Cover Image: All the Secret Places

All the Secret Places

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Member Reviews

Summary from Goodreads:

"Gin Sullivan is back in Pittsburgh on an extended leave from her job at the Chicago medical examiner's office and rekindling an old flame with her high school sweetheart, Jake. Gin is readjusting to life at home when Jake receives harrowing news early one morning. The new housing development his construction firm is building has caught fire and underneath one of the burnt homes is a dead body. When the body is identified as a man who may very well be the violent offender who terrified Gin's childhood town years ago, the pool of suspects broadens and it becomes a greater challenge to pinpoint his killer. Gin is determined to unearth old demons, hers included, but soon finds some people will kill to keep them buried. Small town secrets cast daunting shadows in All the Secret Places, Anna Carlisle's riveting second Gin Sullivan mystery."

My Thoughts:

Last year I read and loved the first book in this series titled Dark Road Home.  I've been impatiently waiting for this second book every since.  I cannot tell you the last time that I read a book in one hasn't happened yet this year until now.  I started this book on a rainy Saturday morning and finished it late that night.  That's how good this book was!  There is just something about this author's books that absolutely suck me in.  I couldn't stop reading even when I was trying to watch the Harry Potter marathon at the same time.  There is something so real about these books and this small struggling town that is trying to get past the economic struggles it has been through.  When you add to that strong main characters and a solid mystery it equals out to a really great read.  

One of my favorite things about this series is the characters.  The author has managed to really bring them to life for me so I care about what happens to each of them.  My one and only complaint with this book was that I didn't care for the Tucker storyline.  I don't want to give anything away but I didn't care for his friendship with Gin at all.  I did really appreciate that we got the chance to see more of Olive who played a small but important role in the first book.  The mystery itself was really well done.  I didn't have the slightest clue to who was behind it all until the very end.  It made my reading experience that much more intense which is why I couldn't stop reading.  The ending of this book wrapped everything up perfectly and left me wishing for the next book right now.  I so enjoyed this book but it is going to be a long wait for book three!  

Overall I really, really enjoyed this book and have become such a huge fan of this series.  Loving this book just as much as the first book means that this author has been added to my favorites list.  I will reading everything she writes at this point because it is a rare event when a book compels me to read it in just one day.  While you don't have to read this series in order, I would highly recommend that you do as reading this one first will basically spoil for you the mystery in book one.  There are a lot of references to what happened in the previous book so it would be best to read the series in order.  I would recommend this series to mystery and suspense fans alike.  I highly recommend!

Bottom Line:  Finished this book in just one day...that should tell you all you need to know!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.
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This is book 2 in the series but you can read it as a standalone. It’s a good read. New characters are introduced. Gin and Jake are experiencing a rough patch in their relationship. Poor Jake can never catch a break as he yet again gets blamed for a crime he didn’t commit.
Received an advance review copy in exchange for an honest review by NetGalley.
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All the Secret Places: A Gin Sullivan Mystery by Anna Carlisle tells the story of Gin’s return home.  Gin has reunited with high school sweetheart Jake. Jake is a construction worker and receives the news that his site has caught on fire.  During cleanup, a body is discovered.  The identity of the body begins unearthing many more secrets, and Gin begins investigating, putting herself directly in danger.  I thought this book was a fun read and I would recommend it as light reading.  I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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All the Secret Places by Anna Carlisle is the second tale in A Gin Sullivan Mystery series.  Gin Sullivan is living back in Trumball, Pennsylvania with her boyfriend, Jake Crosby.  In the early morning hours, Jake receives a phone call that the house is in building for Leon Archer is in on fire.  While digging a fire break around the property, the fire fighters find a buried body.  When Jake is suspected of torching the home, Gin sets out to prove his innocence once again.  Gin gets hired to consult on the body which was found wearing an old military uniform.   Who is this person and how long have they been deceased?  Gin works with the abrasive Detective Bruce Stillman and the newly appointed Chief of Police Tuck Baxter to solve the crimes.  

All the Secret Places can be a standalone novel.  The author rehashes Gin’s background (growing up in Trumball, her parents, what happened to her sister, her career, love life) and what occurred in Dark Road Home (in detail).  The two mysteries have different levels of complexity.  Readers will find one mystery easier to solve than the other (one might even surprise some people).  I kept hoping there would be a twist to astonish me.  Gin’s personal issues dominated the storyline (relationship drama).  I quickly tired of Jake’s attitude and kept hoping Gin would ditch him for Tuck Baxter (I liked him).  For a smart woman, Gin makes poor choices especially regarding her safety.  I am amazed at how often she puts herself in perilous situations.  I am giving All the Secret Places 3 out of 5 stars.  I found All the Secret Places to be slow going in the beginning and a little long.  It could have used some editing to increase the pace and tighten up the story.  I wish there had been less repetition of the details surrounding the crimes (they kept repeating the same things over and over).
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first, I didn't read the first Gin Sullivan book, but had no trouble following along with this one at all. 

