Cover Image: Little Secrets

Little Secrets

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Member Reviews

4.5 stars.

Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier is a fiendishly twisted domestic thriller.

Sixteen months later, upscale salon owner Marin Machado cannot let go of her guilt over her four year old son Sebastian's kidnapping.  She is still struggling to return to normal life and she remains haunted by her son's disappearance.  With the help of her therapist and group therapy, Marin now goes into work for a few hours daily.

However, at home, she and her husband Derek have drifted apart and they spend little time together. When her private investigator Vanessa Castro emails her, Marin is hoping for news of Sebastian. Vanessa instead informs her that Derek is having an affair with grad student McKenzie "Kenzie" Li.  Although not overly surprised by the revelation, Marin is absolutely furious at... Kenzie. Instead of confronting Derek, she calls her longtime best friend, bar owner Sal Palermo. After a drunken afternoon together, Marin takes Sal up on his offer to help rid herself of her problem. But will she eventually regret her impulsive decision?

Marin is barely functioning after Sebastian's kidnapping. She narrowly survived the deep depression that overtook her but she is making progress at rejoining life. She knows she is responsible for the growing distance between her and Derek, but she cannot muster the energy to try to fix her marriage. Energized and enraged after learning of his affair, Marin sets in motion a stunning plan to remove Kenzie from their lives.

Kenzie is struggling to make ends meet when she becomes involved with Derek. She is fully aware he is married but she does not allow his marital status to bother her.  Kenzie has a tangled history that is revealed late in the story and provides startling insight into what guides her choices in the present.

Unfolding from both Marin's and Kenzie's points of view, Little Secrets is a riveting mystery that is full of tension.  The characters are vibrantly developed but none of them are particularly likable. The storyline is engaging and the suspense grows with each passing chapter. With a couple of jaw-dropping plot twists, Jennifer Hillier brings this clever mystery to a breathless, edge of the seat finale.  I absolutely loved and highly recommend this diabolical mystery to fans of the genre.
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SO GOOD!  I felt taken on a twisty ride.  There was such raw human emotion, and lots of what would I do moments.  At first I was so stumped on how it would all come together, but it came to gether beautifully!!!!!  I will read anything Jennifer Hillier puts out!!
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This book was a little dark for me. I feel like I hear wonderful things all of the time for Little Secrets, but it just didn't hit it for me.
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Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier is a 2020 Minotaur publication.

This is not your ordinary missing child saga-

Marin and Derek are living a charmed life. Both have successful careers, are upwardly mobile, and even recognizable out in public. They have a beautiful little boy, named Sebastian, who is the light of their lives…

Until he’s abducted by a man dressed as Santa…

From that moment on, Marin’s life turns upside down. She goes through the motions, but has lost interest in life. Just when she thinks things couldn’t be more grim, the private detective she has hired makes an uncomfortable discovery….

About Derek…

Suddenly, Marin is quickened, energized again She’s got a singular mission now. She’s already lost too much- she's not about to let another woman take her husband, too-

And she’ll do whatever is necessary…

Jennifer Hillier popped up on my radar with ‘Jar of Hearts’, - a book that made me sit up and take notice. While my sophomore foray into Hillier’s dark and twisted imagination felt less raw and much more polished, it was nevertheless a tense cat and mouse thriller ride!!


The book grabbed me right from the start, but then it seemed to shift gears, and Marin begins to morph into an entirely different person, obsessing over her husband’s lover, rather than on her missing child.

Curiously, her anger is hyper- focused on the other woman, and not Derek. It was an interesting character study, and a puzzling, shocking, tense and incredibly absorbing tale.

The characters are not especially likable, but that seemed fitting to the story, although there was no one to root for, really. Redemption, though, can be equally satisfying.

Overall, a taut, twisted, crazy psychological thriller! Will be reading more Hillier books in the future!

4 stars
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Mystery/thriller books are my jam, so Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier was right up my alley.  While this one was engaging and has enough twists and turns to satisfy the average mystery/thriller fan, it was way too predictable for me.  I could predict what was going to happen before it did, which really takes away from the story for me.  It all just felt way too convienient.
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I loved Jar of Hearts so much and I had high hopes for this one and boy did it live up to the expectations. Jennifer is a definite auto buy for me!
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I read this book so, so, SO fast! It was haunting and had me on the edge of my seat the entire time! I couldn’t stop reading!
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Thank you to Netgalley, St. Martin's Press, and the author for an ARC in exchange for an honest review of the book.

If you are planning to pick this one up, I suggest you clear your calendar for the rest of the day. 

I  was not sure what to expect going into this one. I had read Hillier's <i>Creep </i> years ago and while I found it to be a page-turner, I wasn't blown away. But I am now persuaded to go back and visit other Hillier books from the last several years to see what else I might have missed; this one was fantastic.

