In the bestselling tradition of The Girl on the Train and In a Dark, Dark Wood, from the internationally bestselling author whom Stephen King called “an absolute master” of the psychological thriller, comes a riveting suspense novel about the unlikely friendship between two pregnant women that asks: how far would you go to create the perfect family?
Agatha is pregnant and works part-time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, counting down the days until her baby is due. As the hours of her shifts creep by in increasing discomfort, the one thing she looks forward to at work is catching a glimpse of Meghan, the effortlessly chic customer whose elegant lifestyle dazzles her. Meghan has it all: two perfect children, a handsome husband, a happy marriage, a stylish group of friends, and she writes perfectly droll confessional posts on her popular parenting blog—posts that Agatha reads with devotion each night as she waits for her absent boyfriend, the father of her baby, to maybe return her calls.
When Agatha learns that Meghan is pregnant again, and that their due dates fall within the same month, she finally musters up the courage to speak to her, thrilled that they now have the ordeal of childbearing in common. Little does Meghan know that the mundane exchange she has with a grocery store employee during a hurried afternoon shopping trip is about to change the course of her not-so-perfect life forever…
With its brilliant rendering of a shocking kidnapping plot and the secrets some women hold close, The Secrets She Keeps delivers a dark and twisted page-turner that is absolutely impossible to put down.
I read this is being compared to In a Dark, Dark Wood and Girl on the Train so of course I was quite eager to jump into this thrilling novel; I was not disappointed and felt the comparisons eerily accurate.
Pages will fly by faster than you expect as you develop this need to not stop until you find out all the answers. Problems arise around every twist and turn with no apparent way for Robotham to possibly answer everything within the one book but somehow he does. Unlike most suspense books I’ve read where there inevitably comes that one major moment where everything explodes, this one was more like gently crashing waves slowly releasing the answers a bit at the time.
You will be bombarded with plenty of secrets and lies which should come as no great shock considering the title but there is also a great deal of astute psychological examination of people’s motivations, actions and emotions. Robotham does a fantastic job in his character development as well as his view on human psychology particularly its darker side.
I have to say, for a man, he captured the female voice, psyche and personality scarily well in this book as he allowed his 2 main female characters to narrate this story. It’s not often I am unable to find fault in a male author who decides to dive deep into the female mind but Robotham earned my respect for his deft handling of his characters even more so since the women were pregnant. He managed to avoid the pitfalls of stereotypes men often paint pregnant women into which made his storyline all that much better.
Thank you to Netgalley and Scribner for allowing me to review this book.
*synopsis and pic from netgalley.com
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