Cover Image: The Secret Keeper’s Daughter

The Secret Keeper’s Daughter

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Member Reviews

This definitely held my interest as I could never tell where the story was heading. I thought it was going to be a psychological thriller especially as it plays out in a way that seems really dark and twisted. But much like the story, which is essentially about how easy it is to get the wrong impression, it turned out to be more of a family drama than a thriller. In the end it really wasn't as menacing as it seemed and when the truth finally came out (in one big rush) it was a bit underwhelming in many ways. It's an easy and compelling read though so worth the time.
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I was attached to this book because, like the author, I grew up near the coast in a small village and can relate to this kind of environment. 
I found the main character quite frustrating though, as she seemed unhappy with her life but unwilling to do anything to change it. 
By the end of the book I was relieved to feel that the “loose ends” were tied up, but this is not the kind of book that stays with me like others that I have read of late.
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I enjoyed reading this book, it was pleasant but forgettable, yes the message of listening to our children was good along with the worry box but i do like a bit more excitement!
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’‘The Secret Keepers Daughter’ is the latest book by Samantha King.

Holly Mayhew has the perfect family set-up. But when her seven-year-old daughter, Marley, begins to act strangely, refusing to speak and rushing off to hide in her room, she knows something isn’t right. Desperate to understand why Marley has become so withdrawn, Holly creates a worry box, where Marley posts her thoughts each day. At first, the messages seem innocent. But when Holly finds a note saying secrets make me sad, she begins to question everyone entrusted with her care. Including her family.

I’m a bit late to the tour but for the last couple of days, I had my head stuck in this book.

The story is written in the past and present through the narrative of Holly, who’s little girl was withdrawn into herself and is leaving little notes giving Holly an insight into her fears. Holly is trying to deal with a new baby, a husband who’s never around whilst she’s dealing with a turbulent relationship with Amy. A woman who was brought into Holly’s life as a young girl and Holly was forced to adjust from being an only child to having someone disrupt your life at every turn.

I particularly loved the narrative from the past tense as it really gave an insight into Holly’s past and how Amy is introduced into her life. She’s brought to live with Holly’s family as her parents are friends with Holly’s and when her parents move to Paris for work. Her relationship with Holly is upsetting, she hurts her, lies and gets Holly into trouble, whilst Holly’s father fails to believe that Amy would do bad things. But as they grow older, they have a love hate relationship but are there for each other when things are tough they are there for each other.

Holly has a heart condition and because of this, she’s constantly wrapped up in cotton wool with her family tip toeing around her much to her frustration. As the story unfolds, we read new secrets and lies that we’re hidden from her and how her relationship is with her family was far from perfect.

The story is cleverly crafted with characters are both relatable and unlikable. Amy is a bit of toxic character, who’s jealousy toward sweet Holly is prevalent and even as older women, there’s an obvious rift between the pair.

A compelling and observational story about the dynamics of family relationships and the innocence of a child’s mind. ‘The Secret Keeper’s Daughter’ is a great read.

You can buy ‘The Secret Keepers Daughter’ from Amazon
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Not a bad story however I did find parts of it to be a little long and unnecessary to the plot. I did really like the characters however so it wasn't a bad trade off. The book is all about our main character Holly who suddenly becomes very worried about her daughter. Her daughter Marley is usually super bubbly and wont stop talking and then all of a sudden she becomes forlorn and sullen, very out of character for her. Not knowing what to do and having her daughter be unable to tell her verbally what is going on Holly decides to make a "Worry Box" where Marley can write down what is bothering her without having to actually speak any words. What sounds
like a great idea suddenly turns dark when the worry box starts to fill up, and Holly starts to piece together the secrets. I loved the idea for this because it lets the reader try to figure out what is happening with the daughter at the same time as the mother. The only thing that I didn't like to much about this book was I wasn't that invested in the plot like I expected I would be. It was a little bit to long at parts that didn't matter and short at the parts that really did. I found myself putting it down a lot which I was very surprised about because the plot sounds like something I would devour in one sitting. I did like the dedication that the mother showed in trying to figure out what was going on. It made it very relatable and as the reader you were trying your best to guess
along with Holly on what was wrong with Marley. After every chapter I was guessing the worst but hoping not. I'm glad I got to read this book even though it was a slow start I enjoyed the rest of it. I loved the ending it was very unexpected. Great read and I'm so glad I gave it a chance, this is one book that you won't want to miss.
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Excellent story! Totally engrossing!.  Looking forward to reading more by this author! Could not put this down!
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The Secret Keeper’s Daughter by Samantha King was a beautifully written book that had me hooked within the first few pages and then was hooked! especially as Samantha is a new author for me and i am so glad I had a chance to read her latest book and it wont be my last. If you love family drama books this is a book for you. Its full of twists and turns throughout that will just have you gripped! 

