One Little Secret

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

I tore through One Little Secret in less than a day. The POV characters were at turns compelling and frustrating (Susan and Jenny, at least, Gabby was pretty fantastic across the board), and the book wove a nice, twisty mystery. I enjoyed the "day of"/"day after" structure, as well as the flashes forward at the end.

Reading it wasn't so much about finding out "who done it," though I certainly wanted to know, but following the characters deeper into the story. Holahan has a talent for weaving complex women who are easy to empathize with. The men were also well drawn even without their POVs, though since this is a book about women (and rape culture/motherhood/internalized misogyny), the men's motives were a bit more opaque. ie: it's not about them, and that's ok.

If I have a quibble/can point to something that may polarize readers, it is Gabby's POV/parts of her plot thread. I didn't mind it, though as a writer I did "see the seams' of the author's intention in terms of story choice made there, and I wonder if it will frustrate some readers. I see the point of the plot thread with Gabby and Mariel, but really it's a non-sequiter to the actual mystery/thriller plot of the book--the book definitely has three protagonists and Gabby's side-story ties least well to the other two. The book almost felt like a "pilot" for a series featuring Gabby, and I'd be totally into that!

Overall a great read. Recommend.
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One Little Secret by Cate Holahan is a thriller about three couples from the same neighborhood renting out a beach house in the Hamptons for a much needed vacation while their kids are away at summer camp. However, the vacation is off to a bad start when secrets between the couples start coming out the first night. One of them turns up dead the next morning. Detective Gabby is determined to find out who did it.

I really enjoyed the book. It was fast-paced, an easy read, and straight forward. The story is narrated in two different time periods: the day of, and the day after. Basically, what happened the day they arrived at the beach house, and the day after when the body is found. Although, I did find it unrealistic since it meant the detective was able to solve the case within a day's time. The story is also told from three different perspectives: Gabby, Jenny, and Susan. They narrate and guide you through the events of the day and how the night unfolds. I like the use of the narration because the story slowly unfolds and I find myself trying to figure out who did it. Although, the ending wasn't too shocking and the prime suspect was a bit predictable. Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I definitely recommend.

Thank you to Netgalley, Cate Holahan, and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
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I received an advanced copy Through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. 

This was the first time I've read anything by this author. The book was written well and the charterers were likable.  The story goes between the day of the murder and after. The ending was done in a way that made it believable and left me shocked. Love every twist and turn. Highly recommend this book
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One Little Secret by Cate Holahan  
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️4 of 5 Stars
Published by Crooked Lane Books - July 9th, 2019 

A special thank you to NetGalley who provided the advance copy. 

One Little Secret is a depraved mystery wherein three couples take a vacation that is anything but relaxing. The couples are all neighbors who are attempting to become friends; after all, their children are friends and their yards all touch. However, for these New York suburbanites they will come to find out they all share a lot more than just grass and a beach house. 

With prose reminiscent of Gillian Flynn, Cate Holahan delivers a perverse and torturous cast of characters. Characters are so duplicitous they themselves don’t even truly understand who they really are. Tensions between the housemates are thicker than the Hamptons summer humidity which leaves readers rapt and hinged to her every word, hint, and piece of this masterful puzzle. 

The secrets harbored within the walls are akin to a marsh swamp: murky and dirty. For detective Gabby Watkins the only thing that is clear, not including the glass façade of the house, is that someone is hiding something. Scratch that, everyone is hiding something. If there is one lesson Holahan knows how to deliver it is that when we do nothing, we are all culpable.

Everyone has secrets. Some have secrets worth dying for. But who has secrets worth killing for?

Proofers Notes
DISCLAIMER: I had the kindle copy, which had no page numbers therefore I went by location. The following are referenced with the custom settings: Bookerly font, size five, portrait. 

