One Little Secret

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
This book was just not my cup of tea. It was a little too predictable & quite a few characters to follow.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
A group of rather despicable people get together for a vacation and one of them ends up dead.  Whodunnit?  There's a case to be made for any of them to have been the killer and they're all so totally unlikable that it wouldn't have bothered me one bit no matter who was the culprit.

The writing in this book is obviously good to keep me engaged in a story where I didn't like any of the characters, and figured out who the killer was fairly early on.  The pacing is swift with one secret after another being revealed.  It's an entertaining thriller.

Good beach read!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley and publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Unfortunately I couldn't get into this one and found the characters to be confusing and dull. Was a DNF for me at 20 %. I do hope to come back to this again in the future and update this review.
Was this review helpful?
One Little Secret is a rather ironic title when the book is filled with lies, secrets, deceit and betrayals. Perhaps the author wants the reader to try to define WHICH little secret ultimately causes the unravelling of the lives of three families.

The story centers on three well-to-do couples from the same neighborhood who sublet a vacation house together in East Hampton on Long Island for a week. Their children are away at camp, so this is the perfect time for some grown-up fun! In their eagerness to "get this party started", too much alcohol is consumed the first night, and, with loosened lips, the tensions at play in each marriage are hard to keep closeted or controlled. The next morning one of them is found dead; cause of death drowning, manner of death murder.

Told in third person point of view the story unfolds via alternating chapters entitled The Day Before, The Day Of, and The Day After. I really enjoyed this technique - it kept me totally engaged and feeling close to the action! The book is quickly-paced and very hard to put down.

Work with Sergeant Gabriella Watkins as she struggles to get through all of the drama at play among and between these couples to discover who is the murderer.

I thank NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for allowing me to read an ARC of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. A four-star rating from me!!
Was this review helpful?
This was a fairly quick read. It took me a few chapters to adjust to the way time skips back and forth in the story. I can't say I liked all of the character's, but then I really didn't need to. It was very interesting seeing how several small things had to happen to contribute to the bigger things happening.

I should probably mention that domestic violence plays a big role in the story and that some of it gets graphic.

Gabby, the detective, seemed intelligent and likeable enough, but I never really felt like I got to know her. In addition, her interrogation techniques didn't seem all that impressive. The mystery was nicely done, with no shortage of initial suspects. There was enough information given to be able to have a good idea who the killer was as the story went along.

This seems like a good vacation long as you're not vacationing with neighbors.
Was this review helpful?
One Little Secret was a twisty thriller following 3 dysfunctional couples vacationing together and one person among them ends up dead! The story is told across 3 days (the day before, the day of, and the day after) the death,  It also alternates the POV among the different characters.  It also follows a detective who is trying to solve the case.  Each of the characters seems to have some sort of secret. and I don't think they seem to even really like each other very much. They each are suspected in the death and they are each quick to accuse the other.  Overall this was just an average read for me.  I'd give it 3 1/2 stars. Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
One Little Secret is a gripping, hard-to-put-down mystery/thriller book!

Three couples (neighbors) set out a week of a beautiful beach vacation, in a way to have ample time to know each other and spend quality time with no children around. The story is narrated in the third person and as the story unfolds, we see that there's a lot hidden between the closed doors of each family, and each individual as well.

There is a lot of alcohol, and it results in a display of a lot of emotions and tensions - work stress, and kids! And the beautifully planned vacation turns into a murder mystery by the morning of the first day. And the murderer is one among them!

The story is narrated across three timelines - the day on which it took place, the day before it and the day after it - giving us all the details and the story build up as each section unfolds. All the secrets aren't spilled in one go, but part by part - you will feel that maybe this is it, but NO! there's more.

I felt there was a touch of movie masala to this book. I wouldn't be surprised if there is ever a movie made of this book ( I have, maybe, seen a few such Bollywood movies!). The short sentences, the short chapters, makes the read easy and interesting.

I would surely be on the lookout of more of Cate Holahan's work in the future. I would definitely give it a thumbs up if anyone is looking to read it. You will not be disappointed for sure!

Thanks to #NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for an early copy of #OneLittleSecret. All opinions are of my own!
Was this review helpful?
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 

Fast-paced and exciting thriller-mystery with strong female characters and more than just one little secret.

The story kicks off with one of the main characters, a detective, investigating a rape, which she later finds out to be connected to an even bigger case - the murder of a woman in her holiday home she shared with her husband and two couples who all live in the same street. The events are narrated in two different time lines as the reader is told what happened the night the woman died, but the reader also experiences the events of the following day as police investigations have begun and the people in the house are questioned. 

I really liked this novel and I practically devoured it. It is very fast-paced and, as with many thrillers, you just have to get to the end of the story as soon as possible since you need to find out what happened and who did it. 
The title, however, is quite inappropriate in hindsight, since the characters in the novel don't just keep one little secret, but many at once. This leads to interesting relationship dynamics, since the three couples are all nowhere near perfect and at the brink of separation (or worse). All three couples have individual problems, but they soon find out that some issues don't just involve them but also the others in the house.

I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars, but I have to subtract one point because I'm not really able to relate to the ending. It felt very forced and I did not understand the decisions that the characters made.
However, I do understand that the author wanted to create a powerful female character in the lead as a Detective and she definitely succeeded by writing about Gabby.

