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Never Lie

Recap, Summary & Spoilers



The Quick Recap and Chapter-by-Chapter Summary for Never Lie by Freida McFadden are below.

Ending & Explanations

See the Ending & Explanations for Never Lie

Quick(-ish) Recap

Three-paragraph version: Tricia and Ethan, a young couple, get stranded at an open house during a snowstorm. The house belongs to psychotherapist Dr. Adrienne Hale, who famously disappeared three years ago, just after the release of her pop psychology bestseller, The Anatomy of Fear. The book features one of her patients, "PL", whose friends and fiancé were stabbed at a cabin. Tricia finds a hidden room full of cassette tapes of her sessions with Adriene's patients. Through the tapes and flashbacks, we learn the Adrienne was being blackmailed by a patient, "EJ", after she tried to terminate their sessions. He had a video of her slashing someone's tires, and he forced her to continue their sessions and escalated to other demands. Adrienne's boyfriend, Luke, broke into EJ's place to delete the incriminating video, but EJ recorded footage of that as well.

In present day, Tricia and Ethan find a dead body under the floorboards, and they discover that Luke has been staying in the house. Through flashbacks, it's revealed that Adrienne figured out that PL was the one who killed her friends and fiancé (because her fiancé was cheating with her best friend). Adrienne then used that information to force PL to help her kill EJ, hiding him under the floorboards. PL turns out to be Tricia (P is for Patricia). After EJ's death, Tricia confronted and killed Adrienne out of paranoia that Adrienne would get them caught. Tricia has now returned to this house in order to dispose of EJ's body (because she found out it was being sold and was worried it would be discovered).

It's then revealed that Ethan is the son of one of Adrienne's other patients, "GW", who died a few years ago from falling down a flight of stairs. Dr. Hale had told Tricia about it and about how GW's son had claimed a hefty insurance payout. Tricia had then engineered a meeting with Ethan, which is how they met. In present day, Tricia confronts Ethan about his mother's death, and he admits to killing her for the money. Tricia then admits to her own homicides. Ethan tells Tricia that they'll figure this out together. They end up killing Luke, burying Luke and EJ's bodies, and they buy the house and start a family together.


(The book switches between Tricia's present day point of view, Adrienne's flashbacks from the past and clips from Adrienne's therapy tapes.)

In Chapters 1 - 9, Tricia and Ethan, a young couple married for six months, arrive at an open house at an out-of-the-way location in a snowstorm. They use a spare key to get into the house and see that the house is beautiful but everything is dusty. They realize that the house belongs to Dr. Adrienne Hale, who famously disappeared three years agon just one week after the release of her latest pop psychology bestseller, The Anatomy of Fear. The book is about overcoming traumatic events and heavily features a patient "PL" whose friends and fiancé were stabbed at a cabin.

Tricia suspects someone else has been in the house recently when she hears noises, sees a light on, finds a footprint and there's food in the fridge. But Ethan dismisses all of it as stuff their realtor Judy must've left there. Tricia also discovers a hidden room full of thousands of cassette tapes from Adrienne's psychotherapy practice, which she suspects the police never found. She doesn't tell Ethan because she knows he would disapprove of her listening to them, but she's curious and wonders if she can find clues to her disappearance in those tapes.

In Chapters 10 - 27, through flashbacks to Adrienne's point of view and the tapes, the book reveals that Adrienne was trying to terminate her relationship with a narcissistic personality referred to "EJ" on her tapes. EJ does not take it well and stalks her until he catches her slashing someone's tires in anger after they steal her parking spot. He then uses the tapes to blackmail Adrienne into resuming their sessions. EJ talks about how there's no point in getting a job because his parents will probably die soon anyway and leave him a lot of money. Meanwhile, Adrienne meets a man, Luke, who she begins to fall for.

In present day, Tricia listens to the tapes. She also reveals a secret she's been hiding to Ethan -- that she's pregnant. She's worried about how he'll react, but he's delighted. Ethan is wealthy and reassures Tricia that she doesn't need to work and that he'll take care of her. Tricia continues to listen to tapes, but becomes increasingly sure there is someone else in the house when she finds a newly laundered sleeping bag and pillow in the otherwise dusty attic.

