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The Secrets You Keep: A Novel Paperback – March 21, 2017
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From the Publisher
Karin Slaughter, author of The Kept Woman, interviews Kate White
Karin Slaughter: Gone Girl reignited the 'domestic thriller' genre. Stories about husbands and wives have been around since Adam left Judith for Eve, but it feels like current novels are more realistic, and—much to my delight—nastier. Were you thinking about this literary phenomenon when you wrote about a married couple, or were you thinking about your own marriage? In other words, should your husband be worried?
Kate White: Haha, no, not my own marriage. My husband is safe for now! And though I know there seem to be more domestic thrillers now, I wasn’t so much interested in riding a trend as I was exploring a topic I hadn’t addressed before. I’ve written eleven mysteries and thrillers, and all the protagonists have been single or divorced. It was exciting to finally write about a married woman. In The Secrets You Keep, the main character, Bryn Harper, has been in a commuter relationship with her husband for two years and when they finally move into a house together, her husband suddenly seems evasive and secretive. Weird stuff shows up in the house, and a woman who caters a dinner party for them is murdered. Bryn may be in danger herself and it’s essential that she figure out what’s going on. I got chills writing it at times because I wondered what it would be like to actually have that happen in a marriage.
KS: I think the cover for The Secrets You Keep is really cool and sexy. Did you have any input in the design or were the designers just taking cues from the story?
KW: They took cues from the story. In Secrets, Bryn is still recovering from a devastating car accident that ended in a fire, and she keeps dreaming about fire and begins to wonder if the dreams are trying to reveal something that’s locked in her unconsciousness. Thus the smoke on the cover. By the way, I LOVE the cover of your new book, The Kept Woman. Very cool and sexy, too. And the book itself is totally electrifying.
KS: Psychological thrillers, which tend to get their darkness from internal struggles rather than external sources, have taken off in the last decade. Readers seem very invested in the “why” rather than the “what.” What two novels would you cite as examples of that evolution taking place in the thriller world?
KW: One of my favorite recent thrillers is Lou Berney’s The Long and Faraway Gone, and to me that’s very much about the “why.” This may sound crazy, but there are some fabulous contemporary literary novels that may be influencing this, too. I was mesmerized by Julian Barnes’ A Sense of an Ending. There’s a mystery at the heart of the beautifully written story, and you read the whole book asking, “Why, why, why?” I should confess, however, that I love writing whodunits and Secrets is definitely one, as well as a psychological thriller.
KS: You’re publishing two novels this year. Why do you have so much time on your hands? Don’t you have a real job? Can you tell me about the other novel?
KW: I walked away from a fabulous job I relished running Cosmopolitan magazine, but I relished even more the idea of writing full-time. I’ve never regretted my decision to leave. So though I’m busy, it’s not the crushing busy I was at Cosmo when I was also writing novels. As for the second book this year, it’s a Bailey Weggins mystery, the seventh, and it’s my favorite Bailey I’ve written. I love the twist at the heart of it.
“This can’t-put-it-down murder mystery from the former editor of Cosmo follows an author pushed to the brink by escalating chaos. Crazy dreams guaranteed.” (Cosmopolitan)
“A psychological thriller that doubles as a cautionary tale, The Secrets You Keep marks another success for a prolific author and casts an intelligent if grim eye on love - love that can warm, and love that can burn.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
“White weaves a story that is mesmerizing and thrilling...Mystery lovers will be well served with this novel, as it grabs the reader instantly and can be devoured in one afternoon.” (Booklist)
“White keeps the suspense high to the end.” (Publishers Weekly)
“White’s latest is a fastpaced mystery with suspenseful intrigue throughout…sure to please those looking for a gripping mystery.” (Romantic Times)
“Kate White ratchets up the suspense by not revealing the identity of the killer until the very end. It is quite a shocker, making The Secrets You Keep a riveting psychological thriller that shows White...at the very top of her game.” (Bookreporter.com)
“This terrific story is full of mysteries, twists, turns, thrills and chills that only Kate White could come up with and put together like the perfect puzzle that causes readers’ pulses to race.” (Suspense Magazine)
“True to form, Kate White’s The Secrets You Keep kept me up way past my bedtime, anxiously turning the pages. Taut, tense, and utterly gripping, I could not go to sleep until I found out whodunit.” (Jessica Knoll, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of Luckiest Girl Alive)
“Suspenseful, twisty and sharply observed, Kate White’s clever psychological thriller lures us into the life of vulnerable narrator Bryn whose marriage is not what she thought it was. The uncertainty develops as the stakes ramp up ever higher, and I was holding my breath as I turned the last few pages.” (Gilly Macmillan, New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew)
From the Back Cover
Bryn Harper, an accomplished self-help author, already has plenty to deal with. She’s 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 that her dreams contain a warning.
In the beginning, Bryn’s husband, Guy, couldn’t have been more supportive. But soon after moving in together, disturbing incidents occur and Guy grows evasive, secretive. What the hell is going on? Bryn wonders. Then, a woman hired to cater their dinner party is brutally murdered.
As her world unravels—and another woman in town is slain—Bryn must summon up her strength to find answers to protect her life. Her nightmares may in fact hold the key to unlocking the truth and unmasking the murderer.
With unexpected, riveting twists, The Secrets You Keep is an utterly compelling psychological thriller that once again showcases Kate White’s extraordinary storytelling talent.
Top customer reviews
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: A Novel. 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.
Most recent customer reviews
The characters were likeable, if not a bit paranoid but it all added to the story.Read more
It 's faint, but enough to rouse me, and I jerk up in bed, eyes wide open.Read more