‘Everyone has secrets. And now, one of mine is yours…’
Best friends Hollie and Niamh tell each other everything. Behind the village of Abingworth’s closed doors, every family has its secrets – and their doors might hide the worst ones of all.
One day Hollie tells Niamh about a devastating discovery, swears her to secrecy, then vanishes. The villagers claim to know nothing. But when Hollie’s body is found, the police know one of their number isn’t just a liar, but a killer…
What did Hollie tell Niamh before she died? And who would kill to keep it hidden?
After all, two can keep a secret – if one of them is dead…
A completely unputdownable suspense novel that will leave you reeling at the final twist…Readers are LOVING The Secret:
‘The ending! Omg I did not ever expect that – mind blown!’ NetGalley review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘I was gripped from the start and couldn’t put it down!’ NetGalley review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘I was not expecting the ending!’ NetGalley review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘A brilliant small town mystery with shocks, twists and turns’ NetGalley review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘A truly immersive, one-sit read’ NetGalley review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘The Vow was good but this is even better’ NetGalley review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 46 members
I was gripped from the start of this book and didn’t get much else done today as I couldn’t put it down. The story is told from the points of view of Elise, Niamh and Jo and covers a variety of difficult subjects including child pornography and domestic and emotional abuse. Elise lives with her husband Andrew and teenage daughter Niamh in a quiet English village. On the face of it they are the perfect family - Elise, an air hostess and Andrew the local GP. However, appearances can be deceiving. Niamh and her friend Hollie are the only teenagers in the village. It is every parents worst nightmare when Hollie goes missing and before she disappeared she entrusted Niamh with a secret making her promise never to tell anyone. Niamh strives to keep that promise. As I said above, I flew through this book and was desperate to find out what happened to Hollie etc. I did guess correctly some of the plot before it was revealed but that didn’t stop me enjoying the story. I did find some of the subject matter a bit hard to stomach but these things do happen even if we are not always aware of them. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced read copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Awesome! The Secret started off brilliantly and carried on throughout with twists and cliff-hangers that kept me engaged. I loved that not all the characters we were rooting for were always ones we liked, and Howells writes with a nuance that is so easy to read. There was difficult issues tackled well and with sympathy too, not an easy read at times as they were so well thought out and true to life. Thanks again to Avon and Netgalley for the chance to read and review.
Thank you Avon Book, NetGalley and Author for this advance ebook copy in return for an honest review! Avon Books y'all seriously made my month gifting me with a copy of The Secret! 😘 I enjoyed Howells previous book The Vow but The Secret is 10 times better! Family, secrets, lies.... Add these together and I'm there reading it! This book was a good quick suspense read! With great characters!. The writing was done very well! Debbie knows how to keep her reader engaged and scanning the pages wanting to see how this story ends! This book sucked me in at page one and kept me turning the pages. This thriller was full of mystery, suspense, and twists and turns. Really enjoyed this book and I can't wait to see what she writes next! Thanks again NetGalley, Publisher and Author for the chance to read and review this amazing book! I'll post to my Social media platforms closer to pub date! Avon Book
I loved this book! Debbie Howell’s previous book “The Vow” was good but this is even better. It’s the perfect psychological thriller and the plot will grip you from page 1. The ending is amazing and unexpected. It’s definitely one I’ll be recommending to others.
Well! Wow I'm reading this book and I'm like ok yeah this book is really good ! Great storyline, suspense, action, intrigue, and a whole bunch of twists and turns! Oh and a bunch of who done what to who?! So I'm like ok four stars I guess?! Then! Then! The end comes!! Omg I did not ever ever expect that!! Wow that kind of blew my mind for some reason! Wow just crazy! Mind blown! Lol just for that and the book was really good it definitely deserved five stars! Great read! Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for sharing this book with me!
Great book I read this on a rainy day in a couple of hours. I loved the characters and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened. This book is a great thriller.
I absolutely love everything about this book from the story to the cover. It’s a great story that completely brings you in immediately. The pacing is perfect and I loved the ending.
This was such a good read, it was totally engrossing i was completely gripped. It is twisty, mysterious and unpredictable. it was so tense and atmospheric, i will be thinking about this book for a while
Teenagers Hollie and Niamh tell each other everything, and one day Hollie tells Niamh about a shocking discovery. Then she vanishes... Nobody in the village claims to know anything, but when her body is found it becomes clear that someone is not only a liar, but a killer... What did Hollie tell Niamh before she died, and was it this secret that got her killed? Who would kill to keep the secret? A thrilling story that keeps you turning the pages until the shocking conclusion. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy of the book in return for my honest feedback.
