Cover Image: Her Secret Past

Her Secret Past

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Member Reviews

I’d like to thank #Bookouture,#Kerry Watts and #Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘#Her Secret Past’ in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
‘Her Secret Past’ is the third in the Detective Jessie Blake series.It can be easily be read as a stand alone.Its a action-packed and entertaining plot that has plenty of twists.If you like psychological thrillers this is for you.
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Absolutely enjoyed from start to finish, u didn't want the book to end. Highly recommended, if you like books that keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat.
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Interesting story.

I was already hooked on the storyline when I realised its a series but that doesn’t seem to matter so you can read it as a stand-alone.
The plot was engrossing but sometimes the writing seemed to be broken and hard to push through but mostly the story flowed together. Rachelle has a deep dark secret she wants to keep hidden but when someone turns up dead they look straight to her. The characters in this book where easy going and easy to like. I will definitely be reading the other books in this series. 
Thank you to Netgalley/ Kerry Watts/Bookouture for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was great! I love books that have different points of view. I would highly recommend. The suspense definitely kept me on my toes and the ending was a big surprise.
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What a fab read. I really enjoyed this. The characterisation was top notch and I enjoyed the fact that we learned more about Detective Jessie Blake's past too. 
This was a complex and intriguing read involving secrets coming to light that put in place a series of events that lead to death and murder. Complex, fast paced and with well drawn characters.
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I so enjoyed this book. I don’t think I’ve read any by Kerry Watts before, but will certainly read more. 
The book starts with the brutal murder of an elderly couple, by their 14 year old granddaughter and her boyfriend David Law. Fast forward 30 years and DI Jessie Blake is called to attend the murder scene of an elderly couple in a remote farmhouse.
Kenny and Rachel Ferguson, who live next door have some secrets they are forced to reveal and so starts a really cleverly written story:
There are lots of twists and turns throughout the book, right up to the end.
Would definitely recommend this as a great read.
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Kerry Watts writes some of the best mysteries in the library.  She builds a scene full of suspense with just enough clues that you're sure you've solved the crime, but throws in a clue or two that will prove you wrong a couple of pages later.  The story starts off with a mood setting crime, how could anyone be so cold and calculating?  Then we find the story repeats itself nearly 30 years later.  Same murderer?  Or was she set up?  I changed my mind on that question at least 10 times throughout the book.  I've read several of Kerry Watts' books and I'll read more in the future.
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This is such a good book!  I will definitely be reading more of Kerry Watts's
books!  She is such a good writer. This book is the third in a series, I didn't
know that. It appears each one is a stand-alone.  I will be reading the first
two books soon. You don't want to miss her books!

Thank you so much, Kerry Watts, her publisher, and NetGalley for 
allowing me to read and review this great book!
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I absolutely loved loved loved Kerry Watts' first two books in the wonderful Jessie Blake series, so of course I needed no persuading to read this one. But unfortunately I don't think it was as up to par as the first two. It was an OK read and upon reading other rave reviews on HER SECRET PAST, I found myself wondering if we'd been reading the same book. It certainly had promise...but this one just wasn't as thrilling as "Heartlands" or "Her Missing Child".

Alice Connor was just 14 years old when she and her 19 year old boyfriend David Law blugeoned her grandparents with hammers in their cottage on Boxing Day 1990. Because they told her that David was too old for her and she couldn't see him anymore. They were the only parents she'd known having brought her up after the death of her own when she was a baby. But sentiment played no part in the gruesome slaughter as Alice relished in the killings. And then she and David could be together forever.

But a neighbour heard the screams and called the police...who arrived just in time to see Alice covered in her grandparents' blood.

Thirty years later and with a new identity, Rachel is now living in a remote Perthshire town in Scotland. Her husband, wealthy businessman Kenny Ferguson, knows all about her past. Rachel knows all too well the crime she committed and not a day goes by that she doesn't remember and feel remorse. Due to her age at the time, it was alleged she had been groomed by the adult David and after spending six months in a young offenders home, she was given a new name and a foster placement...while David spent 25 years in prison for the murders.

