Fen Dexter's quiet life on the idyllic California coast is interrupted one stormy night when a blood-covered man shows up on her doorstep, claiming to have had a car accident. He tells her that he is on his way to San Francisco to help the police solve the murder of his fiancé. Unable to make it to the hospital because of the storm, he stays the night at Fen's, and the attraction between them is obvious. The next morning he heads to the hospital where Fen's niece, Vivi, is an ER doctor. Vivi is treating the most recent target of a serial killer whose signature move is to leave a note saying "Please Don't Tell" taped across his victims' mouths. When Fen's mysterious stranger comes to Vivi to have his wounds stitched she agrees to set him up to talk with the police about his fiancé. Who is this man, really? What does he want with Fen and her family? And will they live long enough to uncover the truth? Told with Elizabeth Adler's knack for terrific female characters and breathtaking twists, Please Don't Tell will keep you guessing, right up to the end.
Should a detective accompanying a serial killer's most recent victim, who has been brutally raped and is barely breathing, try to hit on the ER doctor who may have just saved the victim's life? Your response to this question may predict your reaction to this page-turner from bestseller Adler (A Place in the Country), which fuses effective if workmanlike suspense with occasionally cringe-worthy romance, set against backdrops ranging from storm-battered Big Sur to the back streets of San Francisco's Chinatown. Their initial encounter notwithstanding, rugged SFPD Det. Brad Merlin and the spunky physician who catches his eye, Dr. Vivian Dexter, are among the most appealing figures in a thriller, some of whose main characters morph wildly to facilitate the plot. And then there are those characters you wish would change, like Dr. Dexter's opinionated Aunt Fen, still an incurable romantic despite having married three times. Even after the white-knuckle climax, key questions remain unanswered, but you'll know how to make Aunt Fen's beef daube.