I can definitely recommend this book as it is the perfect summer read!
Was this review helpful?
4 Looks Can Be Deceiving Stars

One Little Secret tells the story of 3 couples, who all happen to be neighbors, that decide to go in together on a Hamptons beach rental for a week of “get to know you” style relaxation. On the surface, all three couples appear to have happy, healthy marriages. Of course, if everything was sunshine and unicorns, we wouldn’t have a story, now would we.

The book is told in a multi-POV format and from the beginning, all three marriages show signs of major cracking. Issues of domestic violence, career ambitions and cheating all play prominent roles and by the time one of our vacationing neighbors meets their maker, it’s clear any of the remaining five characters could easily be the killer. My favorite part of any mystery is trying to figure out whodunit and I’m happy to say this one kept me guessing until the end.

Without giving anything away, I will say once I started this book, I had an extremely difficult time putting it down. The characters are realistic, evocative and had me taking sides almost immediately. I don’t always appreciate being in so many different characters heads, but this time it absolutely made the book for me. I especially appreciate getting the detective’s point of view and how her own story played into the mystery. 

One Little Secret is my first Cate Holahan book and I couldn’t have picked a better story to start with. Though I finished over a week ago, these cast of characters, with all of their secrets and deceptions, have managed to stick with me. It also makes me rethink any future travel plans I may have with my neighbors.

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest, voluntary review
Was this review helpful?
Oh My What a Thriller!   I started this, kept reading, and could not stop until I read the very last word.   This is a thriller that I couldn’t quite figure out.   I had guesses, I tried to follow the clues, and I was so very wrong.   

One Little Secret was a quick and easy read.   I devoured it and then kept thinking about it after.   The characters were interesting and realistic, the storyline was intriguing, and the ending, OH MY!  I love how it was written in The Day Of, The Day Before, and The Day After so there was no doubt where in the timeline you were.
Was this review helpful?
One Little Secret was more than a mystery.  In my opinion, it was an interesting study of human behavior.  Six people (three married couples who are neighbors) are sharing a beachside vacation home.  From almost the minute they arrive, tensions start to increase between them.  There are insecurities, jealousy and distrust flowing.  It doesn't seem that any of them are truly friends and the spouses don't even seem to have solid relationships.  One of them will end up dead on the beach and the suspect list is long.  

The sad thing to me is that I think a lot of the characterizations described in the book are often true in the real world.  Likewise, people are often buzzing around so busy with their own lives that they don't stop and take notice of the problems that others may be dealing with.  Sometimes just one word of encouragement or acknowledgement could make all the difference.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to the publisher for this ARC.
One Little Secret is the story of three couples who go away on vacation, only for one to turn up dead. It is the story of an officer who wants nothing but justice for victims. It is the story of marriages gone wrong, love gone right, and when life gets too twisted to know which way is up.
I enjoyed this book. I did feel that it moved slow in the beginning. But, once I had a feel for the characters, I was all in. 
I felt this was a good beach read - enough betrayal and mystery but not dark.
Was this review helpful?
I received an advanced reader copy of One Little Secret from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley, in return for my honest opinion.

One Little Secret by Cate Holahan is a story about keeping secrets from spouses and friends. Three couples are vacationing together while their kids are away at camp. All the marriages are suffering in one way or another, but everyone is hoping to put their problems aside to enjoy this vacation. However there’s a big blow up the first night, between one of the couples, that ultimately leads to the death of someone.

Since being promoted six months ago, detective sergeant Gabby Watkins has bee struggling to gain the respect of her peers. Since murder is uncommon in this quiet beach town, Gabby is called in to lead the investigation. Soon Gabby will learn that the remaining five vacationers all have motive and are all harboring their own secrets. Can Gabby find the killer before another marriage implodes? Will these marriages survive their secrets?

This was a fast, addictive read, filled with twists. One Little Secret is available today, Tuesday, July 9, 2019.

#cateholahan #onelittlesecret #netgalley #arcs #advancedreadercopy #mystery #mystery books #thriller #thrillerbooks #mysterythriller #readin2019 #crookedlanebooks
Was this review helpful?
This story doesn't offer anything really new to the genre of mystery/thriller, but the plot and characters were complicated enough that I could not figure out who the murderer was. I read so many mysteries that I can normally guess before the reveal, but not this time! 4 stars.

Thank you to Crooked Lane Books for a free digital ARC of this book via Netgalley.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you so much to Crookedlane Books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book for my honest review.

I'm a huge fan of Cate Holahan after reading Lies She Told so I was very excited when I saw her new book. It had plenty of twists, turns, and secrets.

Susan sets up a vacation for her neighbors and her over-worked husband so that they can all get to know each other better and have some kids-free conversation. After lots of liquor is consumed, the three couples start to pick up on tension in each other's marriages and when they wake up the next morning, a woman is found dead on the beach. As everyone starts looking at each differently, secrets and lies come out and they realize every couple is hiding something.

The beginning of this book instantly drew me in and I could not stop reading, I read this entire book in less than 24 hours and I have no regrets. The plot was amazing and there was never a dull moment when I considered putting this down. The animosity between some of the characters really added to the intrigue and made the ending of this book so much more interesting because trust me, you're not ready for this ending. I felt like I was on a tilt-a-whirl trying to figure out whom the murderer was and looking at all of the character's motives.

An excellent, excellent book that you will not regret reading.
Was this review helpful?