Review : One Little Secret by Cate Holahan

One Little Secret

Author:  Cate Holahan

Publication Date:  July 9th 2019

Genre:  Thriller

Publisher:  Crooked Lane Books

Pages:  320

Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐


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Everyone has a secret. For some, it’s worth dying to protect. For others, it’s worth killing.

The glass beach house was supposed to be the getaway that Susan needed. Eager to help her transplanted family set down roots in their new town – and desperate for some kid-free conversation – she invites her new neighbors to join in on a week-long sublet with her and her workaholic husband.

Over the course of the first evening, liquor loosens inhibitions and lips. The three couples begin picking up on the others’ marital tensions and work frustrations, as well as revealing their own. But someone says too much. And the next morning one of the women is discovered dead on the private beach.

Town detective Gabby Watkins must figure out who permanently silenced the deceased. As she investigates, she learns that everyone in the glass house was hiding something that could tie them to the murder, and that the biggest secrets of all are often in plain sight for anyone willing to look.

A taut, locked room mystery with an unforgettable cast of characters, One Little Secret promises to keep readers eyes glued to the pages and debating the blinders that we all put on in the service of politeness. 

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

One little secret is a tale of mystery, intrigue and the consequences of a secret told.  It is the story of six neighbours (three couples)  who rent a very expensive house on the eastern shore of Long Island.  As the saying goes “nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors”.  This is completely true for this story.  When the individual doors close, the drama begins.  The story will suck you in and spit you out. 

The book is told in multiple POV’s and major clues are dropped from the very beginning.  Each couple’s marriages are showing signs of major strain, some are dealing with domestic violence, children with additional needs, career responsibilities and cheating.  The wine and booze is flowing but so are the lips.  When one of the neighbours is discovered murdered it is very clear that any one of them is capable of the deed.  I enjoy a good whodunnit and I’m happy to say this one did keep me engaged and hooked to the very end. 

One refreshing part of this story was having the before, during and after aspects of the event.  It provided some insight into the lead up to the murder and afterwards with flashbacks and information being passed up.  It was a refreshing aspect to a whodunnit that I have yet to read elsewhere. 

I don’t want to give anything significant away with this story but when I picked it up I had a terrible time trying to put it down (if I didn’t have kids that needed feeding, I probably would have devoured it in one sitting).  The world building was realistic, the imagery was brilliant – I really felt I was there experiencing the story alongside the characters.  I’m not ashamed to say that some characters emitted my hate, but some had me immediately taking sides with them – the sign of a very good author.  Usually I have a bit of a love, hate relationship with novels that have multiple POV’s, but this just WORKED for me. 

I rated it four stars and not five because of one niggly reason (it might just be me).  The detective in the story was frustrating as hell.  For me, I felt that Police Officer of that apparent calibre shouldn’t of fannied about as much as she did around interviews and clues.  I felt she wasted too much time and should have been way more proactive in her approach of trying to get to the bottom of the mystery of who murdered the woman.  I don’t think there was enough clarity at the end.  Like I said just a niggly thing that I would have preferred to have been more neatly attended to.  This was a quick and easy read and held my attention well.  A superb mystery filled whodunnit.

6 thoughts on “Review : One Little Secret by Cate Holahan

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