Challenge Participant


Monday, 29 August 2011

The Secrets Between Us by Louise Douglas

A chance encounter: When Sarah meets dark, brooding Alex, she grasps his offer of a new life miles away from her own. They've both recently escaped broken relationships, and need to start again. Why not do it together? A perfect life: But when Sarah gets to the tiny village of Burrington Stoke, something doesn't add up. Alex's beautiful wife Genevieve was charming, talented, and adored by all who knew her. And apparently, she and Alex had a successful marriage complete with a gorgeous son, Jamie. Why would Genevieve walk out on her perfect life? And why has no one heard from her since she did so? A web of lies: Genevieve's family and all her friends think that Alex knows more about her disappearance than he's letting on. But Sarah's fallen in love with him and just knows he couldn't have anything to hide. Or could he?

This was my second choice in the Transworld Reading Challenge and was another great read. This is the first book I have read by Louise Douglas, although she has written two books previously which I will be looking out for in the future.

Sarah, the main character, has recently given birth to her first child, unfortunately her son was stillborn. Having difficulty in coming to terms with her loss and discovering her partners betrayal with an affair with a work colleague of Sarah's, she leaves her partner and accompanies her sister and her husband to Scilly. While there, she meets Alex, a single parent to Jamie, following the disappearance of his wife, Genevieve. At the end of the holiday, Alex asks Sarah, if she will move in to his house and become his housekeeper and look after Jamie while he is at work. Sarah accepts the position but soon learns that there are many unanswered questions surrounding Genevieve's disappearance, with Alex being the main suspect with the residents in the small English village.

I found this book to be a great read, with many twists and turns throughout the story. The story follows Sarah, written in the first person, and the reader can gather evidence and clues throughout the book. The story gains pace, with more and more information coming to light. There are parts of the book when Sarah's life appears to be in danger, with Alex appearing to be hiding something, and his unwillingness to discuss the disappearance or anything to do with Genevieve. The main thing I liked about Sarah was her love for Alex and her determination to find what really happened to Genevieve, whether that be Alex's guilt or not.

There is a 'ghostly' side to the book, with Sarah believing that Genevieve is still present in the house, thinking she sees her in mirrors, in dark corners and is sure she hears her talking to her, warning her that she will be next. I do not normally like books that have reference to ghostly activity, however I enjoyed this book and found these details to add to the suspense within the story. 

The book gathers pace and ends with an enormous twist, which was never hinted out throughout the book, with the real details of Genevieve's disappearance coming to light and having huge ramifications for the extended family and relations. 

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants a book that will grip them from the start and will stay with them until they find out what really happened to Genevieve. A book filled with suspense and gripping suspicion, written to a very high standard with every word being important and to the point.

Thank you to Transworld Books for sending me the book to review.

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