacked Amanda that night. If the girls agree, they can cut him out of the inheritance, and then Sean, the lifelong groundskeeper at Macaw, will receive Ryan’s share. Dad’s ultimatum: Figure it out, or no one gets anything. The vote must be unanimous. You only have a few days.

Naturally, pandemonium ensues. Ryan is outraged and, at the same time, appalled that his father felt this way. Even worse, it appears that not all of his sisters disagree with Dad. Puzzled and hurt, he swears he didn’t do it. If not Ryan, though, then who?

The camp had lots of little campers, but that late at night, most were tucked safely in their cabins. Margaux and Amanda were supposed to be supervising a group. But Amanda had plans, and Margaux promised she’d cover for her. That was a grave mistake. As for Mary, it’s hard to pin down where she was, but no one suspects her. She didn’t have much interaction with Amanda, so what motive would she have? The twins? They were so very young, it’s highly unlikely they’d hurt Amanda, although they too sneaked out. Just to spy on the older kids, they claim. Did they see something? If they could remember, it might be a huge help.

So, in the days following the revelations in the will, the MacAllister offspring take turns accusing one another, ever suspicious and fighting amongst themselves, exactly as their father planned. Will they be able to sort out the truth of that night, or will they fail?

I’LL NEVER TELL is a fiendishly clever twist on a story of family members pitted against each other. With so much at stake, trust flies out the window. However, in order to unmask Amanda’s attacker, they must expose some of their innermost secrets. In doing so, they discover a lot they never knew about themselves and their siblings. All those years, harboring such dark knowledge takes a toll. How does one live with that? The sort of guilt that comes with such a terrible act must certainly shape who a person becomes. And it seems as though it should be hard to hide, but self-preservation can be a powerful motivation. Who did it? Prepare to be shocked.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on June 28, 2019

I'll Never Tell
by Catherine McKenzie