Author : Jennifer Hillier
Title : Little Secrets
Pages : 336
Publisher : Corvus
Publication date : May 7, 2020
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
Marin used to have it all. Married to the love of her life, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family – until their world falls apart the day their son Sebastian is taken.
A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. With her sanity ebbing, Marin hires a private investigator to pick up where the police left off.
But instead of finding Sebastian, she learns that Derek is having an affair with a much younger woman. This discovery sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband. Derek’s mistress is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix. Permanently.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Wow! Wow! And also … wow! There’s a fabulous quote on the jacket from Mary Kubica that says “You don’t just read this book, you inhale it.” I couldn’t agree more. Once I started reading Little Secrets, I could not put it down.
Marin and Derek are one of those couples that have it all. Successful businesses, fancy house, swimming in money and a wonderful four year old son. But their world is shattered when their son Sebastian is taken. Fifteen months later, Marin is not the woman she used to be. The FBI investigation has pretty much come to a halt, the publicity has faded and she and her husband barely talk anymore. Marin hires a private investigator, hoping she will find a trace of her son. But instead, the PI discovers Derek is having an affair. Marin has already lost her son. There is no way in hell she will lose her husband too.
This isn’t just your average thriller. Sure, it’s extremely tense but it’s also intensely emotionally charged. I don’t expect to find myself with a massive lump in my throat while reading a thriller but it happened. More than once. The downward spiral Marin is in after her son’s disappearance is uncomfortable to read about but it’s also realistic and believable. Her pain is the reader’s pain and I became utterly invested, to that point where her rage upon discovering her husband’s affair also became my rage.
Rage is better than numbness. Rage is what will make Marin pick herself up and focus on a goal. Rage is also dangerous and there is no way of knowing where Marin’s rage will take her. This turned out to be quite thought-provoking to me. If your other half was cheating on you, would you want to hurt him or the person they were cheating with? How far would you go? Marin’s rage and desperation to hang on to her husband takes her to some extremely dark places.
Through the eyes of Derek’s mistress, there’s a whole other set of things to explore. McKenzie, for that is her name, is hard to like at times. As a young and struggling art student, she got my full sympathy. But there are other things about her that completely put me off and that’s without taking into account she is having an affair with a married man. Obviously I can’t talk about any of those things and you’ll have to discover them on your own.
Jennifer Hillier does an incredible job of bringing to the fore what it might be like to be the parent of a missing child. Marin visits a small support group once a month, where every member has their own story to tell and it took everything I had to get through these with dry eyes. Here too, there is so much food for thought. Which is better? The continued hope that your child is safe somewhere out there? Or knowing their fate, to be able to put them to rest and know exactly where they are? These people don’t just deal with their grief on a daily basis, but guilt as well. Blaming themselves instead of those who took their child.
I could go on about this book but I won’t. Safe to say I absolutely loved it and would definitely recommend it. Little Secrets is dark and disturbing, deliciously twisty and tense and I totally had one of those jaw-dropping moments when I realised what was going on. I enjoyed Jennifer Hillier’s previous offering, Jar of Hearts, but with this one she definitely raised the bar. I read a lot of thrillers so it takes something special to stand out and to me, Little Secrets achieved that in the most fantastic way. Why, yes, it will be on my list of Books of the Year and I can’t wait to see what Hillier does next because she has now earned herself a much coveted (ha!) place on my go-to list!
Little Secrets is available to buy!
20 Books of Summer : 5/20