Sep 16, 2021

Review--Don't Tell a Soul by Kirsten Miller


A story about a new girl in an old town filled with dark secrets . . . that might just kill her.

People say the house is cursed.
It preys on the weakest, and young women are its favorite victims.
In Louth, they're called the Dead Girls.

All Bram wanted was to disappear—from her old life, her family's past, and from the scandal that continues to haunt her. The only place left to go is Louth, the tiny town on the Hudson River where her uncle, James, has been renovating an old mansion.

But James is haunted by his own ghosts. Months earlier, his beloved wife died in a fire that people say was set by her daughter. The tragedy left James a shell of the man Bram knew—and destroyed half the house he'd so lovingly restored.

The manor is creepy, and so are the locals. The people of Louth don't want outsiders like Bram in their town, and with each passing day she's discovering that the rumors they spread are just as disturbing as the secrets they hide. Most frightening of all are the legends they tell about the Dead Girls. Girls whose lives were cut short in the very house Bram now calls home.

The terrifying reality is that the Dead Girls may have never left the manor. And if Bram looks too hard into the town's haunted past, she might not either.


Next up on my spooky reading binge was Kirsten Miller's 2021 release, Don't Tell a Soul! I remembered hearing about this one late last year and thought it sounded amazing! The cover is spooky and the story sounded chilling and I was all for it! While things ended up being not quite what I expected, I found I still liked the book, but I'll admit, I got a bit lost in between somewhere as there were a few different backstories going on that made it hard to keep everyone's past straight.

After an event that shook up Bram's life, she is ready to escape. Her mother willingly ships her off to her uncle's house until things mellow out. We don't really know what this event was, but it was bad, really bad, and eventually we do get the story. Bram has always loved being with her uncle and was looking forward to this trip. Though, not all was well with her uncle. Her uncle, James recently lost his second wife to a fire that took place in the mansion he was renovating into a bed and breakfast. 

Bram learns that the manor James is living in has a dark history. Dating back to the original owners where a girl killed herself in a nearby river when her lover left her. There's rumors that the house is haunted, but Bram isn't too sure of that herself. Until her first night there when strange things start happening. Hearing odd noises, doors opening that were shut the night before, furniture moving...yet Bram still remains unconvinced. If it were me and I woke up to my furniture blocking my door, I'd be climbing out the window, no matter how many stories it was up! 

Bram meets some interesting people in this little town too and because of her past history with people, she's reluctant to trust anyone. She soon finds herself following James' stepdaughter's footsteps into looking into the mansion's past and the girls who lived there who all supposedly died tragically. 

This book was definitely creepy, and twisted, and mysterious! The mystery was what really drew me in, though I will admit it gets complicated as we have the mystery of what happened with James' stepdaughter, what happened to the daughter of the original manor owner, and there's one more girl who was found dead on the manor's ground in between those events. It can get a little muddied with the back and forth looking into these's girls' pasts. That the whole town seems to be hiding something as well was also a little odd. Everyone was always acting suspiciously whenever Bram came around and asked a question or two.

There was also another event in Bram's past that acted as a catalyst to her life now. When she was young she walked into her aunt's house one day and found her dead, along with her own father. Everyone said they were having an affair yet Bram didn't believe it. No one would listen to her, and thus her life started spiraling out of control when she turned to drugs and it basically made everyone believe she was not to be trusted.

The pacing to this book was spot on! Despite my not being able to keep up with three different mysteries all the time, I did find myself eagerly turning the pages. I was looking at everyone as a suspect and wondering if Bram should be so trusting of this or that person, when she's usually hesitating anyway.

One thing I noted was that there was no romance in this book. Which I was fine with either way. It just seems like these days we're always getting a little hint of something between a heroine and a hero. This one really had none of that and it was a little refreshing to be honest. Though I did feel like I was constantly at the ready for something to happen! Lol.

The ending was pretty revealing too! I mean, I started to suspect our whodunit around the time Bram was starting to question things more and more. I never really pinned it down though. How that all played out behind the whys and whatnot was a little mundane but not overly so. When it all came together, it made sense. I did like how we did get a glimpse of a happier ending for those left standing though, so it wasn't a total wash.

Don't Tell a Soul was a creepy and chilling mystery read! There's just a hint of spookiness to make it a perfect read for this time of year! It's a page-turning kind of read that will have you guessing until the very end!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

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