The storyline is one I usually try to avoid: a mother loses her 4-year-old son in a busy shopping center. After the heart-pounding open, the next section jumps ahead 16 months, where we see this woman just  barely keeping her head above water. These passages are heartrending--and this is also why I tend to avoid such tales (having a young son myself, this is just too horrifying). Hillier takes us into the mother Marin's head as she tries to find a reason to keep going each day. She and her husband are wealthy and somewhat well-known in their community. Marin has a best friend (who is an ex from her college days) Sal, who helps to keep her moving forward. And Marin's husband, Dereck--well she finds out he's having an affair with a much younger woman. And so the plot goes. 

I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough. While most all of the characters are pretty unlikeable, it didn''t matter. I needed to see how this would turn out. Things, of course, go from bad to worse when Marin decides--in her grief-fueled desperation--to have her husband's lover killed. There are a few twists that I saw coming, BUT I still needed to see HOW these twists would resolve. And there was at least one thing that I just missed--even though I was looking 😊

But overall, what an addictive read. I was entirely absorbed into Marin's nightmare and found her motivations entirely plausible as she tried to manager her grief and anger. She felt like a real human dealing with impossible tragedy who only manages to make things worse as the plot progresses. This is also a story about women and what they do to survive--as mothers, as wives, as partners, and as friends. I highly recommend this one for anyone looking for twisty page-turners!
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I love the cover of this novel and the inside. "Little Secrets" is an exciting novel by Jennifer Hillier. A page turner for sure.
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This is a very good book.  Once I started it, could not put it down.  If you like mysteries with twists and a singular set of characters, this is a story for you.  Marin and Derek's son, Sebastian is kidnapped and you follow their story and the people around them..  The author does not overcomplicate the story with extraneous characters.  Each person involved has a specific role to play and you want to find out what happens with them.  I found that as I was reading this story, little light bulbs would go off as I was connecting the dots and it kept me engaged.  I liked the writing style and the author did not make the storyline too complicated.  Now that I have read this book, I look forward to reading more by Jennifer Hillier.  I received this e-book for free and this review is my opinion and not that of anyone else.
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This one was a decent read and definitely kept me turning the pages. It's a good balance between being crime and a psychological thriller.
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A good read. Not quite what I was looking for, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Solid writing, good character development.
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I don't know why it took me so long to start reading this book. I guess you read a book when you're meant to. Little Secrets was amazing from start to finish! 

Dark, twisted, suspenseful, and emotional. That's how I would describe this story. I've never read anything quite like it. This is the first in a long time that I've had an actual book hangover. I really have no idea how to transition from these characters and their story to anything else. 

Also, I did NOT see things coming. I don't want to give anything away but things are definitely not what they seem in this book. What a punch to the gut! These were definitely not LITTLE secrets.

I can't properly articulate my thoughts at this time. I want to say so many things but also don't want to accidentally spoil anything for anyone so I'm just going to say that if you're a fan of dark and twisted psychological thrillers, you need to read this book immediately!
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What an apt title for Jennifer Hillier's latest book!  This starts with every parent's worst nightmare - Marin's young son disappears while she's Christmas shopping with him in a crowded Seattle shopping district.  Months later, there's been no real progress on the case, and knowing the odds of a positive outcome, the authorities have essentially put it on the back burner.  When Marin hires a private detective to continue digging, she the first in a long line of "little secrets" that make her question everything she thinks she knows about her life.  It's hard to say much without revealing too much - I'll just say it's fascinating to watch events unravel and see just how many secrets characters are keeping from each other.  Overall a very good read.
Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for providing a copy for an unbiased review.
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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview Little Secrets by Jennifer Hiller.

Marin is a lucky woman - great family, home, everything.  Until one day her child is taken from her.  This changes her life and nothing matters anymore.  Marin finds herself lost - her husband is distant and she can't find peace.  Marin takes matters into her own hands to find her son; she finds more than she bargained for and her life is no longer the same.

Domestic drama - 3 stars.
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Jennifer Hillier is a new favorite author of mine! I've read all of her work thus far and she's an auto one-click author for me now!
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One minute is all it takes to ruin a life. Just ask Marin. She had it all — a loving husband, adorable son, and success — until she didn’t. Her son, Sebastian, is taken in broad daylight when Marin looks away for only a moment. A year later and Sebastian is still gone. The FBI have all but given up and her husband is a stranger lying beside her — when he actually does come home. Marin hires a private investigator to help find her son, but instead finds out her husband has secrets of his own — a young, pink-haired mistress with a name and a face to whom Marin can redirect all her rage. 

Hillier does tells an excellent and twisted story of what happens when we keep secrets from the ones we love the most.
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I read this a while ago and forgot to upload a review. I really enjoyed this story! The Chara twrs were rich, and not always likable - and that makes me like them more. They feel more real that way
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I started out this book really irritated by the main character, Marin, but she really grew on me and I was rooting for her by the end.  I usually don’t read missing child books since they tend to upset me; however this one was really good. There was a lot going on here and it all fit together and tied up well. Some parts of the ending were super implausible but I enjoyed it anyway. Recommend.
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I was so upset when I couldn't download this one. I went and bought a copy and I'm so glad that I did! I love Jar of Hearts and this one was just a twisty and dark. Will definitely be on the look out for her next release.
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