In Chapters 28 - 44, the book reveals that EJ eventually escalates to demanding more frequent sessions and even forcing Adrienne to prescribe him medication. Adrienne finally asks Luke to help her wipe the video from EJ's phone and home computer by drugging EJ to temporarily get access to his phone and keys. Adrienne hopes the matter is concluded, but soon EJ lets Adrienne know that not only does he still have the video, he also now has footage of Luke breaking into his home.

In present day, Tricia and Ethan find a corpse underneath the floorboards of Adrienne's office. Soon, they find someone in the house and Tricia realizes that it's Luke.

In Chapters 45 - 52, it's then revealed that Adrienne's patient PL is actually Tricia, with the "P" standing for Patricia. Also, Adrienne had at some point figured out that PL was actually the one who killed her friends and fiancé at that cabin (because her fiancé had been cheating on her with her best friend). Adrienne then used that information to blackmail Tricia into helping her kill EJ, whose body she hid under the floorboards.

However, Tricia had eventually gotten worried that Adrienne wasn't going to be able to keep the secret of EJ's death. So, Tricia killed Adrienne and disposed of the body.

In Chapters 53 - the Epilogue, the book explains that Tricia ended up returning to this house because she found out it was on sale and she knew EJ's body was still in here and could incriminate her. She came back to dispose of it.

Meanwhile, in present day, Tricia finds Ethan buring some tapes of sessions with a patient, GW, who died a few years ago from falling down a flight of stairs. GW is Ethan's mother. Tricia had learned from Dr. Hale about GW's death and she'd learned that GW's son, Ethan, had claimed a hefty insurance payment. Tricia had then purposely engineered a meeting with the now-wealthy Ethan, which is how they met.

In present day, Tricia confronts Ethan about the truth of his mother's death, and Ethan admits to killing her for the money. Tricia then tells him all about her homicides. Ethan thinks and then tells her that they can figure this out together. Tricia and Ethan then kill Luke and dispose of both Luke and EJ's bodies. They buy the house.

The book ends with them living at the house and raising a family.

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Chapter-by-Chapter Summary

Prologue

The book opens by discussing an experiment involving a “broken” vending machine that dispenses candy while returning the money. The experiment showed that the subjects happily took the free candy, often going back for more, and ignored the sign with a number to report if the machine is malfunctioning.

The narrator then discusses how everyone lies, but they know when someone is lying to them.

Chapters 1 – 2 (Trisha – Present Day)

Trisha and her husband of six months, Ethan, are driving to see an open house, but they’re lost. Ethan insists that they’re not. They’ve been driving for two house and outside, it’s snowing heavily. Ethan and Trisha met at a coffee shop and got married nine months later. She knows it was fast, but she loves him, even though she has a secret she hasn’t shared with him yet.

As they turn onto a small path, they both wonder if this house is too out-of-the-way. But they finally see the house and she can see that Ethan is clearly amazed and dazzled by it. They’ve seen so many houses in the past few months, and none of them have impressed Ethan. But Trisha is less impressed, and she feels sick as she looks out at the estate, sensing that something terrible has happened in this house.

heir car gets stuck, so they need to walk the rest of the way. They look for their realtor, Judy and head towards the house. There’s a light on in one of the upstairs windows.


In front of the house, it doesn’t appear Judy is around, and it’s freezing outside. They find a spare key outside, and they use that to get inside. Inside, the living space is huge with high ceilings. Ethan is wowed by the house and wonders why the asking price is so low. The house is also fully furnished but everything is covered in layers of dust and there are cobwebs. It’s clear Judy hasn’t been here.

On the mantle, there is a large portrait of a pale, beautiful woman who appears to be in her mid-thirties. She has brownish auburn hair with bright green eyes. The bookshelves in the house are overflowing with books. There’s also a whole bookshelf dedicated to the same title “The Anatomy of Fear” by Dr. Adrienne Hale. The author’s photo reveals that she’s the woman on the mantle.

They remember that Dr. Adrienne Hale was known for a pop psychology book that she published, made famous by her highly publicized disappearance around three years ago. She’s assumed to be dead, and the general consensus was that her boyfriend probably did it. Trisha and Ethan surmise that this must be her house.

Trisha notices a large footprint near one of the bookshelves.

Chapter 3 (Adrienne – Before)

(The book switches to Adrienne’s perspective and jumps back in time.)

