Review of Don’t Say A Word

Don’t Say a Word

Hometown Antihero

Amber Lynn Natusch

September 17, 2019

Tor Teen


Kylene Danners’s ex-FBI agent father is in prison for murder and she’s hell-bent on getting him out. But trying to investigate in the small town where a defensive lineman is a hero no matter who he tries to kill and the girl who gets him locked up is public enemy number one is dangerous. Dark secrets are everywhere in Jasperville—the kind Ky can’t walk away from.

When rookie FBI agent Cedric Dawson returns to town to finish an open investigation, he goes undercover at her high school—as her ex. Determined to keep her from interfering, Dawson’s plan backfires after Ky gets an anonymous call about missing girls officially labeled as runaways—runaways that didn’t really run away at all.

Because dead girls can’t run.

And they don’t say a word.

While reviewers suggest that Don’t Say a Word by Amber Lynn Natusch would appeal to viewers of Riverdale, I’m more likely to recommend this book for aficionados of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars. Ky Danners is next in line for snarky teenage, take-no-prisoners heroine.

What I didn’t know but quickly realized as I read, was that Don’t Say a Word is actually book two in the Hometown Antihero series. Natusch deftly filled in the blanks, but because I liked Don’t Say a Word so much, I will go back and read book one.

Don’t Say a Word finds Ky becoming part of an FBI investigation into lost girls. In this town where football reigns supreme, values and priorities are misaligned, and girls from desperate situations are easily overlooked, everyone is a suspect.

Natusch did an excellent job of keeping the reading guessing as to the identity of the “bad guy.” Usually I can determine who it is, but not in this case.

She also depicted Ky as a real teenager, very much in the Veronica Mars tradition with self-doubts, an outsider persona, and realistic reactions to bad situations.

While this could be read as a standalone, I’d definitely suggest that you don’t do it. Read Dare You to Lie first. I’m going to fit it in before book three comes out. Yup, I’m hooked.

Who would enjoy this? Readers who like suspenseful YA mysteries with heroines who act like teenagers; fans of Buffy and Veronica Mars. While I don’t see the Riverdale connection…at all…count that one in because I haven’t seen the last season. 🙂

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.



4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies

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