One Little Secret

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

3 1/2 ⭐️‘s
When three neighborhood couples rent a beach house together for a get to know you better week, things quickly escalate and someone is found dead on the beach.  As the story progresses, we learn that every one had a motive, but who is the real killer?  A good whodunnit by Holahan.
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Enjoyed this book. Kept me interested all the way through. Would recommend to a fellow reader.  Love the cover.
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Would you die? Or would you kill someone to protect your secret??? 

No one is who they seem to be in the beginning, these 3 couples rent a place to get to know each other. 
They however didn’t sign up for murder. A puzzle that you must solve, who is the killer???? This book sucked me right in, I read it in one sitting.
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One Little Secret is a bona fide whodunnit book that will have you the reader suspecting more than just one of the six characters of murder. Cate Holahan will lead you down one path only to add a twist, another secret, and more deception, that keeps the tension building throughout this book. 

I felt One Little Secret is well written and was easy to read; the plot was fast moving and kept me interested. The book is written from a third-person viewpoint, and the bulk of the timeline was told within three days, the day before, the day of and the day after. Three neighborly couples send their kids off to camp and then head off on a vacation of their own to a beautiful beach house in the Hamptons. What can go wrong? Well, when you combine a mildly alcoholic insecure homemaker, a househusband wannabe writer, an unscrupulous lawyer, an accident-prone ESPN host, a workaholic CEO of a tech startup and a self-centered doctor and then weave in lots of drinking, secrets, jealousy, and lies,  it makes the perfect setting for disaster. Be prepared for lots and lots of drama, which for me was at times a bit over the top and outrageous. My favorite character in this book is the down to earth detective Gabby Watkins. Ms. Holahan writes this character perfectly, she is a tough cop in a male-dominated field, but she is also a wife and mother, and this brings out Gabby’s sensitive side.  She is not infallible, making mistakes along the way in her investigation, but realizing them and then correcting her course of action. I felt this made Gabby was the most relatable character.  

Overall I enjoyed One Little Secret, and I would recommend this book for fans of mystery, thriller, suspense books. Please be warned that there is an element of domestic abuse. I am giving it 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 because I loved the Gabby character. 

***I kindly received this galley by way of NetGalley/publisher/author. I was not contacted, asked, or required to leave a review. I received no compensation, financial or otherwise. I have voluntarily read this book, and this review is my honest opinion .***
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This book is not an easy one.  It deals with abuse, rape, and murder.  So if those aren't things you can handle, then this is not for you. 

Overall I enjoyed this thriller, the story was interesting and I liked the overall premise of secrets destroying people.  However, one thing I did not like, was the characters.  I was certainly sympathetic to some of them, but none of them were particularly likable.  

I did enjoy the ending and while I had a guess as to the outcome, I didn't really know how it as going to end.  There was a certain tragedy about this book, that makes you want to examine your own life.
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Something about this book just drew me to it on Netgalley... it's my first Cate Holahan book, so it wasn't the author's previous work (though now I've added her to my TBR list).  Maybe it was the cover with the broken wine glass... seriously, have you ever seen a more sinister image *shudders in Chardonnay*.  Maybe it was the tag line: " Everyone has a secret. For some, it's worth dying to protect. For others, it's worth killing. "  For the girl that sacrificed 7 seasons of her life to Pretty Little Liars (Allie's A?  Mona's A? Who's A? Am I A?!), this might be the case.  Either way, something about this book called to me.
Then, once I started, I loved watching it unfold.  Once the victim is revealed, you begin to see how everyone has a motive, and basically everyone had opportunity.  Then, you start to see how Detective Gabby Watkins' first case overlaps with the homicide, which creates just a well rounded story.  While the title says "One Little Secret,"... there isn't just one person with a little secret... everyone has a pretty hefty secret to keep from their friends, their spouses, and the world.
In addition to the multiple secrets, you can honestly come up with a case for each person - I came up with multiple motives for the individuals and could argue them up until the end.  While the writing was on the wall and I probably should have picked up on the conclusion, there were so many red herrings that I was never totally certain as to the outcome.  
Overall, this is a fun, captivating whodunnit, which is fantastic if you're looking for a book to lock you in and compel you forward to solve the mystery.
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When three couples rent a beach house for part of the summer on the shores of Long Island what could go wrong? When a body is found on the beach each of the guests become a suspect. The book is told across three days the day before, day of and the day after which I enjoyed. Every couple has a secret that they  don’t want revealed. Detective Gabby Watkins begins her investigation and she’s refusing to stop her investigation until she figures out the truth and what really happened. I absolutely loved her character she was a strong female who definitely can handle her own. This book had everything rich families, beautiful wives, spoiled kids who were sent to camp, murder and secrets. When Gabby begins her investigation of a possible drugging and rape of an au pair she never imagined it would have a connection to the body on the beach and to the wealthy couples at the beach house,  soon she’s investigating infidelity, abuse and possible legal entanglements and how is it all connected? I give this a solid four stars. The author did an amazing job holding the readers attention. I love how all the story lines were connected and the ending definitely had me saying WOW!
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One Little Secret by Cate Holahan is a book that will suck you in from the start. I read this one quite quickly, needing to know how it was all going to play out.  Nobody is who they seem in the beginning and the twists  keep coming.  A great, fast paced read for anybody who likes a good whodunnit.

