One Little Secret

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

One Little Secret is a twisty thriller about 3 different couples, who also happen to all be neighbors, that book a weekend getaway at the beach. When one of them turns up dead in the morning, you’ll find yourself reading on to find out who did it, as everyone seems to have some sort of motive.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Wow! What wild and crazy neighbors! This was a sit on the edge of your seat kind of book. From the very first moment you are trying to figure out everyone's angle and what they are really about. This book is fast paced and unforgettable. Cate Holahan shows you that when it comes to couples not all is as it seems. The lives of these complex characters whose crazy impulses seem to threaten the very lives they hold dear, but they still can't seem to control themselves. She weaves a tale of betrayal, lies, lust, and cheating which eventually leads to murder. Will the community of friends and families ever be the same?
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Summary from Goodreads:

"Everyone has a secret. For some, it's worth dying to protect. For others, it's worth killing.

The glass beach house was supposed to be the getaway that Susan needed. Eager to help her transplanted family set down roots in their new town - and desperate for some kid-free conversation - she invites her new neighbors to join in on a week-long sublet with her and her workaholic husband.

Over the course of the first evening, liquor loosens inhibitions and lips. The three couples begin picking up on the others' marital tensions and work frustrations, as well as revealing their own. But someone says too much. And the next morning one of the women is discovered dead on the private beach.

Town detective Gabby Watkins must figure out who permanently silenced the deceased. As she investigates, she learns that everyone in the glass house was hiding something that could tie them to the murder, and that the biggest secrets of all are often in plain sight for anyone willing to look."

My Thoughts:

One Little Secret was one of those suspenseful thrillers that just sucked me in and didn't let me go.  I went into this book after finishing two contemporary romances in a row so I was more than ready for a thriller to change things up.  I started this book and just let the author take me for a ride!  In this book there are three different couples who are all neighbors and have decided to rent a house on the beach together for vacation while their kids are away at camp.  The book flips between the present and the day before.  We get to see pieces of their lives, their relationships with their spouses, and here and there a secret or two was hinted at.  Let me tell you that I just ate this all up with a spoon!  I have been here lately for the domestic dramas with suspense mixed in!  I loved the fact that it felt like we were experiencing the investigation in real time thanks to the present day sections of the book but that we were also getting to see stuff from before too.  The book went back and forth between chapters but the author does it so seamlessly that it was just perfection.  What I liked best about this book though was that at some point in this book, I suspected every single one of the characters (besides the individual that was killed).  That's the mark of a good book in my opinion!  There were characters that I definitely didn't want it to be and ones where....well, we will say that just wasn't the case. None of these characters were likable all of the time but there were ones that I could at least relate to or found redeemable.  That's key in a book like this for me I have to say!  I know the trend lately is books featuring characters that you hate but that's just not really my type of thing.  I need a character I can root for usually for me to really enjoy the book!  I also have to say that I really loved Gabby (the detective)!  She was a character that I could get behind so I was rooting for her to figure out who the killer was.  

Overall, I just really enjoyed my time with this book.  This book had a Big Little Lies vibe to it with the three couples, the hidden secrets, and the interactions between them all as a group.  I think if you liked that book then you will probably enjoy this one as well.  I'm super excited to read more by this author and am glad that she has other books for me to look forward to.  She kept me guessing throughout this book which is always a good thing.  I don't want to say much more than that as I think this is a book to just experience or go into without knowing too much about it.  I can easily recommend this one to fans of thrillers, mysteries, and suspense.  This would be the perfect book to get lost in on the beach during these hot summer days or even while you beat the heat in the air conditioning.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A suspenseful read that kept me guessing the entire time!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and Meryl Moss Media.  Honest Thoughts are my own.
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Here are some fragmentary reactions to One Little Secret by Cate Holohan:

•	There was unrelenting suspense, enough to carry the reader through a somewhat muddled storyline. One big contributor to the muddling was the jumble of the parents' and children’s names among six neighboring couples. I seldom have trouble keeping track of characters, but in this case I repeatedly muttered, “Susan is married to – that’s right, Nadal. And Jenny is with Louis, the doctor. That leaves Rachel with Ben.”
•	There were a lot of first world problems, predictable in a story about prosperous people on an exclusive dream vacation. But these six were almost stereotypes of self-absorbed, wealthy folks. No one expressed any concern beyond what happened inside their well-groomed heads or what affected their status.
•	There was only one sympathetic character -- the local detective, who was indeed sympathetic, but not fully realized. I needed a bit more fleshing out to understand her actions.
•	Back to my opening. The suspense was skillful, and the alternating time lines were done well. Dialogue seemed natural. This great beach reading (in both senses – the setting is the Hamptons, with direct access to a private beach.) It did keep me reading, despite my picky reactions.

