- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Scribner (July 11, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1501170317
- ISBN-13: 978-1501170317
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 50 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Secrets She Keeps: A Novel Hardcover – July 11, 2017
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Praise for The Secrets She Keeps:
“Robotham captures the physical misery that often characterizes late-term pregnancies and writes convincingly in a female voice, but where this book excels is in the increasing sense of threat he crafts so well. With its interestingly imperfect characters and escalating sense of urgency, this novel will keep you reading as fast as you can.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“[An] emotionally charged domestic thriller...Robotham’s narrative is intimate and insightful. Brilliantly rendered characters, relentless tension, and numerous plot twists make this a winner.” —Publishers Weekly
“Two terrific female characters, both with secrets. Add Michael Robotham's clean prose and whipcrack pacing. The result? A book you won't be able to put down, although you may occasionally want to hide your eyes.”
“Skillfully placed twists give a fresh take to this well-plotted tale of psychological suspense...Readers will find themselves frantically turning pages to see just how this is all going to end.” —Booklist
“A can’t-put-down mama drama . . . Each woman reveals her tale in riveting, alternating chapters that merge into a series of chilling twists...A premium delivery.” —People
About the Author
Michael Robotham is a former investigative journalist whose psychological thrillers have been translated into twenty-three languages. In 2015 he won the prestigious UK Gold Dagger for his novel Life or Death, which was also shortlisted for the 2016 Edgar Allan Poe Award for best novel. Michael has twice won a Ned Kelly Award for Australia's best crime novel for Lost in 2015 and Shatter in 2008. He has also twice been shortlisted for the CWA UK Steel Dagger in 2007 for The Night Ferry and 2008 with Shatter. He lives in Sydney with his wife and three daughters.
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Top customer reviews
I want to avoid SPOILERS so let me simply talk about the first half of the book. We are in Barnes, a posh, leafy London suburb. Agatha is a shopclerk who stocks shelves and reads the family blogs of a woman named Meghan. While Agatha is single, Meghan is married to a TV sports presenter and has two children, a boy and a girl. She is Agatha’s idol and Agatha would faint at the thought of actually meeting her. Each is pregnant and each is due to deliver at approximately the same time. Agatha’s boyfriend is in the Royal Navy; Meghan’s husband has pitched a new sports program to his network and hopes to be that show’s host. Agatha and Meghan tell their separate stories in alternating, relatively-brief chapters that continue throughout the book.
Certain things can be revealed: a) what has already been revealed is not quite true; b) the womens’ lives, which eventually intersect are not quite what each woman believes; c) we are heading from a tale of the tea-and-biscuits suburbs into what may just become a moral abyss.
The drama is nonstop, even in the opening chapters. Robotham’s knowledge of London informs the book in a number of interesting ways. The skills of a crime novelist and psychological suspense thrillers are brought to bear on a set of domestic situations in a most powerful way. Perhaps most important, MR really understands the female psyche and represents it with rare skill. While this is not the world of the ‘novel of manners’ it is a world of words and gestures and omissions and commissions that could keep a skilled sociolinguist busy for decades.
I have read all of MR’s novels and have long predicted his stunning, worldwide success, but THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS is a departure that remains no less satisfying. I pray that it will reach the readers who are drawn to the psycho-in-the-suburbs subgenre, because here the ‘psycho’ element is seen in its full, compelling humanity. From the outset of the novel we know we are going nowhere particularly good and from the first page of the second half of the novel we fear that we may be careening toward hell, but where we are going is far more nuanced than that, far more anxiously contemplated (as Conrad would have said) and, ultimately, far more satisfying, gratifying and moving.
This is absolutely not to be missed. Highly recommended.
Two pregnant women, due around the same time. Other than that uniting them, they couldn't be more different. Meghan stays home with her two lovely children, writes a mommy blog, and has a handsome and successful husband. Agatha currently has no children, works at a supermarket, lives in a crappy apartment, and her boyfriend won't return her calls. Agatha admires Meghan from afar, admiring her life. It seems like it must be perfect. She envies it. Why can't she have that?
As we get to know both Agatha and Meghan, we learn their secrets. We learn the realities of their life, the hurt and guilt they both carry for different reasons. I'm being very careful not to reveal much, because this book is best enjoyed going in fairly blind. There's a reason this book is rated so high on Good Reads. Give it a shot and prepare for an emotional roller coaster!