Adrienne watches from the window as her literary agent, Paige approaches her house. Paige drops off the proof for her latest upcoming book, The Anatomy of Fear. Paige thought some of the scenes were too gruesome, but Adrienne’s first book Know Yourself was a big success so Paige couldn’t push back too hard. Paige asks if she has a security system for the huge house, and Adrienne says no.

Adrienne thinks about how Paige doesn’t really respect what she does and thinks of Adrienne’s patients as being crazy. Adrienne also thinks that Paige is good at what she does, but she resents how harshly Paige criticizes her manuscripts. Adrienne knows Paige would like to be friends, but Adrienne doesn’t have friends.

As Paige leaves, Adrienne thinks about how she plans on firing Paige as her agent.

Chapters 4 – 5 (Trisha – Present Day)

In present day, they go into the kitchen to find a fresh package of bologna in the fridge. They wonder if maybe Judy put it there, and Ethan makes them sandwiches. Trisha sees there’s a cup of water on the counter with condensation, indicating there’s someone else that’s been in the house very recently. She points it out to Ethan.

Knowing they’ll likely be stuck here for the night due to the storm and because Trisha is worried there’s someone else in the house, they go upstairs and explore the rooms. They find a number of rooms, including the master bedroom and the office. Trisha feels Adrienne’s presence haunting the rooms, especially the office. She thinks about how Adrienne disappeared a week after The Anatomy of Fear was released.

Chapter 6 (Adrienne – Before)

At her desk, Adrienne thinks about how mental health workers being killed by patients is a relatively rare occurrence. It usually happens to female case workers with male patients with schizophrenia. Adrienne sees patients in her home and vets each one before accepting them as a patient. She feels safe with her patients, except for one though she thinks about how “that will resolve itself soon enough”.

At her desk, Adrienne sees that Paige has responded to her recent firing expressing shock and dismay and offering to make things right. Next, Adrienne reads an e-mail from a patient’s mother, Susan Jamison, saying that she doesn’t think the sessions are helping and that she’ll no longer be paying for her son’s therapy. Adrienne has been seeing Susan’s son for two years and diagnosed him with narcissistic personality disorder. Susan felt that her son was directionless and wanted help.

Adrienne records all her sessions, even if her patients decline being recorded. She listens back to her last session with Susan’s son, a tape marked EJ #136. Adrienne disliked him the moment she met him, she doesn’t think he’s able to see his own shortcomings and she’s glad to never have to see him again.

Chapters 7 – 9 (Trisha – Present Day)

In present day, Trisha discovers a hidden room, revealed by pulling on a copy of The Shining on one of the bookshelves. Inside the room are shelves of thousands of cassette tapes. She notes a row of tapes marked with the initials “PL”. Trisha remembers that “PL” was the main subject of The Anatomy of Fear. There’s also one tape with a name on it, LUKE, which Trisha remembers as the name of the boyfriend that everyone suspected was responsible for Adrienne’s death.

Trisha quickly grabs one of the PL tapes when she hears Ethan calling her. She doesn’t tell him about the room, knowing he would disapprove of her wanting to listen to the tapes.

Back in the living room, Ethan has opened up a bottle of wine. Trisha hesitates, knowing that she’s pregnant but hasn’t told Ethan yet. They both want kids but agreed to wait a while so they could travel and do other things. It wasn’t intentional; Trisha had an infection a while back and went to urgent care. They gave her antibiotics which made her birth control stop working. Now, she’s terrified to tell Ethan, not sure how he’ll react. Ethan is the CEO of a small startup and she’s seen him get angry at an employee before and doesn’t want that wrath directed towards her.

She knows she should tell him, but she doesn’t. Ethan also takes down the huge painting of Dr. Hale from the wall, since it’s weirding him out, and he places it so it’s facing the wall, saying that he’ll put it back before they leave. Ethan and Trisha have sex, and Ethan goes to take a shower. Trisha takes the opportunity to listen to one of the tapes. It’s PL #2, dated about 6 years ago.

Chapter 10 (PL #2 Transcript)

On the tape, Adrienne talks to PL, who discusses a traumatic event and the nightmares she’s had ever since. It happened a week before she was supposed to be married. The woman talks about how she and her fiancé Cody rented a cabin for the weekend with some friends, Megan and Alexis. That night, she awoke to see Cody had been stabbed and a man was hovering over them. Everyone in the cabin was killed other than PL. She was injured, but she managed to run and flag down a car for help.

