Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Fiction Suspense

I'll Never Tell

by (author) Catherine McKenzie

Simon & Schuster
Initial publish date
Jun 2019
Suspense, General, Thrillers
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2019
    List Price
    $7.92 USD

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


From Catherine McKenzie, the instant bestselling author of The Good Liar, comes a riveting domestic suspense in the vein of Liane Moriarty that sees five siblings forced to confront a tragedy they thought was buried long ago.

What happened to Amanda Holmes?

After the sudden death of their parents, the MacAllister children return to the run-down summer camp where they spent their childhood. The four sisters and their elder brother haven’t all been together at Camp Macaw in over twenty years—ever since a tragic and mysterious accident.

Over the course of the Labour Day weekend, the siblings must determine what to do with the property, now worth millions. But a stunning condition of their father’s will compels them to face their past—and come to a decision that threatens to tear them apart forever.

A sharp and engrossing novel of suspense, I’ll Never Tell reveals what happens when the secrets and lies that hold a family together are finally exposed.

About the author

Catherine McKenzie was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. A graduate of McGill University in history and law, Catherine practiced law for twenty years before leaving the practice to write full time. An avid runner, skier, and tennis player, she’s the author of numerous bestsellers including I’ll Never Tell and The Good Liar. Her works have been translated into multiple languages and Please Join UsI’ll Never Tell, and ?You Can’?t Catch Me have all been optioned for development into television series. Visit her at or follow her on Twitter @ CEMcKenzie1 or Instagram @CatherineMcKenzieAuthor.

Catherine McKenzie's profile page

Excerpt: I'll Never Tell (by (author) Catherine McKenzie)

Editorial Reviews

“Catherine McKenzie isn’t just a talented storyteller; she has a knack for asking the questions every woman secretly asks, and answering with a story that expresses our collective dreams and fears. . . . Far more than a first-rate page turner; it’s an exploration of the cost of keeping secrets, how the bonds between women both chafe and comfort, and how in the midst of the terror and beauty that is life, we find grace.”
ALLISON LEOTTA, author of The Last Good Girl

“[McKenzie] specializes in mining people’s inner darkness, particularly the inner darkness of women living superficially happy lives. . . . [her] books coolly imagine what it’s like to doubt your own memories, to be written off as dead, or to watch your own neglected child become a monster.”
The Globe and Mail

“The questions raised . . . accumulate with every plot twist. . . . McKenzie has effected something of a Trojan Horse: The Good Liar is a novel of ideas in the convincing guise of a page-turner.”
Montreal Gazette

“What I love about this deft, intimate novel is that here are no angels or demons here, just adults—husbands, wives, mothers, fathers—leading complex, messy, very human lives. They all struggle to weigh desire against obligation, what they want against what is right. I found myself in the impossible, wonderful position of rooting for all of them—and of missing them when the book was over.”
MARISA DE LOS SANTOS, bestselling author of Belong to Me and Love Walked In

“One of the Best Thrillers of Spring 2018.”

“A deftly crafted novel that is a thoroughly absorbing read from beginning to end, Smoke showcases author Catherine McKenzie's truly impressive storytelling talents. An exceptional entertainment from first page to last, Smoke is very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections.”

“If you’re always up for a good murder mystery, reach for I’ll Never Tell.”
Good Housekeeping

“McKenzie’s mesmerizing page-turner about a raging forest fire that may—or may not—conceal a crime will keep you up way past bedtime. Part mystery, part roller-coaster read about secrets and trust, and the complexities of marriage and friendship, Smoke is guaranteed to stimulate lively book club discussion.”
BARBARA CLAYPOLE WHITE, award-winning author of The In-Between Hour and The Perfect Son

“A riveting story. . . . The twists are shocking, the characters are well-drawn but unpredictable, and the conclusion is as poignant as it is surprising. The Good Liar is thrilling, captivating, and not to be missed!”
KATE MORETTI, New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year and The Blackbird Season

“For many years, Catherine McKenzie has been writing some of the best thrillers around. She’s outdone herself with The Good Liar, the powerful and heartbreaking story of the painful aftermath of a national tragedy. It’s sharply written with engaging characters and twists and surprises up until the very last page. A smart, fast-paced, and riveting thriller!”
DAVID BELL, author of Bring Her Home

“Takes the nostalgic Canadian experience of summer camp and turns it upside down. . . . explores dangerous family secrets, loyalty, and tragedy.”

“Should be at the top of your list.”

