Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: August 10th, 2021
Synopsis: Perfect for fans of Melanie Golding and Joshilyn Jackson, Sarah Warburton’s chilling thriller, inspired by the Moors Murder, explores the twisted side of suburbia.
Framed for embezzlement by her best friend Aimee, museum curator, Kacy Tremain and her husband Michael, move from New Jersey to a charming Texas suburb to escape their past. Kacy quickly makes new friends—preppy, inscrutable Elizabeth, chatty yet evasive Rahmia, and red-headed, unapologetic Lena. But good friends aren’t always what they seem.
As she navigates the unexpectedly cutthroat social scene of her new town, Kacy begins to receive taunting postcards—and worse, discovers cameras hidden in the wall of her home. Lena and her husband Brady reassure her that the cameras are just relics of a paranoid previous homeowner. Once the cameras are removed and Kacy’s fears are quelled, Kacy and Michael make the happy discovery that they are going to be new parents.
Months after the birth of their daughter, Michael accidentally makes a shocking discovery about Brady’s past. And when Lena suddenly goes missing, Kacy and Michael begin to uncover the truth about their neighbors—and it’s more terrible than anyone could have imagined.
Interlaced with transcripts of a chilling true life podcast that follow the tangled threads of the drama, You Can Never Tell is a taut and complex psychological thriller that never lets up until its breathless conclusion. (Goodreads)
You Can Never Tell was an entertaining read for me which I easily polished off in a couple of hours. For a fairly short story, the characters are impressively well-developed and I instantly connected with Kacy, who seemingly has terrible luck in picking friends. After being set-up for embezzlement by her bestie, Aimee, she escapes being criminally charged, but her professional and social life is ruined. Kacy has the opportunity to start over with her supportive husband, Michael, but her anxiety, depression and insecurity keep getting in the way. I felt so much sympathy for her, and not once did her emotional reactions seem over-the-top. Despite the trauma, she slowly starts settling in, even becoming pregnant, when would you believe it, one of her newfound friends turns out to be a serial killer! While there aren’t any big twists or surprises here, that didn’t take anything away from the fascinating story. I did think the first few chapters were slow to start, and the hunt for the killer was a bit drawn out. I’m also unsure about my feelings regarding the podcast transcripts. Usually I like it when an author cleverly inserts things like this into a story, but with this one, it seemed choppy and slightly annoying, maybe because the book was so short. Overall though, You Can Never Tell was quite the fun read that I believe will have wide appeal for readers looking for a solid suspense story with relatable characters.