Now, PL is unable to function or hold down a job. She’s still the only one who can identify the killer and she worries he’s going to come back to kill her. However, Adrienne tries to convince her she’s safe now and if he was going to track her down and kill her then he would have already done it.

Chapters 11 – 12 (Trisha – Present Day)

After about 30 minutes, Trisha stops the tape knowing he’s probably done showering and goes to find Ethan. She sees that he’s changed into some clothes that he found in the drawers. Trisha is weirded out by wearing the clothes of someone who was murdered and the man who killed her, and she declines to change. Trisha also notes that the reception here is bad and there doesn’t appear to be a landline. Ethan hopes the reception will improve after the storm passes.

Ethan suggests they go to bed, and they go to sleep in the master bedroom.

In the middle of the night, Trisha finds herself wide awake, unable to sleep. Instead, she goes back to the room with the tapes. She suspects the police never found this room or listened to these tapes, otherwise the room would be a mess.

She inspects the tapes and sees that Adrienne had a system. The first session with a client appears to be labeled in blue, the subsequent ones in black and the last session in red. The only exception is someone with the initials EJ where there is a red tape followed by additional black tapes. It appears EJ had their last session but then resumed the sessions sometime afterwards. There’s no red tape again after that, so it appears Adrienne was still seeing EJ when she disappeared.

Curious, Trisha takes the red tape to listen to it.

Chapter 13 (EJ #137 Transcript)

On the tape, EJ brings Adrienne a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa as a gift. However, Adrienne tells EJ that they have to end their sessions because his mother is no longer willing to pay for them and she hasn’t received payment from him for two months. EJ says he can’t afford it and she doesn’t accept insurance, and Adrienne reminds him that they’ve talked about him getting a job. EJ’s parents are wealthy and they give him a small amount of money for rent and food.

EJ gets angry when Adrienne tells him she’s referring him to a colleague who accepts his insurance. He accuses her of not caring about him and says that she’s going to regret this.

Chapters 14 – 15 (Trisha – Present Day)

Trisha thinks about how EJ threated Dr. Hale, and she wonders if he was the one who killed her. She notes that the voice sounds creepy yet familiar. She recalls that the wine that Ethan brought out for them to drink was, oddly enough, also a Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa. Curious about why EJ ended up resuming his sessions, Trisha gets up from Adrienne’s desk and heads toward the hidden room to get the next tape, but she hears a crash coming from elsewhere in the house.

Startled, Trisha rifles through the drawers to find anything that could serve as a weapon and ends up with a pair of scissors. She then heads into the living room to confront whoever might be there, but it’s quiet and she sees that the painting that Ethan took down is now back on the wall.

Scared, she runs back upstairs into the master bedroom. Ethan awakes from the noise she’s making and she tells him she thinks someone is in the house, though Ethan is dismissive, saying it’s probably nothing. She tells him about the painting, but Ethan says he was the one who moved it. He comforts her and tells her to come back to bed.

Chapter 16 (Adrienne – Before)

Adrienne hurries to a mall parking lot where she volunteers once a week at a low-income clinic in the Bronx. A red Jetta takes the spot she’s signaling for which irritates her. Adrienne’s sessions at her house pays the bills and her clients are wealthy or their parents are wealthy. But the clients at the clinic really need her, and she even donated a portion of her proceeds from her first book to the clinic in order to prevent it from getting shut down.

Inside, she’s greeted by the receptionist, Gloria, and Luke Strauss, 36, who has the job of helping the clinic transition from paper records to electronic records, a project that part of Adrienne’s donation is paying for. Luke offers to get her coffee and Adrienne thinks about how she’s well aware that he likes her. As they chat, Gloria mentions how Adrienne lives in a big house with no security system, and Luke offers to install one for her, but Adrienne declines.

Chapters 17 – 18 (Trisha – Present Day)

In the morning, Trisha sees they still have no cell service. She goes downstairs and sees that the painting has been removed from the wall again. Ethan is making eggs which makes her throw up from morning sickness. Finally, Trisha tells him the truth, that she’s pregnant. Ethan is delighted and says that he only said he wanted to wait because he thought she did.

Trisha then mentions the painting and how Ethan took it back down. Ethan clarifies that she misunderstood him last night — he didn’t mean to say that he put it back up, just that he’d moved it and she’d seen him do it. Trisha starts insisting again that someone must’ve been in here last night then, but Ethan is confused about why someone would come into the house just to put the painting back up and then take it down in the morning. Ethan suggests that maybe she just sleepy and confused, but Trisha finally relents and starts to think maybe she was confused somehow.

