One Little Secret

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

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.
Was this review helpful?
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!
Was this review helpful?
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!
Was this review helpful?
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!
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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!
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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. 

https://readeotw.wordpress.com/2019/07/14/one-little-secret-by-kate-holahan/
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 book...as 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?