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If You Ever Tell    by Carlene Thompson order for
If You Ever Tell
by Carlene Thompson
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2008 (2008)
Paperback, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Teri Farr awakes and finds her father and stepmother stabbed to death while they slept and her stepsister injured. Teri sees the murderer but he is hidden by a caped cloak. The police don't believe her and consider her the prime suspect. The West Virginia town where she grew up pronounces her guilty without a trial.

A serial killer confesses to the murders and the town almost forgets that Teri was a suspect. Now eight years later, just before his death by lethal injection, the killer recants his confession. He has accepted that he is going to die for the other murders he committed, but he wants to set the record straight. He did not kill Hugh and Wendy Farr.

Teri's stepsister Celeste goes to live with her father and grandmother after she leaves the hospital. She recovers from her injuries but the traumatic night has left her mute. Within days of the serial killer's denial, Celeste's voice suddenly returns while dining with her father in a crowded restaurant. She chants a childish rhyme, 'The clock struck three, And Death Came for me. When I opened my eyes, there was Teri.'

This tightly plotted mystery keeps the reader and Teri guessing all the way to the surprising ending.

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