Malcolm and Jean Angus are Rachel's elderly neighbours on a neighbouring farm. Recently there had been words exchanged regarding the use of a paddock Rachel had purchased from the Angus' to train her racehorses and a disagreement over the proposed application the Fergusons had filed with the council. And now, twenty nine years to the day after the Connor murders, someone has shot Malcolm and Jean Angus through the head.

DI Jessie Blake, accompanied by her partner DC Dylan Logan, is called to the brutal murder scene on Boxing Day. They are immediately bemused by the indifferent behaviour of the elderly couple's 21 year old grandson Gordon who is seated beside his dead grandfather enjoying a chicken sandwich seemingly without a care. Gordon's father Tommy, who called it in, is in the sitting room in shock.

After questioning Tommy, Jessie and Dylan learn about the couple's recent dispute with Rachel and Kenny over the land, so they set off for the neighbouring farmhouse to question the couple. But nothing prepared them for the confession Rachel makes...which immediately makes her the prime suspect.

But then money is withdrawn from the dead couple's bank account. So who had access to their money? Rachel surely didn't need the money - her husband is wealthy enough - so who else could it have been? But when evidence at the murder scene is identified as belonging to Rachel, Jessie has no alternative but to arrest her for the murders. Rachel swears her innocence but the evidence is damning.

Not only is the case taking its toll but Jessie's abusive ex-husband Dan is back on the scene, as we have seen in the first two books, but this time he is in plain sight and not hiding in the shadows. Jessie is sure he is up to something but she doesn't know what so she endeavours to keep herself on her toes...and to expect the unexpected. What she didn't expect was for Dan to have a new girlfriend, Hayley, who co-incidentally works with Jessie's boyfriend forensic pathologist Benito Capello in Edinburgh. She has to wonder, is there something in that? And while Hayley means nothing to her Jessie feels she must warn the young woman about Dan...for she feels sure that history is only going to repeat itself. Men like Dan don't change...and it's only a matter of time before Hayley ends up in a hospital room, having "tripped and fallen".

But Dan is not the only person watching Jessie. It seems she has come to the attention of someone with murderous intentions and one night with Ben back in Edinburgh, Jessie answers the door to an unexpected visitor...and finds herself fighting for her life.

Told in dual timelines beginning in 1990 with a series of flashbacks and the present day's investigation, HER SECRET PAST is quite a complex, convoluted tale that carefully weaves the past and the present. And as the secrets begin to unravel, we are left wondering exactly what role everyone had in the bigger picture.

There were twists and reveals that you may or may not see coming. I figured one of them out rather early in the story but was disappointed to see that it didn't play a bigger part. The other twists, though, I never saw coming. And I certainly never guessed till just before it was revealed who the villain actually was.

What I did love in HER SECRET PAST is what I love to see in every book - short snappy chapters! They keep the pace moving quickly and the tension palpable.

I really love Jessie. She is a detective with heart and not your stereotypical copper that grumps and ends every night with a bottle of prosecco. But after three books, I would have thought we would have more insight as to what is going on with her ex-husband Dan. In all three books he has been clearly stalking her, more secretly in the first two though still with some stealth in this one, it doesn't seem to have gone anywhere. He is still just there and we still don't know to what purpose. I thought by now there should be something more happening there.

I also love Dylan. He has just become a father again and things at home are a little tense as they tend to be with new babies. I would like to see a little more of Dylan and his personal life maybe somehow connected to a future investigation. Something to spice things up while we learn a little more about him in the process. He still seems a bit tight-lipped on his personal life no matter how often Jessie has offered her ear.

Although HER SECRET PAST is the third in the series, it cane be read as a standalone as with the previous two. There is an underlying theme regarding Dan but readers won't miss out on anything as all he seems to be doing is stalking Jessie and keeping track of her in each book. Plus, any backstory information is given to readers to keep them appraised.

While I didn't enjoy HER SECRET PAST as much as the first two books in the series, it is still an OK read. I will still be coming back for more with the next book in the hope it is more on a part with the previous ones. And I would still recommend it to fans of the crime fiction genre.

Bring on book four! I cannot wait!