“Coupled with strained relationships and family dynamics, Catherine McKenzie captivates the reader with her fluent writing, which is vivid and evocative, yet effortless to read. Smoke will have readers turning the pages with haste, consumed with burning questions as to how this page-turner ends.”
MARY KUBICA, bestselling author of The Good Girl and Pretty Baby

“Gripping, smart, beautifully written, Catherine McKenzie’s books are always a must read. Hidden should be at the top of your list.”
ALLIE LARKIN, bestselling author of Stay and Why Can't I Be You

“In her latest, Catherine McKenzie continues to prove she’s a master at crafting psychological thrillers. . . . The story is layered with superb twists and expert pacing, deftly building in suspense until its stunner of an ending. A compulsive read that kept me guessing!”
KERRY LONSDALE, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Everything We Left Behind and Everything We Keep

"How does tragedy shape our lives? Catherine McKenzie tackles this question—with no shortage of twists and turns—through the perspectives of three captivating women in The Good Liar. This is THE thriller of 2018.”
CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

"When it comes to psychological thrillers, lies and dark family secrets are the very best kind, and Catherine McKenzie handles them both with skill in I’ll Never Tell, a riveting story of siblings linked by long-ago tragedy. Suspicions swirl, and the truth is revealed in steady, page-turning increments that culminate in a whopper of an ending."
KIMBERLY BELLE, bestselling author of Three Days Missing and The Marriage Lie

“Catherine McKenzie’s latest book may be her finest. Hidden explores the intersecting lives of a man, his wife, and a woman who may or may not be his mistress. Imaginatively constructed, filled with nail-biting tension and gracefully written, Hidden is a winner.”
SARAH PEKKANEN, bestselling author of These Girls and Skipping a Beat

Smoke is a sizzling page-turner with wonderfully flawed and human characters and a riveting plot portraying both the terror and attraction of playing with fire. So engrossing and real it will leave the reader smelling smoke on their clothes, this is Catherine McKenzie’s best book yet.”
KATHLEEN MCCLEARY, author of Leaving Haven

“One of the Best Books of April [2018].”

Praise for The Good Liar

“A riveting thriller.”
Entertainment Weekly

“A sharp and engrossing novel of suspense . . . the latest title by bestseller McKenzie is sure to delight her fans.”
49th Shelf

“McKenzie nimbly delivers believably flawed characters, a plot layered with broken trust, suspense, secrets, and spot-on pacing. Smoke beautifully meshes mystery, complex relationships and a love story that will keep readers turning pages and generate thought-provoking book club discussions.”

“Secrets are the coin of suspense and Catherine McKenzie spends them better than anyone. I’ll Never Tell builds incredible tension in a braid of a family's past with its present, and what five siblings, set against each other by their father’s last will and testament, will do to secure their future. Twisty and brilliant!”
JAMIE MASON, author of Three Graves Full and Monday's Lie

“[With] a good pace, simple plotting and likable characters . . . Hidden is going to be, like Spin, Forgotten, and Arranged before it, an international bestseller.”

“Equal parts creepy murder mystery and juicy family drama.”
The Kit

“With twists and turns, the lives of three women intersect in the most unexpected ways during the aftermath of a tragedy. Thought-provoking, suspenseful, and mysterious, The Good Liar is a true page-turner that explores the ways stories are connected and created, and what can be hidden underneath. This is a book you won’t be able to put down!”
MEGAN MIRANDA, New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger

"Lines will be crossed and secrets revealed when tragedy intersects three women in The Good Liar, a guilty pleasure you won't be able to put down until the very last page. A Must Read!"
LIZ FENTON AND LISA STEINKE, authors of The Good Widow

“McKenzie breaks your heart in this story of two grief-stricken women mourning the same man. Hidden’s complex grace and page-turning sympathy left me satisfied through every the last page.”
RANDY SUSAN MEYERS, bestselling author of The Murderer's Daughters and The Comfort of Lies

Praise for Hidden

“[A] delicate, honest exploration of secrets, family, and the varied meanings of true love.”

“McKenzie does a brilliant job of gradually reconstructing the last day of Amanda’s life, mapping each sibling’s whereabouts on the campgrounds while also revealing their own potential culpability in the crime.”

“[McKenzie] builds suspense in steady, page-turning steps all while drawing the reader into the lives of her characters. Recommended.”
Library Journal

“[A] complex, thought-provoking psychological thriller. . . . Who the good liar may be, and what that phrase might actually mean, are questions that will resonate long after the book is finished.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Using distinct narrative voices, Catherine McKenzie has crafted a compelling novel that kept me turning pages at a breakneck speed. Heartbreakingly honest and real, Hidden is a wonderfully relatable tale.”
TRACEY GARVIS GRAVES, New York Times bestselling author of On the Island

“A cleverly crafted, heart-wrenching tale of obsession, regret and the devastating effects of keeping secrets for far too long.”
A. J. BANNER, #1 USA Today bestselling author of The Good Neighbor and The Twilight Wife

“McKenzie weaves a rich tapestry of flawed, untrustworthy characters, challenging the reader to solve the crime . . . a not-so-easy, but spell-binding task.”
ROBERT DUGONI, New York Times bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite series

“A raging fire in a small town in the northern Rockies deeply affects the lives of two old friends who are no longer speaking: Elizabeth, an arson investigator, and Mindy, whose son is suspected of setting the fire. With a deft, sure hand, Catherine McKenzie explores the complicated and sometimes conflicting ties of friendship and family. Immensely readable and emotionally resonant.”
CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