I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley and Scribner, thank you! My opinion is honest and unbiased.
5 stars +++ Let me say, there are some juicy evil secrets here . . . KILLER! Top Books of 2017. Set aside the time (unputdownable). Would make a fabulous movie! A story that will change the way you view other people’s lives. Fitting for today's world of social media.
Two women. Two lives. Two worlds. Two pregnancies. Two sets of very different secrets. The dangers of envy and lies.
Character-driven, skillfully-plotted —Robotham pulls you into the dark secret world of two different women in this riveting domestic suspense thriller.
Two pregnant women. Two women from different walks of life. How will their worlds connect? The search for happiness. Survival. Managing expectations. Wishing for something someone else has.
Agatha watches Meghan from the window of the suburban London grocery store where she works part-time stocking shelves. She is pregnant. Her baby’s father is away. She leads a sad life. What an imagination! She desires a perfect life. She wants to be a perfect mother and wife. She will have this world.
“We need the darkness to appreciate the light, and the bumps along the road to stop us falling asleep at the wheel.”
Meghan is chic, elegant, dazzling. Meghan has it all. Perfect children (Lucy and Lachlan), a handsome husband (sports reporter), Jack; stylish, nice friends, beautiful, plus she writes a mommy blog. She is pregnant. Meghan Shaughnessy is a former journalist but now a super-mom with tons of followers.
One follower is obsessed and carries it further.
Agatha is delighted to discover their two pregnancy dates are within the same month. She must figure out a way to get to know this woman. To get close to her. What is Agatha's agenda? She is the more mysterious one. Agatha is not so pretty. People do not notice shelf-stockers. She imagines herself friends with Meg. She soon learns Meg’s habits by the things she buys and shops for in the store. She wants to have a life like Meg. She waits for her man, Hayden to return from the Navy. He does not know she is pregnant.
Despite her dead-end job and the desperate ordinary life, Agatha has her imagination and her dreams. However, is Meg’s life as glamorous as Agatha thinks?
Meg’s marriage is not so perfect. The happy go lucky easy-going Jack has turned into a brittle man whose emotions seem to be wrapped tightly in barbed wire that she cannot hope to unloop them.
Agatha watches Meg, Jack and the children for hours. She stalks. She has been inside their home. The house next to the train track. She may see more than she wanted to. (loved this part with Jack/Realtor/Agatha).
Megan had an affair with Simon. Secrets to take to the grave.
What is Agatha hiding? What does her Jehovah Witness childhood have to do with the present? The horrors and monsters. She is attracted to people. When it comes to her past, people get some of the truth, some of the time.
Told in alternating voices, Agatha has a haunting past she hides. Meghan’s perfect life begins to unravel. What unfolds is heart-pounding chilling suspense! They may have more in common than they know.
A top-notch thriller and a compulsive read. Dark, twisted, and emotionally charged! Am always amazed at how a man writes such strong women characters. He gets inside their heads—flawed characters, full of emotion, sprinkled with wit, humor, book titles, movies and lots of heart and intensity.
The author mentions in the acknowledgments: . . . “The Secrets She Keeps, a novel whose structure, substance, and twin voices are the most ambitious I’ve ever tackled.”
Congrats! Just when I think the next book cannot possibly be better than the previous, the author manages to create another intelligent award-winning psychological masterpiece! Not only is Robotham one of the most talented writers, he could be a standup comedian. Hilarious one-liners.
I love the Joe O’Loughlin series; however, the author’s stand-alone's are to be savored as well. One of the top crime thriller international authors today. As always, glued to the pages. (Your US fans adore you!) Looks like we will get to see more of Joe O’Loughlin, with The Other Wife, coming July 2018 (can’t wait). A pre-order for sure!
Also purchased the audiobook (currently listening). Love narrator, Lucy Price-Lewis delivering a riveting performance. For fans of Karin Slaughter, Paula Hawkins, Paul Cleave, and Liane Moriarty. Highly Recommend.
A special thank you to Scribner and NetGalley for an early reading copy.
Most recent customer reviews
The characters and situations they face are real. .
Agatha is expecting a baby!Read more