Ethan says he’s going to go back to the car to grab his laptop. Trisha knows it’ll be a trek so she probably has thirty minutes alone and goes to grab some tapes, including the LUKE take, and stash them in the desk drawer to listen.

Chapter 19 (GW #89 Transcript)

On the tape, Adrienne speaks with a patient, Gail, who has stopped taking her medication. GW thinks her pharmacist is trying to kill her. They talk about how GW previously thought her mailman was trying to kill her. She even thinks her son has motive to let her die so he can collect the insurance. The session is cut short when Adrienne gets an emergency text message.

Chapter 20 (Adrienne – Before)

After the session with Gail, Adrienne had felt bad about having to reschedule her session. However, she’d gotten a text from EJ with a video he’d taken of her from a parking lot after she’d terminated their sessions. It’s a video of her in the parking lot at the mall headed to the free clinic. It shows the red Jetta taking her spot. It also shows her going and slashing the back tires of the car before leaving.

EJ threatens to send this to the media, and Adrienne knows it’s a legitimate threat that would likely make headlines and make her look bad. She asks him what he wants, and EJ says he’s outside her front door. Adrienne wishes at that moment that she’d taken the advice to install a security system.

Adrienne begrudgingly opens the door to talk to EJ. She asks him what he wants and he says he just wants to resume their sessions. She offers to refer him to someone else and even offer to pay for it, but he declines. Finally, Adrienne reluctantly agrees to resume their sessions.

Chapter 21 (EJ #138 Transcript)

In the session, EJ says that he’s been bored lately. Adrienne suggests getting a job. EJ says that his parents will eventually die so he might as well just wait until they’re gone because he’ll be rich either way.

EJ talks about hoping that his parents get into a car accident, and Adrienne asks if he’s suggesting that he would tamper with their brakes, but he denies it. Adrienne tries again to convince EJ to go to another therapist, but he insists he only wants her.

Chapter 22 (Trisha – Present Day)

After the tape ends, Trisha thinks about how it’s clear EJ was blackmailing Adrienne into continuing their sessions but it’s not clear from the tape what he was blackmailing her with. Then, her thoughts are interrupted by the sound of knocking and Ethan’s voice. She hurriedly hides the tape recorder.

Trisha lies and says she was working on her resume in the office, and Ethan points out that there’s no need for her to work now, especially when they’re about to have a baby. Trisha thinks about how her friends thought it was a red flag that Ethan has no family, but she thinks it’s unfair to hold it against him that he lost his parents. She thinks of how lucky she is to have an attractive rich husband who wants to take care of her.

Ethan goes to find somewhere to get some work done. When he leaves the office, Trisha goes back to the tapes, wondering if she can learn the truth of what happened to Adrienne. She eagerly inserts the LUKE take into the player.

Chapter 23 (Adrienne – Before)

At the free clinic, Adrienne asks if Luke is around. The receptionist tells her someone left a gift for her. Adrienne sees there’s a card and some chocolates from a former patient, Lola Hernandez, thanking her for their work together. Adrienne saves the card, but offers the receptionist the cheap chocolates.

She locates Luke and asks him to install a security system for her. He suggests that maybe she’d be better off with a professional company, but she insists on having him do it, and he agrees.

That night, Luke arrives at her house as promised, and he sets up her security system. He asks her about her upcoming book, and Adrienne tells him that it’s about people who have undergone traumatic experiences and how they dealt with it. She tells him about PL and how she had to pretend to be unconscious to survive. She also tells him about how they never caught the guy so she lives with the terror that he’s still out there.

Afterwards, Adrienne offers Luke a free session so he can see what she does. She can tell that he’s hesitant, but agrees to do it anyway.

Chapter 24 (LUKE Transcript)

On the tape, Adrienne and Luke chat. He says that he works setting up electronic medical records systems. Luke says he’s been married but his late wife passed away. She asks about why he decided to help her out tonight, and he says that it’s because he appreciates that she helps others. He also says that she’s beautiful, and he admits that he likes her. She suggests that he kiss her.

