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Cover Image: She Was the Quiet One

She Was the Quiet One

Pub Date:

Review by

Judith D. C, Media

My Recommendation

5 Stars + Bestselling author, Michele Campbell returns following (2017) It's Always the Husband with her latest "unputdownable" edgy suspense thriller SHE WAS THE QUIET ONE—Cleverly crafted, twisty and dark, this cat-and-mouse tale will grab you and never let go until its grisly, gratifying, and jaw-dropping conclusion. Dirty little secrets. 

“The only quiet woman is a dead one.” —Sylvia Plath

Twin sisters Rose and Bel find themselves pitted against one another as the school brings out a dangerous rivalry between them, and the wife of one of the school's teachers begins to question the man she's married to. What is going on at this prestigious school behind closed doors? 

LOVED! 

From sibling rivalry, social media, schoolgirl crushes, privilege, power, ambition, hazing, deception, stalking, infidelity, dark secrets, to murder — this scandalous thriller set in this prestigious New Hampshire boarding school, has it all! Never a lull in the suspense and the author cleverly keeps the reader guessing until the explosive nail-biting conclusion. 

Two twin sisters. Bel and Rose Enright. Bel hated Odell Academy. However, she had promised Rose to give it a real try, so she kept silent and pretended. Two different personalities. 

Their mom had died in May from cancer. Bel and her mom were close. She was an artist and the bohemian lifestyle. They were all alone in the world until they found their paternal grandmother —(blue blood) Martha Brooks Enright. They had not seen her since their dad at age five.

The orphaned twins moved from California to their grandmother’s home in Connecticut. Soon she shipped them off to boarding school. After all, it was something rich people did. They would reside at the pretentious prep school in the fall and come home only for the holidays. They did not have a choice.

Rose was delighted to be able to attend one of the top schools in the country. Odell Academy in New Hampshire with its beautiful brick and iron gates and lush green campus. Both were coming in as sophomores, and soon the two sisters went their separate ways. Not only were they not roommates, but they were also no longer friends. Bel and Rose moved in different crowds. 

Rose was the good girl. She got perfect grades, played the violin, and did her charity work. Bel thought Rose’s friends were dweebs like her. She was sure Rose would fit in. 

However, Bel was lured in by some older popular girls. She liked to party and wear fun clothes. She was not interested in studying like her sister. These girls are bad news. Darcy, a senior, was trouble as well as the girls she hung out with. Soon they did not even associate with one another. Rose was concerned about Bel hanging out with the wrong crowd. Bel was a follower, not a leader. 

Rose must find out what is going on. Bel is secretive. Until she plays dirty tricks on her roommate and her. Betrayal. 

Enter more trouble . . . 

The new headmaster Heath Donovan (hot, good-looking, teaches English) and coach of the cross-country team. His wife, Sarah (math teacher) and their two small children— Henry and Sophia all live on campus. They are coheads at Moreland. There is a lot of stress and pressure for the two of them to keep down the crime at the school. The bad girls, of course, think Sarah is mousy and soon make a bet to see which girl could seduce her husband first. 

To make things even more intriguing, Heath has a secret past. Sarah is trying to trust him, and this move was to create a new start. Sarah comes from a wealthy family, and her husband’s past misdeeds were covered up. 

Heath (narcissistic) is ambitious and wants to make a name for himself. He is a good father and supposedly a loving husband, or so his wife thinks. He tells his wife to ignore the girls; they do not want to draw attention to trouble. 

Rose soon gets comfortable with her math teacher, Sarah. She is her advisor and spends time with her and the boys babysitting. 

Whereas, you guessed it —Bel, the wild manipulative one has a crush on Heath, the husband. He is her advisor, teacher, and cross-country coach. Any time she can cozy up to him, she finds a way. Bel wants to please Marcy Madden. These girls are power at the school. Darcy controls Bel and the hazing. 

Then everything goes wrong. 

Someone is texting Sarah about her husband. There is a photo. He is good-looking, athletic, ambitious, and charming (and a good liar). They both went to this same school, and Sarah knows all too well not to trust these girls. Especially Darcy’s crowd. However, she has to protect her family, their job, and their reputation. She had kept Heath’s secrets, and he trusted her. 

Things get heated. More people are involved. There is a murder that rocks the campus. A full-blown investigation. Someone is driving these texts and emails. 

Now one twin is murdered, and the other is holding a knife. 

However, is there something more sinister at play? Could sisters turn on one another, or is this a setup? Who would kill to keep their dirty secret hidden? Will the grandmother and her lawyer believe her? 

The impending peril creates a ticking clock. The ongoing lurking darkness in the woods. The secret meetings. Dirty secrets. You know something terrible is going to happen — and everyone is a suspect. You are holding your breath as you flip the pages. 

Wow! Campbell turns up the heat and intensity with this twisty and dark psychological suspense thriller. Not only does she give voice to the hormone raged college campus students, the hazing, and the vicious scheming —the introduction of Sarah and Heath, their past, and their current marriage domestic relationship brings complexity and intrigue to an even deeper level. 

Also, the deliciously evil secondary characters will keep you guessing . . . And the chilling ending! Your mouth will drop.

Michele Campbell is such a dynamic storyteller (hello, have you seen her bio)? Typically, college drama does not really get me excited; however, SHE WAS THE QUIET ONE was so much more. Very compelling and great character development! Read it and find out why! Nothing is as it appears. 

Highly recommend! My Top 20 Books for July and Top Books of 2018! For fans of Big Little Lies. 

A special thank you to #StMartinsPress and #NetGalley for an advanced reading copy #SheWasTheQuietOne.

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