Thanks to NetGalley for an advance readers copy.
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Susan was looking for some couples time with her husband and 2 Neighbor couples. It was supposed to be a way to let loose and enjoy themselves while their kids were away at camp, but sometimes the best intentions can yield the worst outcomes. When large amounts of liquor are involved, inhibitions are thrown to the wind and bad things tend to happen. After a night of drinking, one of the women is found dead on the beach where they are staying. Now everyone is a suspect and the couples are trying to find out who it is among them. 
Gabby is the detective on the case and she is battling her own demons. Will she be able to find the one whose secrets were worth killing for and stop them before someone else is murdered?
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Cate Holahan is great at taking commonly used mystery/thriller tropes and making them seem fresh or giving them an interesting angle such as domestic violence, infidelity, etc. I was also impressed with the timeline(s) of this book. I typically hate dual+ timelines, however jumping between Day Before, Day of, and Day After was a lot of fun.
I chose this book because of my enjoyment of Cate Holahan's, The Lies She Told. Unfortunately, I didn't think One Little Secret was quite as good and I didn't rate the book as highly as I'd hoped to. I felt that Detective Gabby was too underdeveloped to have her own narrative and I'm unclear why the reader is introduced to her husband and daughter. Likewise, the entire subplot revolving around her investigation in the drugging and rape of a local au pair seemed really out of place amongst the rest of the text.
Finally, the ending was unsatisfying for me. I wasn't surprised by the reveal of Rachel's killer. In fact, the smaller twists throughout the book packed more of a punch for me. I also thought it a strange choice that the killer would end up punished for something other than the killing.
Overall, I'm still a Cate Holahan fan and look forward to her next release.
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What can “one little secret” do to a group of friends, thrust together in a beachfront home, forced to confront their issues? 

A whole lot.

This book has the feel of “Real Housewives” mixed with Agatha Christie, when six friends, three married New York City couples, send their children to summer camp and head to the Hamptons for a week of sand and sun. But everyone is hiding something and those tangled relationships come to light when tragedy strikes soon after arrival. What is the straw that broke the camel’s back - and what will the outcome be?

This is an interesting book because it’s so interesting and you get so wrapped up in the characters’ lives, but I can’t say that I liked any of the characters. They were all really flawed, kind of terrible people. But what doe all of that mean for the story? That’s the question that kept me reading furiously. I was so into untangling everything going on that I couldn’t put the book down.

The ending was really intense and made a lot of sense, so I was really pleased with it and felt that it was satisfying. The Agatha Christie-esque part comes from the fact that it really is like a big puzzle with everyone connected in some way and everyone hiding something. It’s up to one detectives to put all of that picture together. It’s just down to good ol-fashioned detective work. Poison would like this one.

This is a great who-dunnit set against the beautiful Hamptons with rich city characters. It’s a perfect read for your own week a tthe beach when you need s good pick me up!
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Three couples hanging out on the beach. Cool. Should be a relaxing and fun getaway for them. Great time away from the kiddos. BUUUUUTTTT... I would not want to be one of those couples. They all seem like terrible people to be stuck with on a beach. Like a**holes with tempers drinking and being... well, a**holes LOL. 

I really wanted to love this book. It was a quick read and fairly addictive. However, I felt that it was maybe too fast? Like the build up to the thriller/mystery was rushed and then it was just over. The book felt shallow and I feel like the author could have done so much more with it. I enjoyed the book but I just didn't love it. I loved the concept and idea. The storyline was great. A woman ends up dead and everyone seems to have pieces of the puzzle and everyone is a suspect. So fun! I just wish there was just more. More depth and more drama.

Thank you Netgalley and to the publishers for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
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Thanks to NetGalley, publisher and author to allow me to get a free copy of this book for review. Three couples spend time on a beach house, to get to know each other initially. There is a potential for fun, camaraderie and even long term friendship because no kids and lots of alcohol were present, except, something entirely different happened. Lots of secrets and revelations. Good book!
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3 1/2 stars rounded to 4 for this juicy beach read. The characters weren’t ones I loved or even loved to hate, but the storyline (while a tad bit soap opera-like in its crazy), was nonetheless fun.
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Three neighborhood couples rent a fabulous beach house for a vacation. One of them is murdered. Several turn out to have motives and are suspects. Kind of a soap opera mystery . . . excessive drinking, spousal abuse, sexual affairs, legal troubles, blah, blah, blah. A quick read and so-so whodunnit.
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Even though I thought this was a great read, full of suspense and whodunit interest, I did not love it.  I felt that there were too many "unanswered" situations, floating plot points inserted into the story unnecessarily and pointlessly and unreal or unrelatable situations.  Despite this, the novel was an engaging read, deliciously decadent and perfect for the beach read we are looking for in the summer.
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Thanks for requesting me the book.

I decided to dump this book out since I have way too many books last month so I will read this book someday..

Have a great summer!
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I would categorize One Little Secret as Domestic Suspense rather than Thriller.  Cate Holahan took some very unlikable characters and made me interested in their escapades, which is definitely to her credit.  The mystery is not particularly difficult to solve, though there are some twists along the way. The thing I had the most difficulty with was the police procedural aspect.  It seemed to come from the one hour drama cop shows, with the detective targeting a different suspect every time I turned the page. 3.5
All in all, One Little Secret was an entertaining read and I would read more from Cate Holahan. 
I received my copy through NetGalley under no obligation.
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This could have been titled “Several Secrets” and not little ones either. 