Chapter 25 (Adrienne – Before)

After the session, Adrienne and Luke end up in bed. They chat afterwards and he admits he got in trouble as a kid for hacking. Luckily he was a minor so it didn’t stick with him. He doesn’t do it anymore since no one will hire you to do legitimate computer work if you get caught doing something like that. Adrienne asks about his ex-wife again, and Luke says that she died in an accident, but he really doesn’t want to talk about it.

Afterwards, Adrienne tells him she’d be open to getting together again.

Chapters 26 – 27 (Tricia – Present Day)

After listening to the LUKE tape, Tricia goes into the hallway and notices the entrance into the attic. They hadn’t thought to check the attic for people. She considers calling for Ethan, but she knows he’s a little exasperated with her. Instead, she goes up herself. Everything is covered in dust and she finds what you’d expect in an attic. However, then she sees there’s a sleeping bag and a pillow that have clearly been recently used and aren’t covered in dust.

Tricia runs out and goes looking for Ethan. She tells him what she found, but Ethan dismisses it again.

The house is cold, and Ethan suggests that Tricia simply wear some of Adrienne’s clothes. Tired of being cold, Tricia finally gives in and takes one of Adrienne’s white cashmere sweaters.

Chapter 28 (Adrienne – Before)

By now, Adrienne and Luke have been dating for four months. The thought pops into her head one night as they’re cooking that she loves him. She’s never felt that way about a man before. There was a lack of intimacy in her life growing up. Then, when she was in college, her mother developed ovarian cancer and died a year later. Her father died of a heart attack six months later.

Luke has also experienced loss. His ex-wife was his high school sweetheart. She died in a car accident.

That night, EJ shows up at her door, and Adrienne tells Luke to ignore it. EJ messages her instead, wanting an appointment. Adrienne thinks about how she agreed to weekly appointments, but now it’s become 2-3 times a week of unproductive sessions where he likes to disucss his sexual exploits. She begrudgingly agrees to meet with him the next morning.

Chapter 29 (EJ #179 Transcript)

In the session, EJ says he went for a run and hurt his knee. He wants Adrienne to prescribe him some oxycodone, since she said it was her fault because she was the one who suggested that he get some exercise. Adrienne tries to argue with him, but EJ insists.

Chapter 30 (Tricia – Present Day)

The next day, Tricia asks Ethan about his relationship with his mother, and Ethan gets upset. He insists he doesn’t want to talk about his parents. Tricia thinks about how she’s never met anyone from his family.

Chapter 31 (PL #183 Transcript)

On the recording, PL brings Adrienne a large painted portrait of her as a gift. It’s based off of her author photo. She’s thankful for the work they’ve done together, and she’s able to live relatively normally now. PL notices Adrienne seems a little distracted, but Adrienne assures her she’s fine.

Chapter 32 (Adrienne – Before)

After the session with EJ, Adrienne continues to stress about what more EJ will want from her and whether it’ll wreck her career.

That night, Luke tells Adrienne that he loves her. Adrienne starts crying. She thinks about how she wants them to be happy together, but her life is so complicated right now. Finally, she admits to him about the blackmail situation. She says that EJ has a video that he’s holding over her.

Adrienne asks him if he can delete the video if she’s able to get into his apartment. Luke is reluctant to help, but Adrienne pleads with him. She tells him she loves him, and he agrees to help.

Chapter 33 (EJ #181 Transcript)

In their next session, Adrienne has a bottle of wine open for her and EJ to drink. Then, he starts to feel lightheaded…

Chapter 34 (Adrienne – Before)

Once EJ is unconscious, Adrienne texts Luke for him to come down. She hands him EJ’s phone and asks him to remove any traces of the video while asking him not to watch it. Then, Adrienne takes EJ’s keys from his pocket and hands it to Luke. Luke protests again about having to do this, but Adrienne pleads some more.

A while later, Luke finally tells Adrienne that the video has been dealt with. Luke is upset with her, and Adrienne starts to worry that she’s going to lose him over this.

Chapter 35 (Tricia – Present Day)

Tricia finishes listening to the last EJ tape, noting his slurred speech at the end. Tricia realizes that she’s spent the whole afternoon listening to tapes.

Tricia thinks about how Ethan loves this house, but Tricia really does not want to live in this house. Thinking about Ethan, she slips off her wedding ring to look at the inscription, but drops it behind the couch. She’s not able to reach it, so she needs Ethan’s help to move the couch. She hears a noise like someone slamming a door. She finds Ethan at his desk and asks him if he’s left at all, and he says no.