3 couples, a weeks holiday with no children in a beach house in the Hamptons. A chance to relax and get to know new people - what could go wrong? Murder - that is what! Copious amounts of alcohol has all the secrets being spilled - work stress, martial tensions, kids - you name it.  In the morning a woman is dead on their private beach - who wanted their secrets kept secret that badly? Enter Detective Gabby Watkins - an investigator who is like a dog with a bone and determined to get to the bottom of it.

Thanks to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for my advanced copy of this book to read.  All opinions are my own and are in no way biased.
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I always love the suffocating feeling of murders taking place away from home. This thrilling whodunit had an amazing cast of characters, and I loved having a smart, female detective at the helm. What a great read!
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4.5 stars.

  One Little Secret by Cate Holahan is a riveting domestic murder mystery about a vacation in the Hamptons that turns deadly.

  After dropping their offspring at camp, three couples head to the Hamptons for week of R&R. Susan Ahmadi and her husband Nadal have recently relocated to town and she is eager to make friends with their neighbors, Jenny and Louis Murray and Rachel Klein and her husband Ben Hansen. Susan gave up her career to homeschool their autistic son and Nadal is CEO of a tech start up. Jenny is a orthopedic doctor turned sports commentator and Louis is a an ER surgeon. Rachel is a lawyer and her husband Ben is a self-published author who is  stay at home dad.  Tensions flare soon after their arrival and by the next day, one of the wives has been murdered. Everyone in the party seems to be keeping a secret but is one them hiding something that is worth killing over?

  Detective Sergeant Gabby Watkins is busy working a possible acquaintance rape when she is called to the scene of the murder. Recently promoted, Gabby is an experienced investigator and she soon begins interviewing the rest of the group. Of course her first suspect is the victim’s husband but will she find proof he killed his wife? Uncertain whether he is their killer, Gabby and Detective Jason DeMarco continue asking probing questions in order to unearth the truth.

  With the narrative weaving back and forth between the day before, the day of and the day after the murder, intriguing information is revealed that adds to the overall tension. The vacation is off to a strained beginning following a testy exchange between a husband and wife which leaves everyone uncomfortable. When shocking information comes to light, a confrontation between one couple turns extremely volatile.  And, last but not least, one of the wives suspects her husband is having an affair.

  One Little Secret is an absorbing mystery that has plenty of twist and turns. Although the various characters are a bit hard to tell apart initially, they gradually become fully developed, three dimensional people. The storyline in intriguing and the suspense is ratcheted up with each startling revelation. Cate Holahan brings the novel to a breath-taking conclusion that is a bit unexpected but completely satisfying. An excellent mystery that I found impossible to put down and highly recommend to readers of the genre.
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“Marriage was like a poker game in that the stakes increased the longer each player sat at the table. After a dozen years with the same person, the pot became so large that’s no one could walk away over anything less than a monumental display of cheating. All other grievances had to be shrugged off.” 

Love and marriage, love and marriage, they go together like a horse and carriage or perhaps more like a long walk of a short pier as we learn in this tale. 

A kid-free vacation (every parents dream vacation, am I right?😂) turns into a murderous adventure then the inevitable mayhem ensues in, One Little Secret. 

This is a solid, well written read as expected by the very talented Holahan. Yet, it’s sadly not my favorite read of her books so far but still deserving of 4 stars.❤️
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How well do you know your neighbor?  This murder mystery puts that question front and center.  Three couples that live next to each other take a beach vacation together while their kids are at camp.  One of the wives ends up murdered on the beach.  Who did it and how many of the people in the house had a motive to do it?  A great mystery that makes you stop and think about what you choose to know about your neighbors.
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Three couples rent a fabulous beach house for a get-to-know-each-other kind of vacation. After driving up to the house for the first time, they find it to be not as gorgeous as the online photos led them to believe. Hey, no problem, they make the best of it and get on with the eating, drinking and relaxing. It's going to be an amazing week!