I would like to thank #KerryWatts, #NetGalley and #Bookouture for an ARC of #HerSecretPast in exchange for an honest review.
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This is the third book in the series featuring Detective Jessie Blake and her partner DC Dylan Logan.  The book opens with the gruesome murder of an elderly couple thirty years previously.  Back to the present date and Jessie and Dylan are called out to a similar case of a brutal murder of another elderly couple.  The grandson is there and seems to be oblivious of what is around him and is quite happily sat next to his dead grandfather.  He soon becomes a suspect as does his father, as the elderly couple were writing him out of their will.  Jessie soon realises that they have another suspect, the couple’s next door neighbour who has been keeping a terrible secret for a long time.  As well as trying to solve the case Jessie is having to contend with the appearance of her abusive ex husband.  The story is told at a rapid pace, with likeable characters and a brilliant, well written plot.  It is a book that will have you hooked from the start and I can’t wait for the next book in the series.
Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for allowing me to read this. 
Absolutely brilliant!!! I lost two nights sleep because I literally couldn't put it down!! The best psychological thriller I've read in a long time. Get your hands on it!!
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Her Secret Past Review 

First I would like to thank Netgalley and Bookoutour for this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Going into this one I was not aware that it was part of a series and honestly it didn’t affect the story at all. I really enjoyed the writing style and the nice short chapters. I liked that it had different perspectives and went back and forth in time explaining what happened. It flowed very well and I already ordered the other two on the series so I get all the stories in the Jessie Blake series. 

On a dark winter night, the bodies of Malcolm and Jean Angus lie cold and still in a pool of blood in their kitchen. Detective Jessie Blake is called in to find out what happened to the reclusive pair.

Searching the couple’s property, Jessie learns about a vicious dispute with a nearby land owner, Rachel Ferguson, and when Jessie looks into Rachel further, she doesn’t expect what comes up. Rachel isn’t the person everyone thinks she is and a previous murder conviction just made her Jessie’s prime suspect.

The small Perthshire town begins to gossip about the double murder and Jessie’s own past comes back to haunt her, when her abusive ex-husband begins to interfere in her new life. As the town starts a witch hunt against Rachel, Jessie is under pressure to find out what really happened in the farmhouse that night. Because if it isn’t Rachel, then who is the murderer living among them.
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Thoroughly enjoyed the previous books in the series & this one did not disappoint. 

Captivating storyline with lots of twists to hold your attention. The ongoing storyline of the main characters is enthralling too. 

Looking forward to the next instalment. 

4.5 stars
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Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher for this ARC.  

This is the first book I’ve read by the author and it is the 3rd in a series.  It can be read on it’s own though.  The book got off to a great start with a double murder, and you know who did it. Fast forward to present day and an elderly couple are found dead at their farmhouse on Boxing Day.   DI Jessie Blake investigates and quickly has a suspect.  Is the evidence found reliable though?   The book had some really believable and likeable characters in it, and I loved DI Blake’s working rapport with her DC.  You read of glimpses of her home life and a bit of her history.  There were a lot of twists in the story, some I expected and one I didn’t.   This is a very well written book that really held my attention from beginning to end.   I didn’t want it to end!    I devoured it in one day and want to now read the two previous books, and hope for future books featuring DI Blake.
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Jessie Blake faces a double murder scene with the victims’ grandson calmly sat beside one of the bodies eating a sandwich. He has no sign of gunshot residue on his hands so is not the killer, but who is?
Could it be Tommy Angus, the couple’s son who was about to be written out of their will due to his alcoholism?
Could it be neighbour Rachel who reveals her true identity at Alice Cooper, who as a fourteen year old was involved in the double murder of her own grandparents?
The book makes an important point about the problem of teenagers and the age of consent and responsibility. Alice’s experience of a teen in love with a 19 year old demonstrates the difficulty of even a small age range. Is David guilty of abuse and manipulation or were Alice’s feeling valid and was she manipulating him? The law is clear that she was only 14 so the former must be true but this novel cleverly shows both angles. Later in life, 5 years age difference doesn’t matter (isn’t that right, Chris?!)
This is quite emotional at times as detective Jessie struggles to deal with her new relationship as well as the continued presence of her abusive former husband. Meanwhile, charting Alice’s painful journey and desperation for her lover is very raw. The plotline of Gordon Angus and his autistic tendencies (with no diagnosis) and the impact this has on his mother is quite heartbreaking to read.
Her Secret Past deals with some very big issues in a sensitive way. It is also a pretty good murder mystery with a strong yet vulnerable lead detective. I admit that I did guess the killer as there were lots of clues throughout and I also worked out the final twist right at the end, but this did not detract from my enjoyment of the book at all.
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This is the third book in a series featuring DI Jessie Blake and her partner, DC Dylan Logan. They get a callout on Boxing Day morning to a farmhouse in Perthshire. Inside are the bodies of 70-year-old Malcolm Angus and his wife -- both dead of a single gunshot wound. The victims were discovered by their son, Tommy, and grandson, Gordon. Both had come over to visit and to enjoy a meal after having talked to the elders earlier and then found them dead. The only lead happens to be the Angus's closest neighbor, Rachel Ferguson, and the possible motive a dispute over some land. That all sounds really flimsy until Jessie and Dylan find out about Rachel's past: it seems she was implicated in a horrific double murder when she was just 14-years-old. Rachel, then known as Alice Connor, and her older boyfriend, David Law, took hammers to her grandparents and hit them until they were dead. Rachel (Alice) spent only a short time in a young offenders place but David went to prison. Rachel insists that she is not that person any longer and wants to keep her identity secret and claims that she had nothing to do with the murder of Malcolm and Jean Angus. Of course Rachel becomes the main suspect but there's a lot more going on. The murder investigation leads them to new discoveries and revelations. NO SPOILERS.