Hollie and Niamh are best friends and tell each other everything. One day Hollie goes missing and is later found dead. Niamh's .Parents are Andrew who is the local Dr and Elise. The villagers see them as a loving family unit but once at home Andrew changes into the controlling husband that he is. Elise can't leave and so has to put on her face so no one finds out the truth about their relationship. When Hollie is found dead questions get asked and certain goings on in the village come to light. Who is guilty and will do anything to hide the truth. I really enjoyed this book and was not expecting the ending that it had.
The Secret by Debbie Howells ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This was a briliant small town mystery. Told from multiple points of view the story kept unravelling more and more shocks and twists and turns. Brilliant. Highly recommended xx
Thank you NetGalley and Avon Books for the advance copy of this book in return for an honest review. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and i’ll defiantly be reading more. I found the first few chapters a little slow but once i got into it it sped up nicely, each chapter is written using one of three characters point of view which made it a quick read, it does however cover a number of very difficult issues which some might find hard to read (domestic abuse). I did manage to see the ending coming but what a great twist it was . Would defiantly recommend The Secret.
Thank you to Avon books, and NetGalley, for another fast paced thriller with an unexpected ending! I love thrillers that deal with hidden community darkness, secrets, and "at all costs we keep our secrets" themes and this thriller delivers for readers looking for an engaging thriller. 3.75 stars, rounded up Some content in terms of abuse and suggestion of sexual exploitation should be noted for readers as that is part of exploring what underlies the mystery. The examination of what we don't know about where we live and who is in our community are strong themes that bring in consideration of human behavior, motivations of people who engage in harmful behavior, and why people keep secrets. I appreciated the focus on a strong female lead who valued her the memory of her friend enough to demand to know what happened to her. All too often these are themes in suspense books but are worthy of thinking about in the context of how young people today see movements for social justice, for recognition that behaviors and actions in communities, etc, as ways to obtain change and justice, I appreciate a book that perhaps recognizes the power of an individual to look for answers despite obstacles. The Secret by Debbie Howells is recommended for fans of thrillers that take on small town secret themes (I think of Mary Kubica as an example) and for readers who like an unexpected twist. I will share my review on instagram, amazon, B&N, twitter, and my website closer to publication date! Thank you again to Avon for a fun thriller, I look forward to reading more from your authors.
CW: domestic abuse, coercive control, child sexual exploitation Hollie Hampton and Niamh Buckley are the only two teenagers in the village of Abingworth, so naturally they become friends. Sixteen year old Hollie, ethereal and over dramatic, is acting more out of character than usual. She knows a secret, one which she shared with Niamh shortly before she went missing. Could her disappearance be related to the porn ring that police have been pinpointed to the village. It seems everyone in the village has secrets, relationships not as they seem, affairs and abuse hidden behind closed doors. This book covers a multitude of issues, I was gripped until the end. This is the first book by Debbie Howells I have read but I will look out for more books from her.
A gripping psychological thriller. Elise had a seemingly enviable lifestyle, she has everything she needs, lovely house in a small village, is cabin crew for an airline, she has a teenage daughter, Niamh and her husband is the local doctor. However not everything is as it seems on the surface. She is stuck in an abusive relationship which is escalating and is becoming more and more out of control. When her daughter’s best friend is found dead events from the past come back to the fore and everything seems to be linked to a child porn ring the police have uncovered locally. A real page turner I could hardly put down. I wasn’t fully convinced by all the characters especially Elise but the rest more than made up for her.
This was Very good mystery. I didn’t know who did it until the last page I would highly recommend this book
I absolutely loved this book and there were so many layers that I didn’t expect but they fit so well. The twists were well timed and not too far out there but definitely caught me by surprise. I thought the ending was very interesting… I like how vague it was regarding Niamh as a murderer; she pushed Hollie, who hit her head but she was seemingly fine until she wasn’t and when Niamh had a change to save her, no matter how quick that moment came and went, she didn’t act! Review; “Only ten percent of people are good”. This quote makes its way throughout this book multiple times and the statistic proved to be true for the characters. This thrilling crime novel tells the story of the Buckley family who is haunted by death and abuse. The village in which they live in is unique and seemingly holds the darkest secrets, belonging not just to the Buckleys, but to the rest of the community as well, until the truth is forced to come to light. This well paced novel is layered with multiple story lines and secondary characters who complete the plot. Although there are themes of mental illness, suicide, and domestic violence, these heavy topics are used in an intentional way that demonstrate humanity and leaves the reader questioning who belongs to that 10 Percent. Thank you for this thrilling read! I will be posting a more content about this book on my Instagram @balancedbookshelf!