What the three couples didn't sign up for is MURDER. Yep, we've got a classic locked room murder mystery to solve!

The peeps should've been soaking up the sunshine and chilling out, instead they let grievances and tensions build at an alarming rate. It appears there is much more than "One Little Secret" brewing in this group. Before you even know what in the H-E-double-L is going on, one of the six is found dead on the beach. 

Who is responsible? Which character can be trusted? This is a case for the local detective and YOU, the reader. A legit whodunnit! 

I loved Cate Holahan's previous novel Lies She Told. To me, that is a far superior psyche thriller to this one. All the characters in One Little Secret are unlikeable and superbly irritating! The pace is slow and wordy, definitely not a terrible story, but not I will remember either.
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This title just did not do it for me.  I guess, overall, I just didn't find any affinity for any of the characters, so that makes it a bit difficult to get into the novel as a whole.  I think there are many better examples in this genre.
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These suburban thrillers are becoming a favorite of mine. I love trying to figure out all the secrets that are being contained in the little housing divisions. Often there are more than one and they get juicer as the story goes one. This book was no exception. It honestly had me guessing right up until the end. 

Susan is new in town. Her family moved in support of her husband's company and Susan is trying to get settled with her twins boys. A week away with the new neighbors isn't exactly a relaxing vacation, but it will give everyone a chance to get to know them an vice versa. Or that's what Susan's hopes were at least.

After the kids are all off to the respective camps and the adults have arrived at their home for the week tension starts to fill the air fast. It seems most in the house are hiding something. Something that effects one or more people that are in the house. Something that ends up killing one of the house guests, ensuring a closer look at each remaining person until the suspect is found. 

A very interesting and entertaining read.
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I really enjoy books that make you question the behavior of the "innocent," and because it's unclear for most of the book who is responsible for what and whose complicity contributed to events, this definitely falls into that category. I compelling, fast read.
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Pros: Interesting storytelling, easy to follow plot, twists and surprises along the way, and ending ties up well.

Cons: While a decent read, it was also a bit forgettable.

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Affluent couples keeping secrets and committing crimes during a beach holiday in the Hamptons... 

Told in a third person perspective over a 3-day period (day before, day of, and day after), this is a super quick read...and an addictive one! Although the characters (three separate couples) are mostly ass-hats, they all had moments during which I found myself relating to them in some way. Moments when I found them to be beautifully human and empathetic. And although I was fairly certain, following chapter 2, who the killer was, I found it didn't really detract from the story. There were a couple times I second-guessed myself, but ultimately ended up being correct. 

Honestly, my biggest gripe with the book...the dimwit detective, Gabby Watkins. 

"Oh, you had a motive? Well, you're under arrest. Oh, you mean you have an alibi? Never mind then."

Then she moved onto the next person.

"Oh, you had a motive? Well, you're under arrest. Oh, you mean you couldn't have? Never mind then."

I mean, come on. We're really supposed to believe this woman made sargeant? She's a total nincompoop. Beyond that, I found the rate of escalation to murder in this novel a bit implausible. One minute these couples are dropping their kids off at camp, the next they're committing murder. It just didn't ring true to me. 

This has the potential to be an excellent mystery/thriller, with some mild tweaking. As it stands, however, I can't give it more than 3.5 stars. 

**Much appreciation to NetGalley, Crooked Lane Books, and Cate Holahan for the advanced reader's copy. All opinions are my own.

Publication date: July 9, 2019
Review published on Goodreads: June 20, 2019
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This is a good choice for your next vacation read if you are a fan of domestic thrillers.  In this book we follow the events at a beach house when 3 couples rent a beach house together.  When one of the vacationers ends up dead on the beach, Gabby ( a local police officer) must wade through the secrets to determine what happened. I found it entertaining  and also liked that it carried an important message.
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After sending their kids to camp, three couple share a week-long sublet with a private beach. Susan set it all up. She is new in town and desperately wants to make friends with the neighbors for her sack and the sack of her two kids, one of which is autistic.  
Over the course of the first evening, as the alcohol flows freely, it is obvious that there are martial tensions and work frustrations between the couples. Before the morning comes one of the woman is found dead on the beach. 

I enjoyed the story and it held my attention as the plot unfolded and the reader puts together who did it and why. I had a hard time separating the characters at first which made it a little hard to follow but after a few chapters it did clear up. Overall I would recommend as the story is quite entertaining.
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