REVIEW: THE SECRETS YOU KEEP, BY KATE WHITE

 

What would you do if you realized that your new husband, a man you adore, is keeping secrets from you—secrets with terrifying consequences?

Bryn Harper, an accomplished self-help author, already has plenty to deal with. She’s still recovering from a devastating car accident that has left her haunted by recurring, smoke-filled nightmares. Worse still, she can’t shake the ominous feeling her dreams contain a warning. 

In the beginning, Bryn’s husband Guy couldn’t have been more supportive. But after moving into a new house together, disturbing incidents occur and Guy grows evasive, secretive. What the hell is going on, she wonders? Then, a woman hired to cater their dinner party is brutally murdered.

As Bryn’s world unravels—and yet another woman in town is slain —she must summon her old strength to find answers and protect her own life. Her nightmares may in fact hold the key to unlocking the truth and unmasking the murderer.

My Thoughts: What an exciting premise! I was captivated by the unfolding scenarios in The Secrets You Keep. There were so many characters to distrust that it was impossible to pinpoint who might be a murderer. But in the midst of it all, we also learned a lot more about some past events: the night of Bryn’s car accident and what her colleague, Paul, was trying to tell her, leading to understanding the disturbing elements of her nightmares.

From the beginning, I didn’t like Guy. He was too mercurial, with charming overtures that rapidly turned sullen; lashing out at the slightest questioning was another familiar reaction.

Eve, the caterer, was also blatantly unlikable, making her a target for my suspicion. There were also a handful of characters that I didn’t like, but who turned out not to figure into the murder mystery.

I was a little surprised that one of the annoying characters turned out to be the perpetrator, but I like not being able to guess everything right away. I would have enjoyed a closer look into Bryn’s world as an author, so I gave this one 4.5 stars.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE GIRL BEFORE”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is an e-ARC from NetGalley with a release date of 1/24/17.  The Girl Before, by J. P. Delaney, is an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception.

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD

 

 

 

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Beginning:  (THEN:  EMMA)

It’s a lovely little flat, the agent says with what could almost pass for genuine enthusiasm.  Close to the amenities.  And there’s that private bit of roof.  That could become a sun terrace, subject of course to the landlord’s consent.

Nice, Simon agrees, trying not to catch my eye.

***

56%:  (NOW:  JANE)

“I have to go away.”

“So soon?”  It’s only been a few weeks since Edward moved in.  We’ve been happy together.  I know it in my heart, but I also know it from the metrics, which Edward has been doing along with me.

***

Synopsis:  Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

EMMA
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

JANE
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.

***

What do you think?  Do these lines grip you, draw you in?  Would you keep reading?

***

REVIEW: THE LIAR, BY NORA ROBERTS

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When Shelby Pomeroy Foxworth is unexpectedly widowed, she is not just grief-stricken. She is stunned to learn the numerous secrets her husband had been keeping. Richard had maintained control over everything, so learning that she is now in debt for millions is almost unbelievable.

She has to sell the house and most of her belongings, and in the weeks leading up to her plan to return home to her family home in Rendezvous Ridge, Tennessee, she finds a mysterious safety deposit box at a local bank with startling contents. She now is beginning to realize that her husband was not at all who she thought he was.

She and her three-year-old daughter Callie finally leave Philadelphia, and embraced in the warmth and comfort of her family, she begins to start over.

But suddenly she is being followed by a PI…and a woman approaches her one day with more unexpected news. When will Shelby finally put the past behind her? And just when she almost believes that might happen, more danger lurks. Who is stalking them now?

I enjoyed The Liar from the very beginning, as I could empathize with Shelby; I loved her Southern family, with their wonderful sayings and their tendency to wrap themselves around her and support her unconditionally. I also enjoyed seeing Shelby meet Griff, a handsome man who is everything her husband was not. Or at least she hopes so.

Realizing that the pain of the past made it difficult to trust again was an obstacle. But would she overcome it? Would she realize her dreams of a home and a career of her own?

The story is filled with colorful and intriguing characters who felt like friends and neighbors, people I would want to sit with to enjoy a glass of sweet tea. And even the snarky characters, like Melody, would get a satisfying comeuppance of the kind that readers can enjoy. There was just enough suspense to balance out the romance and make this a delightful read. 5 stars.