Chapter 7 – Loc 942: Louis’s pointed at the grieving man’s chest. Grammatical error.
Chapter 8 – Loc 974: They hadn’t worried that that their kids might . . . Duplicate of “that.”
Chapter 9 – Loc 1004, 1056, & Chapter 11 – Loc 1288: The author names the fish cooking on the grill first as Halibut (Loc 1004), then Salmon (Loc 1056), and finally as Halibut again (Loc 1288). Inconsistency.
Chapter 12 – Loc 1449: Gabby pulled out her own phone and inputted the address . . . Wrong verb tense. 

“People liked whiskey because it was a metaphor for life. A whole lot of shit with the occasional taste of sweet.”
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To me it was a solid read! A mistery until the end, and some interesting characters along the way. At some times a bit lengthy for my liking but the writing was good and made me "see" the characters and location. Like always with mystery books a review is a balance act because I don't want to give away anything and kill the fun.

Thanks a lot to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy!
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Three married couples, who are neighbors with children around the same ages, go away on vacation together to the Hamptons while their children are at sleepaway camps.  The story begins here and anything more would be spoilers as it plays out.  These are relatable characters, with interesting backstories and very complicated relationships. This book is well written and compelling, and keeps you guessing all the way through. 
This is the first book I’ve read from this author, but it won’t be my last. I definitely recommend this book and look for more from this author.
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Wow! So many twists and turns! A cast of unlikeable characters, each with a secret. Semi-friendly neighbors have planned a kids-free week at a beach rental. After an evening of dining, drinking and arguing, one of the wives turns up dead on the beach. Who’s got a motive? Or rather, who doesn’t have a motive.
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First off the cover is fantastic... does not get any better than that! And the inside of this novel is one of a kind. Y'all need to get this one and read immediately. A winner in my eyes!
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So many recent books have been written about spousal abuse, this is another, but with a twist...it is about abuse in the upper echelons of society.  Three couples decide to spend a week vacationing in the Hamptons, where all the tensions and lies come to the surface and suddenly there is a body on the beach apparently drowned after being choked.

The detective in charge is interesting as well, Gabby, is an atypical officer on the Hamptons police force.  We watch her examine the remaining 5 house members to see who had a motive, as it turns out there are lots of motives and lots of ugliness between the 6 people.  She becomes involved in the murders and seeks the truth long after the crime has been solved.

It is a good opportunity to see why women remain in abusive marriages and to understand it is not simply a product of poverty.  Holahan manages to keep a very high interest level and we are met by twists and turns throughout the narrative.

I am not usually a big fan of domestic mysteries, but I really enjoyed this one and look forward to discussing this in book clubs and with students.  Spousal abuse is as old as time, but shining a light on it and the many levels it affects made for a fascinating read.
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Three couples decide to go on vacation together when their kids are off at camp. Drama ensues as their time goes on, the drinking starts, and the energy turns from excitement, to awkwardness, to tension as their tangled lives come apart in front of us.


One of them is murdered, and Gabby, a detective, finds herself entangled too as she tries to get to the bottom of it all. She's got her work cut out for her. None of the suspects are totally innocent.


One Little Secret is a fun, intriguing little read. Told in third person from the perspectives of Gabby, Jenny and Susan. Three wives, three mothers with three different lives.


The way the neighboring couples are all wrapped up in drama and each other's drama at first is fun. An eaves drop into their personal lives. Flirting, awkward, tension. Dig a little deeper beyond the successful women with their polite facade's and their lives become complicated messes, a little deeper and it gets plain dark. 

That intertwining of people and events is what makes the book so interesting. I really loved the characters and all the interactions and business between them.
The characters and themes are relatable and real enough to be believable, driving the tension up, and ultimately making the resulting murder believable too. You could see how, given the right set of circumstances, a person could snap, how quickly it could escalate and turn into something else altogether.


While I did know from close to the beginning who the murderer was, it was still an entertaining, winding journey to the end. I was able to feel enough for the characters that I could see myself somewhat justifying some of their actions. Even hoping things would turn out for the better for some couples. And there was enough mystery and entanglement for me to second guess myself. The real mystery, I felt, was discovering how exactly it all fell into place and what the driving final motivations truly were.