I highly recommend The Secret Keepers Daughter I loved it! Plus the cover was perfect for this new book.

Big big thank you to Samantha King the author , NetGalley and HQstories for an arc of this book.
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Such a long drawn out story with so little substance! So much repetitive angst from the main character became rather wearing.
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This book promised so much but I felt let down  about half way through. Holly is worried about her daughters quietness & feels there is a dreadful secret that she is hiding that is making her behave this way.   Nothing is what Holly believes! So many secrets that area little disappointing.
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Thank you NetGalley for this advanced copy. This was just ok for me. It was too long and I found myself skimming more. Nothing blew me out of the water.
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A great story of family intrigue and secrets, you never know what goes on behind closed doors!  A good read and glad it had a satisfactory ending
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I am a bit late to the party reviewing this fabulous book. But OMG what a fantastic read. It's a gripping, heart-breaking but up-lifting read in equal measure. I wanted to jump into the the pages throughout to give sweet little Marley cuddles, she is such a wonderful character, she came to life off the page. Her little notes she kept putting in the memory box were clues to a much bigger secret and her mum Holly tried her hardest to get her darling daughter to tell her her worries, but she was so scared that something bad would happen. Holly knows deep in her heart that Marley is very scared of someone but she doesn't find out the truth until the mind blowing ending, which left me shocked to say the least. It has twists, turns & plenty of red herrings. It's a slightly dark, domestic family drama, which kept me guessing right until the end. All the characters had depth, the plot was outstanding. I really really LOVED IT, LOVED IT, LOVED IT, LOVED IT.  A PHENOMENAL READ which will keep readers turning the pages.
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I received an arc copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion of it. This is another book that kept my interest and not much of an ending.
Holly is an only child until she is seven years old and her parents take in their best friend's daughter, Amy. What is suppose to be a few weeks of living here turns into a lifetime. Holly feels second to Amy as she shines in everything and makes problems that look like Holly caused.
Holly marries Jordan and they have two children together. When 7 year old Marley starts acting withdrawn and not speaking much, Holly makes a "worry box" for Marley to leave a message in everyday.
Holly starts to suspect Amy is having an affair with her husband and as secrets start to come out they are just family secrets. I was waiting for some big reveal.
It was just okay for me.
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When 7-year-old Marley, who used to be a chatterbox, becomes withdrawn and refuses to speak, Holly creates a worry box where her daughter can post her thoughts. Every day, she finds a new note, and slowly she starts piecing them together. 

This book gripped me from the first page. I couldn't wait to find out what happened to Marley. The secrets were revealed steadily, keeping me interested, making me race through the pages. I had a few guesses along the way, but none of them turned out to be right.
I found that the ending dragged a bit, but overall, this was a brilliant read.
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The Secret Keeper's Daughter
By: Samantha King
Published: September 10, 2021
Publisher: HQ Digital
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Huge shout-out to Net Galley and HQ Digital for this gifted copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own unless otherwise stated.

💭Synopsis from Amazon:

Seven notes. Seven days. One family secret.
Holly Mayhew has the perfect family set-up. But when her seven-year-old daughter, Marley, begins to act strangely, refusing to speak and rushing off to hide in her room, she knows something isn’t right.
Desperate to understand why Marley has become so withdrawn, Holly creates a worry box, where Marley posts her thoughts each day.
At first, the messages seem innocent. But as the worry box fills up, Marley’s notes threaten everything Holly thought she knew about her daughter.
What is Marley not telling her, and why is she so scared?

👀 Review: If you like low-key thrillers with lots of red-herrings, plot twists you didn't see coming, and family secrets, check this book out. It was one of those books where I had to keep reading to see what happened. King did a great job of giving the reader just enough to keep worrying and keep guessing. I figured out hardly any of the ending, which is a great thing for me these days. I really resonated with Marley's and Holly's anxiety and how easy it is to jump to conclusions,too. 
  If you are looking for an easy read that will keep you guessing, give this one a go. Available on Amazon right now for just 99¢!

#thesecretkeepersdaughter #netgalley #review #bookreview #netgalleyreview
#reviewsofinstagram #ocean #secrets #familysecrets #thriller #suspense #redherrings #plottwist
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Holly and Jordan Mayhew live in a little cottage by the sea along with their daughter, Marley who is a lively and chatty seven-year-old. Yet Marley has suddenly become sullen and anxious. Holly is desperate to get to the root cause of this sudden shift in her eldest child. Is Marley struggling to adjust to the birth of her new baby brother, or is there something more sinister going on?