“An atmospheric thriller that takes the reader on a harrowing journey through one family’s quest for the truth no matter the cost. McKenzie’s characters leap from the page in this compulsive, riveting tale filled with twisty family secrets, suspect loyalties and deadly encounters. . . . Will keep you guessing until the very end.”
HEATHER GUDENKAUF, New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and Not A Sound

Smoke has everything Catherine McKenzie's fans will want from her new novel—beautiful pacing, a thick plot, suspense, characters you'll love, and intricate relationships. In other words, everything that'll keep you turning pages. Set in the Rocky Mountains, where a forest fire threatens to swallow a small town whole, Smoke will feel particularly relevant when you think back to the headlines about the wildfires that burned all summer long.”

“The lives of three women become entangled in a single tragedy. With her compelling characters, whip-smart dialogue and edge-of-your-seat pacing, McKenzie asks how well we know those around us—even the people we love the most.”
PAULA TREICK DEBOARD, author of Here We Lie and The Drowning Girls

Smoke is as hot as the wildfire that serves as the novel’s backdrop. As one couple tries to sort through their issues, temperatures rise until the air is clouded with mistrust, and blame runs amok through an entire community, leaving her characters no choice but to fight for what—and whom—they love. This is domestic drama at its best!”
KATHRYN CRAFT, author of The Art of Falling and The Far End of Happy

Praise for Smoke

“A fiery, suspenseful story. . . . McKenzie’s fifth novel assesses the flame resistance of bonds shared by family, friends, and community. Pages keep on turning, questions keep on burning, as Smoke wafts up from between the covers to consume readers.”

“Secrets and lies swirl on these pages, intermingling with guilt and doubt. For readers who love experiencing one event from multiple perspectives, this is a gripping novel. . . . A Spring 2018 Must Read Book.”

“McKenzie has written a compulsively readable novel about grief and infidelity with great insight and great heart. A truly engaging read.”
HEIDI DURROW, author of the New York Times bestseller The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

“Catherine McKenzie has done it again. . . . In yet another page-turner, three women, linked by trauma, transform from images seen through the camera’s lens into human and relatable characters as their layered lives come into focus. As you settle in for this tense and compelling ride, you’ll start to question who 'the good liar' really is—Cecily, Kate, witnesses, the media, friends, family or maybe even Catherine McKenzie herself.”
EMILY BLEEKER, bestselling author of Wreckage and When I'm Gone

“An exquisitely composed portrait of people in an extreme situation, navigating the metaphorical fires they’ve created and a literal one they need to contain. I fell in love with these shades-of-gray characters and their authentically portrayed need for change and relief. Commercial fiction at its finest.”
THERESE WALSH, author of The Last Will of Moira Leahy and The Moon Sisters

“With its blend of can’t-put-it-down suspense and sharp psychological insight, I’ll Never Tell compels as both whodunit and family drama. As much as I wanted to solve the mystery at the heart of the book, I was sorry to reach the end and say goodbye to the characters—a fascinating, complicated family whose heartbreak, regret, and love leap off the page. This might be my favorite of Catherine McKenzie’s books yet.”
LEAH STEWART, author of The New Neighbor and What You Don't Know About Charlie Outlaw

“Give this to fans of seemingly benign characters with dark inner lives like those in Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.”

“You can never go wrong with a Catherine McKenzie novel. Consistently superb suspense that doesn’t disappoint.”
J. T. ELLISON, New York Times bestselling author of Tear Me Apart and Lie to Me

Praise for I’ll Never Tell

“A marvel, a mystery that portrays relationships with subtlety, small town life with precision, and reveals the world of the fire obsessed—for evil and for good. Smoke smolders with tension, sizzles with intelligence, and you won't put it down until the air has been cleared and the last page turned.”
ROBIN BLACK, author of Life Drawing

“By giving the perspective, in alternating chapters, of each of the three main characters . . . this novel builds suspense as the reader wonders what really happened. Verdict: McKenzie’s fourth novel is sure to please her many fans and appeal to readers who enjoy women’s fiction with an element of suspense.”

Smoke is an engaging and readable novel for those who enjoy suspenseful women’s fiction.”

“A deft domestic noir.”
Toronto Star

“[A] riveting novel of suspense . . . Twists and turns and plenty of red herrings keep the reader guessing. McKenzie once again delivers the thriller goods.”
Publishers Weekly

User Reviews

Still A Fan.

Family secrets.
We all have them. Dirty little tidbits that we may never tell anyone about.
This book took a moment for me to get into it. At first it flipped around viewpoints a lot, and didn't really get me anywhere solid to start drawing a picture. But about halfway through it picked up and I wanted to know who really did this to Amanda.
In the end, you do find out the whole truth, though justice is not gratifying. I thought the ending was a little rushed compared to the rest of the story.
Still as a whole I liked it. Just didn't love it like I expected to.

Other titles by Catherine McKenzie