I have received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


- 3/5 A quick, fun, little mystery that tugs at the outward facade of couples, weaving everyone into a tangled net that ultimately pushes someone to murder.
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I figured out who was behind it fairly quickly so I felt there wasn't much mystery or element of surprise here. I found none of the characters likable and therefore hard to connect with.
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I was pleasantly surprised by this book, I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was.  It sounds kind of like it will be your typical "couples go away and secrets come out" type of story, but it's so much more.  There's not only the viewpoints of the 3 couples that are on the vacation together, but also of the detective in charge of the murder case.  And she has her own little side case occurring that becomes entwined with the vacationers' adventures in a clever way.

The characters are well-developed and realistic even with all of the drama.  And there sure is a lot of drama.  It's a fun read even with  the more serious undertones.  Some of the plot points are a little well-worn but it doesn't make it any less of a page-turner because there are enough little twists to keep your interest.  And all of the secrets tend to come together (and come out) in a way that makes you go 'Oh so that's why...".  

I love discovering new authors and I can't wait to read more of Cate Holahan's work.
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I couldn't really get on with this book and had no interest in the characters, I found it hard to read and was disappointed.

Based on this I wouldn't recommend this book but this is purely my opinion as I am sure I will be in the minority.

Thank you to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book.
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I received an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review 

Just didn’t engage me. Didn’t engage with the narrative, the characters (none of whom were remotely likable or fun), the mystery-and I didn’t care whodunnit. Meh
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One Little Secret by Cate Holahan is a psychological thriller filled with 7 well-developed characters. It’s not always clear who the villains are: there’s Susan the alcoholic, Nadal the tech genius, Jenny the oxy addict, Louis the abuser, Rachel the obsessive lawyer and Ben the pretty boy. Your average neighbors, right? It’s just that one of them is a murderer… Everyone is a suspect. Everyone has something to hide. Everyone has something to kill for.

I especially liked Gabby, the detective. She wasn’t the stereotypical drinking, foul-mouthed, down and out cop we’re so used to reading about – she was sincere, likeable and capable of interrogating suspects kindly. 

The plot is detailed and intricate and the story weaves superbly between the day of the murder, and after. It has been well thought out and the ending was quite believable. 

I enjoyed the characterization; the pace was comfortable, and the tension created suited the actions and events as they occurred. I would recommend this novel and will read other books by the same author.
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Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Three couples rent a house on the beach for a week after their kids all left for camp. Due to the close proximity and probably some alcohol, secrets and lies begin to emerge.
Everyone is hiding something, some secrets bigger than others. 
The next day, a body is found on the beach and the game is on to catch the murderer who could only be one of the five remaining people in the house.

I have to be honest, this book was a pleasant surprise for me. the writing was fluid and I got into it pretty quickly. It's actually better than a lot of hyped  books I read recently which ended up being disappointing. 
All in all a solid murder mystery,  I finished it in a day and it was pretty entertaining.
I would recommend if you are a fan of the genre.
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This book definitely has it all!  Twists and turns on almost every page. Finished it in a few hours and it kept me guessing until the end.  Would definitely recommend. Thank you netgalley for letting me give an honest review of this book.
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I really enjoyed this book. I found that it was a quick read and the plot was intriguing. I found the characters hard to keep track of at first, but finally had them figured out about halfway through reading. I truly did not know who committed the crime until very close to the end which I enjoyed. Overall a great, quick read. Thanks for the opportunity to read!
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This book is a drama/suspense novel. All though well written I found I didn't have the interest to take time to read the whole book because of the characters. I didn't care for any of the main characters, they were all too self-involved, whiny, mean, dramatic etc so I read about 30% then skipped to the ending.
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Thank you netgalley for a copy of this book. 
I found this book really easy to get into. I was hooked right away and enjoyed the story.  
I figured out pretty quickly who was responsible so I didn’t feel there was much suspense or twists involved.
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