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BOOK REVIEW: I’ll Never Tell by Philippa East

Published: January 5th, 2023
Publisher: HQ
Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Psychological Ficiton, Domestic Fiction
Format: Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook

I’ll Never Tell was the Squadpod Book Club pick for January. Tense and twisty, this one had me on the edge of my seat! Thank you to HQ for the gifted proof and Philippa East for a great month of events.


Gripping new suspense from the author of Little White Lies

‘A tense, cat and mouse tale . . . a compelling read’ Catherine Cooper, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Chateau

‘Had me gripped from start to finish. So original and clever’ Lesley Kara, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Apartment Upstairs

‘Wow! What a book! I couldn’t read it fast enough. The tension and pace were absolute magic’ Lauren North, author of All the Wicked Games

Keep your family close, and your secrets closer…

To the outside world, the Goodlights are perfect.

Julia is a lawyer, Paul a stay-at-home dad who has dedicated his life to helping their daughter Chrissie achieve her dreams as a talented violinist.

But on the night of a prestigious music competition, which has the power to change everything for Chrissie and her family, Chrissie goes missing.

She puts on the performance of a lifetime, then completely disappears. Suddenly every single crack, every single secret that the family is hiding risks being exposed.

Because the Goodlights aren’t perfect. Not even close.



“A sense of horror begins to creep through him, a sense of reality cracking apart. It feels as though the last forty-eight hours is unravelling backwards, all the dot-to-dot connections coming apart. He thought he had this; he thought he knew what he was doing… Now everything he’s assumed has been flipped on its head.”

To everyone they know, the Goodlights seem like the perfect, happy family. Julie is a lawyer, Paul is a stay-at-home dad who is committed to helping their daughter Christie, a talented violinist, achieve her dreams. But the truth is completely different and the Goodlights are each hiding secrets that could tear them apart. And when Christie goes missing, their secrets risk being revealed. Can they find their daughter while keeping their secrets safe? Or will their perfect facade finally be exposed?

I’ll Never Tell was the January pick for the Squadpod Book Club. And what an incredible way to start our 2023 reading! Tense, twisty and unexpected, I devoured this book. I loved Philippa East’s debut, Little White Lies, but this one surpassed my already high expectations. The fast-paced plot kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish and I loved that it was so hard to predict, my mind swimming with a multitude of questions and possibilities as the story unfolded.  And that ending! It came out of the blue and left my jaw on the floor. I did not see it coming. 

It’s no secret how much I love an unreliable narrator, and this book has two of them. Paul and Julie are not only hiding secrets from the police, but each other. Secrets that threaten to tear their happy family apart if discovered. The air is thick with suspicion and suspense, the lies they are trying to keep concealed threatening to choke them. They are flawed, shady and broken, but utterly compelling to read. And while I had my misgivings about them, I was hoping to be proven wrong and rooting for them to get their daughter back safely. And though Chrissie is at the centre of the story, we only really see her through the eyes of others, which I felt was a great decision by the author as it made her character even more cryptic and elusive, adding to the veil of mystery that surrounds her. The fact that we don’t know if she has been taken or run away also adds to the mystery, all coming together to create an awful, inescapable tension. 

Atmospheric, gripping and nerve-shatteringly tense, this is a thriller you need on your TBR.

Rating: ✮✮✮✮.5



Philippa East is a fiction writer with HQ/HarperCollins and she also works as a clinical psychologist.

Philippa grew up in Scotland before moving to Oxford and then London to complete her clinical psychology training. A few years ago, she left the NHS to set up her own part-time practice and dedicate more hours to writing. The result was her debut novel LITTLE WHITE LIES, which was longlisted for The Guardian’s Not-The-Booker Prize and shortlisted for the CWA “New Blood” Award 2020.

Released in 2021, Philippa’s second book SAFE AND SOUND is another twisty and compelling tale. For a fun preview, check out the video trailer on Philippa’s Amazon Author page (best with sound on!). Philippa’s brilliant third book, I’LL NEVER TELL, will release in January 2023 and is available to pre-order via Amazon now. You can hear more about the book via Philippa’s latest two Author Update videos on this page.

Philippa now lives in the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside with her spouse and cat. She loves reading (of course!) and long country walks, and she also performs in a local folk duo called The Miracle Cure. Alongside her writing, Philippa continues to work as a psychologist and therapist.



Waterstones | Amazon |


Thanks for reading Bibliophiles xxx

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