A few readers have said the book confused them but I disagree and found it very easy to follow. This book is unique and engaging, with strong characters and plenty of twists, turns and shocks. It’s one that really surprised me, and I look forward to reading more of the author's books.

This is a first for me by the author and one I enjoyed and would read more of their work. The book cover is eye-catching and appealing and would spark my interest if in a bookshop. Thank you very much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.

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I really enjoyed this book. This book was about Holly, shes got a perfect family. A husband that loves her, a daughter thats amazing and a baby boy. When her 7 year old daughter starts to act strangely her whole world starts to fall apart. Can she get to the bottom of it all before her life is ruined? I found this book very chilling, so many characters had secrets and you didnt know what was going to happen next. it really made me want to know what was going on/ there was a lot of different characters and it kept going forwards backwards in time. it had a great ending and I was kept quessing to the very end.
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Book Review: The Secret Keeper’s Daughter by Samantha King

Rating: ★★★

In Summary

Genre: Psychological thriller

Publication Date: 10th September 2021

No. Of Pages: 416

Keywords: Domestic, psychological, mystery, motherhood, family, childhood, secrecy, twisty, claustrophobic

Content Warnings: Reference to abortion, terminal illness, death of a loved one, suicide, adultery

Format: E-Book, Audiobook (released 17th September 2021), Paperback (released 30th December 2021)


When I read the first couple of chapters of The Secret Keeper’s Daughter, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it takes place in Thorpeness, an idyllic location I visited on holiday earlier in the year. This small seaside village makes for an atmospheric setting that adds to the novel’s sense of claustrophobia.

It took a while for me to get used to the second-person narrative, in which the narrator Holly addresses her young daughter, seeking to explain the events of the last seven days and the fallout of the secrets revealed.

This unusual narrative style certainly made for an unsettling atmosphere - in their naive perceptiveness, children always increase the creep factor! Plus the countdown over seven days to an unknown catastrophe makes for a slow, foreboding build-up of suspense.

Around the halfway point, the story became a lot pacier and the revelations just kept on coming! Before this acceleration, though, I found the book too slow for a thriller. 

When it comes to psychological thrillers, I want to be instantly gripped, thinking about it when I’m not reading it, feeling driven to pick it up again whenever I have a spare moment. The Secret Keeper’s Daughter lacked that spark of excitement for me in the early chapters.

The ending felt a little chaotic too. Several plotlines were built up to a tense climax only to fizzle out halfheartedly, which detracted from the ‘oomph’ of the big reveals.

Ultimately, it was the characters that kept me intrigued more than the plot, especially the relationship between sort-of sisters Holly and Amy. The author has mastered the art of tense dialogue, exploiting the layers of the unspoken that can lurk beneath our most everyday conservations.

The Round Up

Standout Quote: “The past lives inside of us. Like a cancer. Dormant. Possibly benign. Definitely incurable. We can’t get rid of it, even if we want to.”

Read If: You enjoy psychological thrillers that bring out the dark side of domesticity, family, and motherhood.

Similar Books: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell, The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel, The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances and Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan (check out Jasmine’s review here!).

Last Impressions: While The Secret Keeper’s Daughter may not have quite delivered the unrelenting plot that I look for in a thriller, I would definitely recommend it for those who like more character-driven narratives that slowly build tension and suspicion.

Written by Florence Edwards for CityGirl Magazine
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Samantha King rewards the reader with a stylish family drama ripe with drama, secrets and altering loyalties.

Holly and Jordan Mayhew live in a little cottage by the sea along with their daughter, Marley who is a lively and chatty seven-year-old. Yet Marley has suddenly become sullen and anxious. Holly is desperate to get to the root cause of this sudden shift in her eldest child. Is Marley struggling to adjust to the birth of her new baby brother, or is there something more sinister going on?

This is a slow burner about unravelling family secrets, both past and present, and the author does a wonderful job of building the characters while still maintaining the suspense. I was immediately consumed by this compelling tale and had a hard time putting the book down. The reader is taken down a meandering path of mystery as Holly tries to get through to her daughter whilst keeping her marriage afloat. The shifting dynamics meant I was unsure who could be trusted and many of the cast were of dubious nature. With dark and disquieting notes, The Secret Keeper’s Daughter is very highly recommended.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from HQ via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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I read this book in a relatively short period of time. It did leave me wanting to come back for more each time. A well written story with many twists and turns which came together in the end, possibly a little too neatly? There were a few dark moments in the book and at times the main character was ever so slightly irritating. This will stay with you after reading which in my opinion is the sign of a good tale. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
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