Cover Image: Little Secrets

Little Secrets

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

How far would you go to save your marriage?

Marin Machado's entire world fell apart the day her five-year-old, Sebastian, was abducted from a crowded farmers market. She only let go of his hand for a second to answer a text, but in an instant, he was gone.

Sixteen months later, and Marin is barely functioning. Her husband, Derek, is distant and absent, and the FBI have no leads or suspects regarding Sebastian’s disappearance. When Marin is informed of Derek’s infidelity with a twenty-four-year-old, graduate student, McKenzie Li, her numbness morphs into rage. The person who took her son may be elusive, but Kenzie is a threat she can fight. Marin’s already lost Sebastian, and she doesn't intend to lose Derek as well.

Dark and twisty, I devoured this, as desperate as Marin to get to the truth. Little Secret's main focus is on emotional violence – grief, despair, vengeance, betrayal, and post-traumatic stress, therefore it isn't as gruesomely shocking as Jar of Hearts, The Butcher or Wonderland (there was a nod to Wonderland by the way, and the setting shared a commonality with The Butcher), but it is just as utterly addicting. You won't be able to put it down – I guarantee it!

Because the plot involves a missing child, prepare yourself for the onslaught of emotions that evokes – the anguish, heartbreak, and uncertainly Marin experiences, not knowing what has happened to her child, where he is, what he's going through, and whether he's alive or dead. I may have painted a bleak picture, but this is never a depressing read, its aim is to thrill you, and it certainly accomplishes that. So get ready for an exploration into twisted, unhealthy relationships, multiple secrets, lies, and surprises aplenty, as well as the disintegration of a marriage in the wake of unimaginable tragedy. 

Chapters are medium length, with few POV's. As I mentioned, Jennifer Hillier held back on this one in terms of graphic content, therefore Little Secrets will appeal to a wider range of audience. Consider this your binge-read alert. If it's not on your 2020 tbr, add it immediately!

I'd like to thank Netgalley, St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur books, and Jennifer Hillier for the e-ARC.

Release Date: 21st April, 2020.
Was this review helpful?
I knew it!! I will not post spoilers but some characters are not to be trusted at all and you kind of know they are sneaky and underhanded. I loved this book and every book I have read by this author. If you love books that will challenge your thinking than this author is that person! She writes her characters in a way that you feel connected to them immediately, you either love them or hate them! I'm so glad it had a happy ending. It was a great read for the Holiday season as well!
Was this review helpful?
This book had me hooked from beginning to end.  There were so many twists and turns, revealing little secrets here and there.  As much as I tried, I couldn’t definitively guess the ending, which I appreciate.  Too many times I see the ending coming halfway through.
Was this review helpful?
You know those authors that people will say "oh, I'd read their grocery list, they're such great writers"??  Yeah, Jennifer Hillier is one of the few I'd say that about,,,, & I'd actually read her siri-mangled, auto-corrected grocery list too - & it would still be amazing, I'm sure!  If you haven't discovered her yet, please do so NOW - you'll thank me.  If you're an avid follower like me, then set aside some time to rip this one out - you'll also be thanking me!
Was this review helpful?
Marin Machado's perfect life is destroyed in an instant when her young son is kidnapped during a Christmas shopping trip in a busy market. It's been a year and the FBI trail is cold when she hires P.I. Vanessa Castro to find Sebastian. Instead of the boy, she finds evidence of a months' long affair her husband has been having with a much younger graduate student. This rips the scabs off of whatever wounds had been healing and sends Marin down a path where she'll do anything to protect what little she has left of her fractured family.

This book was a quite a ride. It goes to some very dark places, but it was ultimately a tightly paced thriller that explores the depths one woman would sink in her grief. Though some of it was a bit implausible, I was more than willing to overlook this because I was so hooked on the story. The twists were good and I liked where the story ended up at its conclusion.