Personally, I didn’t like any of the characters in this storyline. That means a lot to me in connecting with the novel. These neighbors that sublet a vacation beach house together for a week, sans kids, get to know each other better than they intended to, with liquor loosening their tongues. The characters each have undesirable qualities that did not endear this reader to them. Yes, empathy is felt here and there, but this could have been a lot better than it was.

There is domestic violence, adultery, substance abuse, power plays, too much to list but which didn’t sit well with me. Even the investigating female detective came across in such a way that wasn’t likable or admirable. Jumping in with conclusions and accusations and acting against her better judgment.

Character development was not sufficient in my opinion. The murder mystery and my obligation to read this ARC kept me vested in it. I didn’t find the ending altogether satisfactory either. There are some unexpected twists, and my favorite line of the novel was from Louis’s daughter Ally, addressing Ben “I know what happened isn’t my fault, but what happened to my mother is yours.” Right on, Ally, actually there was a lot of blame to go around. 

Many have found this a satisfying effort as a mystery. I do not discourage any potential readers from giving it a go, it just wasn't my cup of tea. 

2.5 honest stars from this reader (rounded up to 3)
Thanks to NetGalley and publisher for the chance to read and post an unbiased review.
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When three couples rent a beach house for a week, it seems like an ideal way to get to know each other better and to spend some quality time together.  But, almost immediately, it becomes obvious that there are many tensions under the surface and there more than one secret among them.  The next morning one of them is found dead and it is up to the town detective to find the murderer.  It turns out that nearly everyone has a motive and the detective has her work cut out for her.  

The story is told from several points of view as well before and after the murder victim is found. As a result, the reader will be guessing almost until the end of the story.  

One Little Secret is a superb book – one filled with suspense, well-developed characters, a terrific plot and good writing.  I enjoyed it even more than I thought I would.  It would be a great book to read by the pool or on a long plane ride.  

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.
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This book was just not my cup of tea. It was a little too predictable & quite a few characters to follow.
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One little secret is a tale of mystery, intrigue and the consequences of a secret told.  It is the story of six neighbours (three couples)  who rent a very expensive house on the eastern shore of Long Island.  As the saying goes “nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors”.  This is completely true for this story.  When the individual doors close, the drama begins.  The story will suck you in and spit you out.  

The book is told in multiple POV’s and major clues are dropped from the very beginning.  Each couple’s marriages are showing signs of major strain, some are dealing with domestic violence, children with additional needs, career responsibilities and cheating.  The wine and booze is flowing but so are the lips.  When one of the neighbours is discovered murdered it is very clear that any one of them is capable of the deed.  I enjoy a good whodunnit and I’m happy to say this one did keep me engaged and hooked to the very end.  

One refreshing part of this story was having the before, during and after aspects of the event.  It provided some insight into the lead up to the murder and afterwards with flashbacks and information being passed up.  It was a refreshing aspect to a whodunnit that I have yet to read elsewhere.  

I don’t want to give anything significant away with this story but when I picked it up I had a terrible time trying to put it down (if I didn’t have kids that needed feeding, I probably would have devoured it in one sitting).  The world building was realistic, the imagery was brilliant – I really felt I was there experiencing the story alongside the characters.  I’m not ashamed to say that some characters emitted my hate, but some had me immediately taking sides with them – the sign of a very good author.  Usually I have a bit of a love, hate relationship with novels that have multiple POV’s, but this just WORKED for me.  

I rated it four stars and not five because of one niggly reason (it might just be me).  The detective in the story was frustrating as hell.  For me, I felt that Police Officer of that apparent calibre shouldn’t of fannied about as much as she did around interviews and clues.  I felt she wasted too much time and should have been way more proactive in her approach of trying to get to the bottom of the mystery of who murdered the woman.  I don’t think there was enough clarity at the end.  Like I said just a niggly thing that I would have preferred to have been more neatly attended to.  

This was a quick and easy read and held my attention well.  A superb mystery filled whodunnit.
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This book has a very good plot and it's very well written except it's a little too much writing. The "before" chapters are too extensive and don't really move things along. The characters are very good, and all in all, the book is enjoyable.
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The book is called One Little Secret, but it is about a lot of pretty big ones.  You have to get through them all to get to the one that started it all.  Even then, which secret was it?

Gabby answers a call for a young woman who doesn't remember the night before.  While still talking to the victim, she is called to the scene of a murder.  From there we go back and forth between the day before the murder and the day of the murder to see how everything came to the point it did.

Three couples drop their kids off at camp and go on a vacation together.  Two of the couples know each other well and the other is new in town.  By the next morning, one is laying on the beach dead.  We go through the preceding events to find out who had motive.  Who didn't?

One Little Secret kept me reading just to unravel the strings connecting everyone in the story, even the lead detective's own family.  Was it the berated spouse?  The abusive neighbor?  The spouse who believes they are being cheated on?  The spouse who is being abused?  So many options.  A satisfying conclusion.
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