One misstep puts a man - and everyone he loves - in the path of a relentless killer.
The scion of an old-money San Francisco family, Daniel Brasher left his well-paying, respectable money-manager position to marry his community organizer wife and work at a job he loves, leading group counseling sessions with recently paroled violent offenders.
One night he finds an envelope - one intended for someone else that was placed in his office mailbox by accident. Inside is an unsigned piece of paper, a handwritten note that says, "Admit what you've done or you will bleed for it." The deadline in the note has already passed, and when Daniel looks into it, he finds that the person to whom the envelope was addressed was brutally murdered. But that's just the beginning.
It appears that the killer might have some connection to the offenders Daniel is counseling.
As he scrambles to uncover the truth, Daniel finds more warnings in his office mail, to people whom the police cannot track down, and to victims who cannot be saved. Daniel's efforts to find and help the victims, however, have alerted the killer to his involvement. Next Daniel gets a deadly threat of his own. Now, with the clock ticking, Daniel must somehow appease, outwit, or unmask a seemingly unstoppable killer.
©2013 Gregg Hurwitz (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
What to say...a unique story line (at least it's not like anything I've ever read) that's fast paced, exciting and attention grabbing to the very end. Characters are great and well developed. But inside this excellent story is a second excellent book. Main character is a therapist and there are several therapy sessions with his prison group that are really excellent, by that I mean he's an effective therapist. No idea how Hurwitz learned this, but he's dead on. I definitely recommend this book. I look forward to his next book.
Daniel Brasher is the scion of a super-wealthy San Francisco family who is trying to sever his difficult, snooty mother's apron strings. Having walked away from the lucrative trade of managing the family fortune, he's now a psychologist working with violent ex-cons. Not that he's donned sackcloth and taken a vow of poverty - he still has his money, and as the book begins, he's making plans to start a private practice in a nice luxury office suite.
Much of the human interest involves his group of felons whom he meets with once a week as part of the terms of their parole. They are your usual assortment of poor, mostly non-white people who have made bad life choices, but each one has their little facets and secrets which are unveiled to give them a bit of added dimensionality. Much of the book takes place in their group counseling sessions, which of course turns out to be more significant when Daniel suspects that one of them is a killer.
Without spoiling anything, the killer is out to avenge a perceived injustice, and naturally Daniel turns out to be involved personally. Most of the plot moves in predictable fashion - you can tell when a "twist" is coming by how much of the book is left - but despite it being both somewhat formulaic and implausible (I really don't think the SFPD are going to keep asking a civilian who also happens to be the son of one of the city's most prominent families to keep coming to crime scenes where a serial killer may still be lurking about), I found it entertaining most of the way through. Only at the very end did it become so formulaic as to make me wish it had ended a chapter or two earlier.
Not a particularly thrilling thriller, but the plot moves nicely with a diverse range of characters, and being an expat Californian, I appreciated the San Francisco setting.
Something European or Nordic noir ...
Not applicable - the material he had to work with was so bad, ... but he has this way of narrating where his voice starts to rise and becomes more uber-dramatic - I don't like it at all.
Ha! The only scene worth keeping is the part where our hero finds the mis-delivered threatening letter.
You've been warned!
I am someone who enjoys audible books very much now that they exist. As a young student (real young) I can remember a teacher telling me how books can transport people to different places & open up a whole new world. This is how listening to audible books make me feel. Now if I can just stop falling asleep while listening to them at night I would be fine. Ha ha
Weirdos out there
The suspense & characters were so good & well balanced in a book so suspenseful it was fascinating. I liked the ending too.
Everything he is the best
Hide under my bed every once in a while
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
Group therapy as a device to develop character is certainly nothing new in movies, books, TV. Gregg Hurwitz in my mind takes a risk using it as the fulcrum for his serial killer thriller, the format having previously been mined so deeply. But his group therapy sessions are the best part of this book. Indeed, through the first few hours, I was ready to complain that there weren't enough group sessions, but that was not at all the case by the end.
What makes it work so well is that Hurwitz's main character, the therapist, suspects someone in the group of being the killer, but for reasons I will not divulge, he has to conduct his sessions as if nothing is afoot, as if he is only delving into their psyche as he was before the killings began. The reason why this works so well is that it allows Hurwitz to focus more on character development than plot, and that is almost always a difference maker in literature.
Rather than compare Tell No Lies to books that center on group therapy, I will compare it to another serial killer thriller I read (listened to) recently, Blood Work by Michael Connelly. But I can't tell you why -- although if you read Blood Work, you can probably surmise why I chose it just because I chose it. But that's only an implicit spoiler for the first major reveal -- there are other nice twists to come.
Impossible to choose, for the reason already stated as to why I liked this book in the first place -- all the group therapy characters are good. They work in concert as a group in elevating the narration, as well as the writing. The one thing I will add about this latest of many Scott Brick performances is that he doesn't do the one thing I don't like him doing -- he doesn't read too slowly. I still listened to parts of the book at 1.25 or 1.5 speed because he is nevertheless deliberate in his pace, but he doesn't get overly ponderous in tone at all.
As much as I liked it, I went four stars instead of five because my initial (educated) guess as to motive and perp turned out to be right, from the very moment I heard the motive and perp first mentioned. It was somewhat telegraphed, especially the motive, although Hurwitz does throw us for a loop when it comes to perpetrator (which I will not hint at beyond that).
twists and turns that will keep you up at night to keep reading. the audio narration was uneven. when the narrator acted the male characters he was fine, but not so when he was doing the female characters.
the story itself is a bit far fetched, but if you let go of that, it grips.
the story has some chunks the are slow and seem to not progress the story much, (the group therapy stuff) although I can see they may be necessary for the "list of suspects".
some parts of book read more like social commentary on class inequality, not helpful, like the fate of "mother."
however some read like a travel guide of San Francisco. helpful if you know SF, which I know a little, so it was nice to read.
No. The Reader is exhausting- - emphasizing every sentence like life and death hung in the balance. The dog HAS to go OUTSIDE tonight!!! Over dramatic and took away from the story.
The ending was ok- but no reason to pull in a 3rd party except to say there is a twist.
See above. Overly emphatic.
I'd give myself a couple years to forget the nuances of the story but I think I would enjoy reading it again. There is so much going on in the psyche of the characters and their interaction.
Daniel, he leads the show!
THe scene in which Daniel is "in the center chair" in his group, compared to being the group's therapist leader. He deliberately puts himself in this very vulnerable position, attempting to draw out the antagonist.
Your unknown past will come back to haunt you.
Made the story somewhat more plausible
Voices too clichéd
No - it's all wrapped up nicely at the end - although I almost didn't read all the way to the end.
I am surprised this had such high reader ratings. That's usually a good indication of whether I will like a book or not, but not it in this case.
Suspense and Scott Brick's reading!
Keep me on edge
Will look for more books read by Scott Brick
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