Ethan comes to help her retrieve the ring. When they do, she notices that the planks sound like there’s a hollow compartment underneath. Then, they see what’s inside.

Chapter 36 (Adrienne – Before)

After the task is done, Luke comes back to hand her the keys. He admits that he watched the video. He says he can understand why she wanted to get rid of the video, but he’s not thrilled with her right now. They get EJ into his car, take him back to his house and leave him in there parked out front. Afterwards, Adrienne tells Luke they should talk about him maybe moving in, and Luke seems pleased.

Later, Adrienne gets a text from EJ who is angry about her breaking into his house, and he threatens to kill her. She blocks his number.

Chapter 37 (Tricia – Present Day)

Beneath the floorboards, they find a rotting corpse. Tricia wants to leave, but their car is still stuck in the snow. Ethan says they’ll likely have to stay the night at least.

Then, they hear a crash, and this time Ethan looks on alert as well.

Chapter 38 – 39 (Adrienne – Before)

Adrienne and Luke have managed to get past the bump in their relationship and are at the grocery store when she’s approached by Gail, a former patient (the one who was convinced everyone was trying to kill her). Gail greets her warmly and appears to be doing much better now. Shortly after, Adrienne gets a text of that same tire-slashing video and a text from presumably EJ saying he wants to meet tonight.

That night, EJ shows up and he demands to have sex with Adrienne. She finally tells him to just release the video, since she’s not playing along with his game anymore. However, EJ then says that he has a video of Luke breaking into his place and will ruin his career unless Adrienne cooperates with him.

Chapter 40 (Tricia – Present Day)

In present day, Tricia and Ethan go to check out the noise, and Ethan grabs a carving knife from the kitchen. They finally spot a man in the office. When the man talks, he claims he’s a homeless person that needed a place to sleep. Tricia notes that his voice sounds familiar and realizes the man is Luke from the cassette.

Chapter 41 (Adrienne – Before)

Over dinner, Adrienne tearfully tells Luke the truth about what happened with EJ, including the part about him having an incriminating video of Luke. Adrienne tells him she thinks they need to kill EJ, but Luke flat-out refuses. Adrienne realizes she needs to fix this herself.

Chapter 42 – 44 (Tricia – Present Day)

Luke admits it’s him, but he denies being the one who killed Adrienne. Luke says he’s homeless and has been living here because his life went to shit after everyone was calling him a murderer.

Ethan accuses Luke of being the murderer, saying that he was probably here trying to get rid of the body. Luke denies it, saying that he didn’t even know the body was here. Ethan threatens Luke with a knife and tells Tricia to tie him up with duct tape. Luke complies. Ethan says he’s going to go get help since they can’t stay here.

Ethan starts to leave, but then he sees that the door to the hidden room is open. He goes to inspect it and sees the tape. He asks Tricia when she found it. Tricia says that she found it yesterday, but Ethan knows she’s lying. He demands to know if she’s been listening to the tapes. He tells her not to listen to any more and makes her promise. He says they should turn it over the police.

He goes to leave, and he tells her not to go back into that room. When he leaves, Tricia remembers the tapes stashed in the office, so she knows she has to go back in there to get them.

When she’s in there, Luke tells her he doesn’t think it’s Adrienne who is under the floorboards. He says the body is wearing jeans, and Adrienne never wore jeans. He also doesn’t recognize the shirt.

Tricia puts all the tapes back, except for one which she keeps in her pocket.

Chapter 45 (PL #185 Transcript)

On the recording, PL tells Adrienne that she’s moving soon to Manhattan and will discontinue their sessions. Adrienne confronts PL. She says that she knows PL made up the story and that PL was the one who murdered her friends and fiancé. She suspects Cody was cheating with Alexis and Megan was a sad casualty.

Then Adrienne says that she wants Patricia to do something for her.

Chapter 46 (Patricia Lawton / “Tricia” / PL – Present Day)

In present day, Tricia (“PL” / Patricia) thinks about the events at that cabin. She had learned that her ex-fiancé Cody was cheating on her with her friend Alexis by checking his phone. Megan was invited to the weekend because it would seem odd if it was just Alexis. She killed Megan quickly, but drew the other two out. Alexis had been her best friend since they were five. And her mother suggested therapy after it all happened.

Chapter 47 (Adrienne – Before)

After the revelation, Luke hasn’t spoken to or responded to Adrienne in a week.