I found the synopsis to be quite misleading after getting into the book. The main thing that bothered me, other than an intense dislike for Rachel and most of the other non-police characters, was how she could have spent so little time incarcerated for the murders she committed. Though excused due to her relative youth, it made no sense as teenagers in USA are often tried as adults in cases this heinous. Regardless, Jessie and Dylan have their work cut out for them. They make a good team but I just can't connect with them. I have read both other books in the series, but often lose track of characterization since it is the time between books and so many others read in between. I read this in a single sitting and anticipated any possible twists so there were no surprises. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for this e-book ARC to read and review.
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Unbeknown to me until I had finished this was the third in a series featuring Jessie Blake. This didn’t detract anything for me but it did make me go and buy the previous two books so I could fill some missing gaps. 
Gripping from start to finish I cannot wait for book 4.
Thanks to Bookouture for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review.
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Jean Angus pours the last of the lukewarm tea into her chipped cup, shivering as she looks outside into the dark night. Her eyes are drawn to a slow movement not far from her cosy farmhouse. She’s not expecting visitors. And as the back door opens with a bang, she doesn’t even have time to shout for help.
On a dark winter night, the bodies of Malcolm and Jean Angus lie cold and still in a pool of blood in their kitchen. Detective Jessie Blake is called in to find out what happened to the reclusive pair.
Searching the couple’s property, Jessie learns about a vicious dispute with a nearby land owner, Rachel Ferguson, and when Jessie looks into Rachel further, she doesn’t expect what comes up. Rachel isn’t the person everyone thinks she is and a previous murder conviction just made her Jessie’s prime suspect.
The small Perthshire town begins to gossip about the double murder and Jessie’s own past comes back to haunt her, when her abusive ex-husband begins to interfere in her new life. As the town starts a witch hunt against Rachel, Jessie is under pressure to find out what really happened in the farmhouse that night. Because if it isn’t Rachel, then who is the murderer living among them, waiting to kill again?

This is a brilliant read.
Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me engaged from the start.
Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believeable.
Great suspense and action with wonderful world building that adds so much to the story.
Kept me gripped til the end!
Can't wait to see what the author brings us next!
Recommend reading.

I was provided an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher.  This is my own honest voluntary review.
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#NetGalley #Her Secret Past #Bookouture

This is the third book in this series but can be read as a standalone. This book had a very twisted and shocking plot. Just when I thought I had everything figured out I was hit with yet another shocking surprise! I have not read the first two books in this series, but will definitely be reading them now.
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There is a lot going on in this book, which unfortunately meant that some things didn’t get as much attention as they should have. The crime is interesting, and the investigation is well-done, but it is sometimes gets lost with everything else. That being said, there were some good twists, and I liked the characters. 3.5 stars. For more thoughts, please visit my blog at Fireflies and Free Kicks Fiction Reviews. Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for a digital ARC of the book.
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