“Tell Me” by Lisa Jackson / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Who murdered a pregnant teenage girl? Her mother is not talking.

Tell Me by Lisa Jackson

Thriller author Lisa Jackson’s new book “Tell Me” sucked me in and disabled me like a snakebite.  Out of nowhere, from the first page of the Prologue, she had me.

The mystery is multi-layered.  In Savannah, Georgia, a mother is about to be released from prison.  The story questions are numerous.  Was she wrongly incarcerated for killing her child, or are they about to release a guilty woman?  Who murdered a young girl and shot two other children, paralyzing one?  Who is the father of the girl who was murdered?  Who fathered the unborn child the teen died carrying?  And who is the stalker who keeps appearing?  The angle is reporter and detective working together (they’re also engaged, which creates the romantic suspense), but the point-of-view for the most part is shared by the two interchangeably.

This is the third in the Detective Pierce Reed and journalist Nikki Gillette series and joins the over 75 Lisa Jackson novels, many of them New York Times bestsellers.

The cast of characters are related to each other to some degree or other.  The snake scenes, which are peppered throughout, will give you the willies.  Lisa Jackson has written several books for Silhouette and you can see that in the love scenes, which were a little over the top for me (I think there were 3 of them I could do without), but my wife says those were there for the women in the audience, not the men.  For you guys, though, there is enough suspense, thrills, dangers, guns, knives, murders, and whodunit to keep you going, just don’t stay too long in the shower scene.

From the first page, the story is suspenseful and open-ended.  The culprit could be anybody.  Jackson plays fair, but she’s tricky.  Pay attention as you read: the plot is tight.  Lisa Jackson wraps it up nicely and, frankly, I read a lot of books, but I didn’t see the tie-up of this one coming.  Masterful.  Full of energy.  A delight to read.  I rushed to the ending and then hated myself for getting there so fast.  This is one of the best romantic suspense novels I’ve ever read.  If on-the-edge-of-your-seat, I-can’t-sleep suspense is what you’re after, Lisa Jackson is the author and “Tell Me” is the book for you.

Now that Killer Nashville 2013 is over, I’m back to reading books again.  Looking forward to sharing what I find.

Until next time, read like someone is burning the books!

Clay Stafford
– Clay Stafford is an author / filmmaker (www.ClayStafford.com) and founder of Killer Nashville (www.killernashville.com). He reviews books daily for Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day. Publishers Weekly has named Stafford and Killer Nashville as one of the top 10 Nashville literary leaders playing “an essential role in defining which books become bestsellers” not only in middle-Tennessee, but also extending “beyond the city limits and into the nation’s book culture.”  (PW 6/10/13)  Having over 1.5 million copies of his own books in print, Stafford’s latest projects are the feature documentary “One of the Miracles” (www.oneofthemiracles.com) and the music CD “XO” (www.jefferdeaverxomusic.com).

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