Patricia / Tricia / PL goes over to Adrienne’s house as instructed. Adrienne thinks about how Patricia has a “tell” and that when she’s going to lie, she crosses her right leg over her left. Over the years, Adrienne had picked up on small inconsistencies or hints about her true nature, such as when her grandmother died leaving her a fortune and it turned out Patricia was the one who messed up the medications. Paricia has had a history of people and pets around her getting injured.

When Patricia shows up, she has EJ in her car. As instructed, she’d gone to a casino that he was at and drugged his drink. Now he’s tied up in her car with a paper bag over his head. Patricia marches him into Adrienne’s office, and then she leaves.

With EJ tied up in her office, Adrienne removes the loose floorboards to reveal the empty compartment. She rolls him in, and then she duct tapes his face to cut off his oxygen supply. Goodbye, Edward, she says when he stops making noise.

Chapter 48 (Patricia / “Tricia” – Present Day)

In present day, Tricia thinks about how she realized Dr. Hale had really killed him when she saw the news about his disappearance a month later.

Chapter 49 (Adrienne – Before)

By now, Edwards Jamison or “EJ” has been dead for four months. The smell has been disgusting. Adrienne has been on a book tour, and her book at number 8 on the New York Times bestseller list. The police haven’t even questioned her about his disappearance.

Adrienne drops by the free clinic and finds Luke there, doing a software update. She tells him that she took care of the situation by paying the guy off and that she misses him. Luke says that he misses her, too. They make plans, but she’s not letting him in the house. By now the smell of the body has lessened a lot, but she can’t risk having him in the house and finding out what she’s done.

Today, she sees Patricia outside her house waiting for her. Patricia is paranoid about potentially getting caught for this and wants to talk about it. Adrienne says they just need to keep the secret, but Patricia says the only way to keep a secret is if one of them is dead.

Chapters 50 – 52 (Patricia / “Tricia” – Present Day)

Tricia thinks about how she killed Dr. Hale, though she was far from the first person she’s killed before. She killed Adrienne and disposed of her body a few hours drive away. She still needed to find and dispose of EJ’s body, which Adrienne had indicated was in the house somewhere, but she didn’t know where.

Time passes, but then when Tricia sees that Dr. Hale’s house is up for sale, she knows it could be a problem if people are going in and out of the house that they might come across the body. She knew at that point that she needed to search the house for the body.

However, now there’s the problem of Luke. He knows there’s a dead body in the house and that it’s not Adrienne’s.

After over an hour, Ethan finally returns, saying he managed to find a place with reception, but no one can come until the morning. Back in the house Luke asks for water, but Ethan refuses, saying that Luke’s not going to die from not having water for one day.

Chapters 53 – 54 (Patricia / “Tricia” – Present Day)

Tricia wakes up in the middle of the night to find Ethan trying to start a fire in the fireplace. She sees him burning tapes marked GW, Gail Wiley who is Ethan’s mother. Tricia knows who it is because she ran into Gail in the past at Dr. Hale’s office. She remembers Dr. Hale telling her that Gail had met an “untimely death” falling down the stairs, leaving her son with a hefty insurance payout. After that, Tricia became very interested in Ethan and engineered their meeting.

Tricia thinks about how she brought Ethan along on this trip in hopes that he would finally confess to her what happened with his mother. Tricia asks him what really happened and admits that she listened to the tapes, and Ethan finally confesses that he killed her.

Ethan says that she was awful, a paranoid alcoholic, for most of his life, and he needed the money.

In response, Tricia tells Ethan the truth about herself, starting with the incident at the cabin and culminating with the death of Dr. Hale. She’s nervous about how he’ll respond.

Ethan then thinks and says that Luke knows way too much, but he reassures her they can take care of it together. Tricia then says that maybe she does like this house afterall.

Epilogue (Two Years Later)

Two years later, Ethan and Tricia now have a daughter, Delilah. Right after that weekend, they ended up insisting to Judy that they wanted the house and paid full price. They didn’t haggle since they didn’t want her showing it to anyone else and having people trudging around potentially discovering its secrets. Tricia is now pregnant again.

There’s a spot in the ground where Luke is buried, where the grass didn’t start growing again for a while, but now it’s greener than ever. EJ’s body is buried around there as well.

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Bookshelf -- A literary set collection game