I also loved the characters Hillier gave us in Marin and Kenzie: you never know what to think about them and their actions. You want to like Marin and root for her, but... You want to hate Kenzie, but... There was just enough complexity to make me second guess my feelings all the time.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with this review copy. I'd definitely recommend it when it comes out.
Was this review helpful?
I did like this but found parts just a little too implausible. I know Marin is grieving but for her to jump to the decision she made re: Kenzie (trying not to spoil) seemed insane. It was also obvious who was involved in the kidnapping as soon as we were introduced to one of the outside characters. I still enjoyed it but it had some issues.
Was this review helpful?
I was iffy on this book when I started reading. It started a bit slow but once the pace picked up the wheels started turning. The suspense and twists kept me turning pages.  Even though some parts were a bit predictable, it is still a worthwhile read that you should definitely check out!!  I will be checking more by this author.
Was this review helpful?
I love Jennifer Hillier and each of her novels seem to get better and better. The character development was so on point that the reader can't help but share each of the characters emotions. This was also the first domestic thriller by Hillier and she took the genre to an all new level but taking it in a direction that most seasoned readers would not expect. Although I had my suspicions as to "who did it," it in no way diminished the ending. In fact, the twists and revelations had me going back and rereading just to make sure. What a fabulous ride. I cannot wait to see what this author has in store for us next. I'm a huge fan -- just in case you had any doubts.
Was this review helpful?
Depression and the darkness that encompasses it has a way of swallowing you whole. Soundgarden said it best with, “I’m only faking when I get it right.” Marin understands darkness; she’s lived it. In a mere two hundred and forty seconds her young son, Bash, was ripped out of her life - abducted by a stranger. Yet, was the person dressed as Santa, who took her son truly a stranger? As Marin, continues to search for her son, yet trying to go on with her life she begins to question all that she thinks she knows. She begins to question who she can trust. 
To give you better perspective, she said it best with, “Who would have thought who you love and who you feel safe with might not be the same person.” 

Yet another - mind f$ck of a book. It’s every parents nightmare delivered in a Santa suit! I’m happy to give this one 5 stars
Was this review helpful?
Wow! All chores, tv watching, went out the window so I could practically read non-stop. This was not just a thriller, but a THRILLER. This is a story about child abduction but the main emphasis is behind the scenes, on what is happening within the family. The story is full of deceit and betrayal but has so many unique twists that it keeps you on the edge of your seat. I loved it and was sorry when I finished but I loved that ending!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Bravo! Jennifer Hillier writes an outstanding narrative portraying all the raw, ugly faces that grief can take. The story is dark, twisted, and utterly gripping. Hillier creates characters that spark immediate emotional engagement with a level of angst that is palpable. The final reveal is one that will leave the reader’s head spinning for days. Truly one of the best reads to come! 5 stars.

Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC of #LittleSecrets which was read and reviewed voluntarily by Tarrah Marie (@wayward_readers).
Was this review helpful?
This book was sooooo good....I was in a reading slump and I have been lifted!  At each twist and turn, my guesses were proven to be wrong, and the ending was so satisfying.
Marin and Derek have a picture perfect life, until their son Sebastian is kidnapped.  What happens when your world collapses? Can it get any worse than not knowing where your child is? Marin is about to find out.
Was this review helpful?
This book blew my mind. I was absorbed into the story from the first pages, and the ride that Jennifer Hillier takes the reader on is such a roller coaster. The characters were well-developed, and not until all the pieces begin to make sense near the end does the story take your breath away. I can't imagine the depths this author had to go, emotionally, being the mother of a small child herself.

Her other book, Jar of Hearts, is in my top five all-time favorites; this ranks up there just as high. 

Well done!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC and finally getting me out of a book slump! I did not want to put this book down until I was finished! I am new to this author and will be running out to pick up her other titles. From the first chapter when a child goes missing through all of the plot twists and turns, you won’t want to stop turning the page to see what happens next!  While the main characters are incredibly rich, beautiful and seemingly have it all, their tale is full of trauma, disaster, lying, cheating, and deceit. A must read!!
Was this review helpful?
Being a fan of Jennifer Hillier for some time, I had no doubt that I would enjoy this book as well, and wow, was I right. This was such a page turner that it absolutely captivated me for the last 4 days; every time I wanted to put it down, " just one more chapter" whispered into my ear.