I enjoyed this book.  Gin is a good character that is easy to relate to and wonder what's going on.  There are some tensions, the mystery is light and not really edge of your seat, but compelling all the same.
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I devoured this book and then got on social media and screamed its praises. One of the best books I have been blessed with reading this year.
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The mystery is almost secondary in this well written book to the characters- Gin, her boyfriend Jake, Olive the girl Gin is mentoring.  Gin's taken leave from her medical examiner job but she can't seem to get away from murder. Gin's a good character, with all the foibles and problems of a real person.  Her decision to spend time at home helping her family, especially her dad, cope with the long lasting impact of her sister's murder is the basis for this book.   Jake, her teenage boyfriend and new love, like any number of unlucky builders in both novels and real life,  has a body turn up at his latest site.  This time there's both a potential personal connection to Gin AND a possible Civil war site.  There's some twists and turns but nothing too complicated, although I did find myself surprised at the ending.    Thanks to Netgalley for the arc.
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I wanted to like this one - I really really did.  I love a medical examiner MC and am always on the lookout for one since Beverly Connor seems to have stopped writing my favorite Diane Fallon series a decade ago.  This one sounded like it might fit the bill but it came up a little short.  It isn't bad - in fact I found it incredibly readable with excellent pacing but I can't say I especially enjoyed it either..  

I found it to be more character driven than I like my mysteries to be and to have serious leanings towards the overwrought side.  Gin has a lot going on - she's recovering from a devastatingly personal case (book #1), trying to figure out her relationship with her parents, trying to determine what to do with her life, and navigate an increasingly complicated relationship with her former high school sweetheart/ current significant other Jake.  There's also quite a lot of business trouble for Jake and political issues between Gin, Jake and the police department who were convinced Jake committed murder in the previous book.  

While the mystery itself was solid I felt like it was overshadowed by the personal drama and conflict which kept me from fully enjoying this mystery.  That said, this was an easy mystery to be pulled into.  Even when I was irritated by Gin's or one of the other character's behavior I was never tempted to put the book down and I felt invested enough that I did want to see how everything worked out.
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3.5 stars

All the Secret Places is an intriguing addition Anna Carlisle’s Gin Sullivan Mystery series.

Still on leave from her job as a medical examiner in Chicago, Gin is uneasily settling into life in her small hometown in Trumbull, PA.  Having rekindled her romance with her former high school boyfriend, Jake Crosby, the couple are living together but Gin is concerned about the future of the relationship. During a fire at Jake’s construction site  for an upscale home, firefighters unearth a badly decomposed body on the property. Gin is less than thrilled when abrasive Detective Bruce Stillman is assigned to the case and she is worried that his bias towards Jake will have a negative impact on the investigation. Will Gin, along with some help from the newly hired Trumbull Police Chief Tuck Baxter, find out the cause of the fire and the truth about the corpse before it is too late?

Gin and Jake’s relationship is already a little troubled and in the aftermath of the fire, the tension between them continues to grow. Communication is not exactly their strong suit so Gin is mostly in the dark about how things are going with Jake’s construction business.  Although Jake knows she cannot discuss the case with him, he is very frustrated at not being kept in the loop. With so much dissent in her personal life, Gin is taken off guard by her unexpected attraction to Tuck who makes no secret of his interest in her.

Amidst all this uncertainty, Gin does everything she can to uncover the truth about what happened on Jake’s construction site. An uneasy evening with Jake’s construction foreman and his wife seemingly provides some much needed information about the fire.  However, Gin is confused by contradictory details when she investigates the lead before taking the information to the police. The preliminary examination of the buried remains is somewhat discouraging but Gin notices some  inconsistencies that she is hopeful will help Jake.  However, she is disheartened by her inability to find the proof to back up her suspicions.

What should be a straight forward murder mystery becomes rather bogged done in Gin’s personal dramas, Detective Stillman’s lack of partiality and  political posturing. Gin is also rather prone to jumping to conclusions and making impetuous, ill-thought out decisions that put her into dangerous situations. It is also somewhat frustrating (and a little unrealistic) that Jake is once again fighting to prove his innocence when he is at the center of another investigation.

Despite a few frustrations with the storyline and a somewhat slow start, All the Secret Places has plenty of unexpected twists and turns.  Although the culprit for one of the mysteries is rather easy to figure out, the resolution of the other crime is quite unexpected. Old and new fans will enjoy this latest installment in Anna Carlisle’s Gin Sullivan Mystery series.
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I seem to be on a roll lately - mysteries, thrillers and suspense novels have got my attention.  Today's post is a book review on All the Secret Places by Anna Carlisle.  I didn't realize this was book #2 of a series until after I finished the book, but it wasn't relevant to me as this book is definitely a stand alone.  