Elsie Buckley is married to Andrew who is a doctor and they have a teen daughter, Niamh. Niamh has a close relationship with her friend Hollie. One day Hollie tells Niamh a huge secret that she is forbidden to share. After this, Hollie goes missing and soon after her body is found. Detective May is now forced to question everyone in this small village that they live in. She uncovers some pretty horrible secrets and she is left to discover what happened to Hollie. Was it murder and why? This was a very detailed book with a lot of characters. Some parts were harder to read than others but the story was well written. The ending was a surprise and had some great twists. I would read more books by Debbie Howells. She knows how to tell a great story. TW: Domestic abuse Many thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for my ARC in exchange for my honest review This review will be posted to my Instagram Blog (@coffee.break.book.reviews) in the near future.
Deception And Duplicity… An insular village; secrets and lies, deception and duplicity abound but who here would actually kill to keep something secret? A compelling, well written suspense with a credible cast of characters, an edgy storyline and touching on difficult, dark themes which are dealt with an empathetic sleight of hand. A truly immersive,one sitting read.
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to read The Secret! LOTS of secret and lies in this who dunnit thriller! One you don’t want to put down and can’t wait to get back to. One twist I guessed coming but did not expect the ending! You thought it was all wrapped up and all revealed, then BAM! Love those kind of endings. I liked the different character perspectives and found the book easy to read, the words and chapters flowing. The characters were believable, and you could feel empathy for SOME of them! The others could make your blood boil. A sad but so real subject of how marriages can look perfect, but you never know what’s going on behind closed doors. Would definitely recommend.
Elise Buckley is on duty as cabin crew when she views a headline of a passengers magazine which states that ‘Only 10% of people are good’. She reflects on this and understands only too well how tenuous her family life with GP husband Andrew and daughter Niamh is. Niamh’s friend Hollie has a barrel load of baggage, what does she confide to Niamh before she disappears? The story is told by Elise, Niamh and by DS Jo(anna) May. This novel confronts a number of very difficult issues and does so well. It’s a good examination of coercive control with all its horrifying ramifications. The book is quite sinister in a number of ways. There are several characters living in fear for a variety of reasons, some are controlled in ways that range from vicious to blackmail and there are several forms of abuse. The perspectives of Elise and Jo are done effectively, I’m a bit less certain of Niamh but as she’s a teenager then maybe her motivations are understandable. She’s caught between a rock and a hard place. The character of Andrew is done extremely well, what a vile excuse for a human being he is. The portrayal of the small Sussex village closing its protective ranks like the high hedges or walls that surround their multi million pound properties is also conveyed well although I’m not entirely convinced everyone would stay schtum, I know I wouldn’t! However, let’s keep that headline about the other 90% in mind! Although it’s fair to say I do enjoy the book and find it a compelling read, towards the end the revelations are not that much of a surprise as they kind of had to be. However, full credit to the author for her stark portrayal of the issues covered in the book and especially via the character of Elise where she really digs deep into the psychology of her situation which leads to greater understanding of her actions. Overall, it’s not an easy read in places nor is it meant to be but it’s well worth reading. With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Avon Books UK for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.
I should have seen that ending coming, but I did not. One of the reasons I like mysteries is to see if I can put together the clues to figure it out. With The Secret, I could not and that already gets a star from me! There is a lot going on in the book. And at times a lot of characters, but they were always distinguishable from each other. Another star! Told from 3 different POV’s we learn what happened prior to and what happens after local teen Hollie is found murdered. Who would want to harm Hollie and why? In this seemingly idyllic village, nothing is as it seems and every one has a secret. This novel is full of suspense and intrigue. One thing is for sure, it’s never dull! Special thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this action packed thriller.
We all have secrets but could you be killed for them.. The surprises and twists just kept coming with this book and I loved that each of the characters played such a big part in the revealing of the story - this story will have you guessing until the end.
We all have secrets But would any of us be killed for them? A problem shared is a problem halved.... Not in this book. I thought I had this all wrapped up but the surprises just kept on coming. Each chapter plays a huge part in the telling of the story and its one that will keep you guessing to the very end.
This is a book I could not put down…this book was sent to me on Kindle by Netgalley for review…murder…mayhem…abuse…divorce…family…friends…psychological and physical abuse…narcissism…family dynamics…this story is woven as a true story but is fiction…when reading this book, I felt as if I knew the characters…the good part is that the bad guys are caught…they get what they deserve…the ending is somewhat surprising but not totally. I look forward to reading more by this author.