This book follows the twists and turns that little secrets can cause in people's lives - particularly in Marin and Derek's lives, after their 4 year old son has been kidnapped. Everyone has secrets and when Marin comes up with a plan to fix everything, her plan brings to surface more secrets than she could have ever expected. 

A huge thank you to Jennifer Hillier for writing another wonderful story, I truly enjoyed this and cannot wait to read another one of her books in the future. Also a big thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for giving me an advanced e-copy, for an honest review!
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this review opportunity.

Little Secrets. Everybody has them. But, some are not so little.

It just takes a second. A second of distraction leads to a parent's worst nightmare.

It's "the most wonderful time of the year" but not for Marin and Derek. Their four-year-old son Sebastian aka "Bash" has been abducted from a bustling Seattle market. The worst part : the authorities have zilch. Suspect's identity unknown, not even gender. No vehicle identification. No helpful camera footage.

The first 48 hours after a child goes missing are critical, yet frantic. As time goes by, the trail goes cold and the chances of the child returning home safely grow slim. Life must go on for the loved ones of the missing. Or a semblance of it anyway. They go through the motions. There are good days and bad. They blame themselves. They are judged by others, even family and friends. Just like that, all is forgotten, and they are labeled "bad parents." Their affluent status(Marin owns a chain of high-end beauty salons frequented by wealthy clients and Derek is CEO of his own successful business, PowerOrganix) is of no help. Rather, they take flak for getting special treatment.

Marin and Derek deal in their own way...separate, but together. Their self-medication techniques disparate and, to a great degree, destructive. The college sweethearts' and golden couple's seemingly perfect relationship and life in ruins. When a child is harmed, it is often the kiss of death for a relationship.

Hillier has done it again with this absorbing thriller. Only when I was almost to the end did what appeared to be mismatched pieces of the puzzle start coming together.
Was this review helpful?
Review by 2shay..........🌟🌟🌟.....

First, let me say that miss Hillier’s previous book, Jar Of Hearts, is one of the best, possibly the very best, psychological thriller I’ve ever read. Maybe I expected too much of this one. The first two chapters of this book are distressing. I came very close to apologizing to the publisher and not finishing or reviewing what turned out to be an okay read. I am glad I finished.

What made this just an okay read was the characters. They’re too rich, too entitled and too ostentatious. A Maserati? Really? The only sympathetic character, for me, was Sebastian, the kidnapped  4 year old. His parents, Marin and Derek, are both cheaters and liars. Yeah, yeah, I know they had been through a lot, but they were secretive a$$holes. As the secrets are slowly revealed, it turns out that they are both a little blind and stupid, not to have figured out who was behind their worse problems.

My recommendation is to not expect the thrill ride we had in Jar Of Hearts. And, prepare to be distressed by the first couple of chapters. The kidnapping of a child is always hard to bear. If you start this book, I truly hope you...

Enjoy! ARC graciously provided by St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for an honest and voluntary review.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC in exchange of an honest review. 
This may be the best book I have read all year. 
I was hooked from page one and could not put this book down until the end. 
I figured out one part of the secret but never guessed all of it. It was awesome! Love the happy ending to. 
You won't regret reading this one!!
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed reading Hillier's Jar of Hearts in 2018, so when I saw that she had another book coming out in 2020, I was excited to get the chance to preview it.  Little Secrets did not disappoint!  I enjoyed the twists and turns along the way and found myself hating to put it down each night.  There was part of the story that I thought was far-fetched but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book.
Was this review helpful?
Wonderful wonderful book!  Was absolutely glued to each page and the ending was excellent and totally satisfying.  Great writing, and. Highly recommend this one.  Best ever mystery!
Was this review helpful?