The story's main character is Gin Sullivan, who came back to her hometown of Trumbull, Pennsylvania, and who was very important in solving the death of her little sister, Lily. While back in town, she rekindled her relationship with her high school sweetheart, Jake Crosby, but Gin seems to have trouble trusting and getting close after losing her sister.

All the Secret Places begins with Gin and Jake living together working on building a new relationship now that they are adults. Gin is a medical examiner currently on leave from her career in Chicago as a result of her sister's death. She came back to assist in solving her sister's death and never went back - sort of a temporary leave of absence. Jake is a building contractor who wants to make a name for himself as a builder.  He took a big risk buying some land and is trying to build some very high priced exclusive homes with the hopes of attracting prestigious buyers from Pittsburgh. Jake is nearly exhausted financially as he has poured everything he has into the project.

Jake receives a phone call telling him that his project is on fire, only to arrive and learn that it was the first house in the project.  If that news wasn't bad enough, he then learns that the building site is actually a burial site for the remains of a body while the firemen are trying to divide the fire from the woods nearby. As we learn by the rudeness of the police officers at the scene, Jake had actually been a suspect in the disappearance and death of Gin's sister and the police clearly haven't forgotten it. They immediately begin to doubt the cause of the fire and get even more suspicious when it is discovered that the fire was caused by arson.

Unfortunately for Jake, the body is assumed to be a Civil War soldier which causes protesters to show up insisting that the land be declared a historical site which would cause Jake's business to fail.  In response to the allegations and possible detrimental impact to his career, Jake becomes very withdrawn and becomes secretive instead of sharing his feelings (and actions) with his partner, Gin.

As the new police chief shows up in the picture, Chief Baker seems to show quite the interest in Gin and she starts to question her relationship with Jake. Ultimately Gin chooses to repair her relationship with Jake by helping solve the crimes.  Can Gin and Jake survive the stress of more trouble? 

The body is later identified to be a man who was a childhood violent offender and it becomes very difficult to pinpoint who killed him. Since I don't write spoilers, you'll just have to see for yourself but a little secret - someone gets shot!

The story is fast paced and well written.  The characters come to life and I was turning page after page to get to the bottom of the story.  I'd definitely recommend this book for a great read!

I received an advanced readers digital copy of this book from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in exchange for my honest review and unbiased opinion. Thanks NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books!
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Gin Sullivan came back to her hometown of Trumbull, Pennsylvania, and was instrumental in solving the death of her younger sister. In the course of that investigation she reconnected with her teenage boyfriend Jake Crosby. This book begins with the two of them living together and trying to build a new relationship now that they are adults. Gin is a medical examiner who is on leave from a prestigious job in Chicago. Jake is a building contractor who has taken quite a risk by buying some land and building some high priced homes in hopes of attracting buyers from nearby Pittsburgh. He has put everything he has into the project. 

The story begins when Jake receives a phone call telling him that the first house in the project is on fire. The fire would be bad enough but the firefighters discover a buried body when they are making a firebreak to keep the fire from spreading to the nearby woods. Jake had been a suspect in the disappearance and death of Gin's sister and the police who investigated that crime don't seem to be able to get over it. They are immediately suspicious both about the fire and the body and even more suspicious when the fire is proven to be arson. Jake's business takes another potential hit when the body is assumed to be that of a Civil War soldier and protestors show up determined to have Jake's land declared a historical site.

Jake deals with these suspicions and the hit to his business by becoming secretive and withdrawing from Gin. Gin starts to wonder about the staying power of their relationship especially when she meets the new Chief of Police who shows an interest in her. Gin decides to fight for her relationship with Jake by using her medical and investigative abilities to get to the bottom of the two crimes. 

For someone who prides herself on not jumping to conclusions without all the facts, she manages to jump to a number of conclusions and puts herself in danger many times during the story. The story is fast-paced. The mystery is twisty.
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This is the first book that I have read by this author and I enjoyed it.  This is a  psychological thriller that is well written.
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This is my first time reading this author.  Great story with some twists.  I like that I didn't have to read the entire series before reading this one.
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Gin Sullivan may have taken leave from her job as a Chicago medical examiner to return home to small town Pennsylvania, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be working. Her old high school boyfriend, Jake, has received word that the housing development his firm is building has burned, and a body has been found underneath one of the houses. Was this an accident? Once the man is identified as a dangerous predator who terrorized the town years before, it becomes obvious this was a murder – and the list if suspects is a mile long. Gin uses her skills to hunt for clues, hoping to solve the murder and in doing so, exorcise residents, and her own, ghosts. Gin is a smart, take no prisoners heroine that will appeal to fans of Tess Gerritsen
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