Cover Image: Little Secrets

Little Secrets

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Member Reviews

A mystery about a missing child and the effect it has on the mother, father and family friends. At times the story moves too slow with the author repeating too many times the mothers guilt and hopelessness. However I kept reading because there were lots of twists and turns that shocked me a long the way.  I didn't see the ending coming till it did!!
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Many books claim to "take your breath away," "keep you up all night," and "have plot twists you didn't see coming." Many make these claims, but nothing is more disheartening than when you start to read and come to realize that many of those claims are not going to be fulfilled. I can honestly say that this will not be the case with Jennifer Hillier's "Little Secrets." I can unequivocally tell you that you will stay up all night reading, and that this is one of the best suspense thrillers to come around in a long time.

The tragedy of this novel will take your breath away, but before you can wrap your head around one horrific event, many more start to unfold and you realize you're not reading the story you think you are. The writing, pacing, plot and characterizations are magnificent. By the time I came to the very last page, I felt that I had experienced each and every moment of heartbreak they all went through. I haven't been this satisfied by a read in a long time. Just when you think you've reached a impasse in your reading material and that the current offerings have become stale and repetitive, do yourself a favor and grab Jennifer Hillier's latest, and immerse yourself in "Little Secrets."
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5 stars!
I really enjoyed this book by Jennifer Hillier. I read Jar of Hearts not long ago and really enjoyed it, but this story resonated with me more. Marin is mother to a young boy who goes missing while they are out christmas shopping. 
I love the way this story delves into the cracks in the marriage that follow. Does her husband blame her for their son going missing? She certainly blames herself. Is that why he's off comforting himself with some young side piece? And what does this girl know about the son's disappearance? 
The juicy parts of this story certainly revolve around the things they are keeping from each other following their son going missing. 
Although I had some stuff pegged pretty early on, it really didn't detract from the story. 
Highly recommended!
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I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is a crazy and brilliant thriller. A Mother's worse day is happening. Sebastian is missing. Taken in a busy market. From the lies, deceit and corruption is all revealed. I was hooked right from the start. Highly recommend!
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All it takes to unravel a life is one little secret...

Marin had a perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They're admired in their community and are a loving family—until their world falls apart the day their son Sebastian is taken.
A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding Sebastian, she learns that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman. This discovery sparks Marin back to life. She's lost her son; she's not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix.
Permanently.
This was one brilliant book. You think you have it figured out, and nope. A little secret can be a very dangerous thing to keep. I would highly recommend this book.
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I love Jennifer Hillier's books, so I was super excited to receive an advanced copy from NetGalley.  If you haven't read Jar of Hearts, stop reading this and go read it.  Now!

After reading Little Secrets (in two sittings, darn you sleep), my next two reads were ruined because I kept looking for more character development.  Little Secrets set the bar high in that aspect.  I felt like I personally knew Marin, Derek, Sal, and Kenzie.  They are real people in my head, like watching a movie.  Hillier's writing is simply that good.

I was a little disappointed that I figured out the story line around the 35% mark, but not so disappointed that I could stop reading, but it's the only reason I'm rating at 4 stars instead of 5.  It's a quick read, that provides a really great story, I just wish it were a bit more twisty. .  

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy via NetGalley.
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This is the second book I read by Jennifer Hillier and it did not disappoint! So suspenseful, I could not stop reading until I knew what happened! Definitely recommend!
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5 STARS! 

EVERY STAR!

This is the best book I have read in a long time and I've read about 300 books this year. Do yourself a favor and read as little about it as possible before diving in.

This is not one to miss, I predict it will be all anyone in the book world is talking about in April 2020!

Thank you to Jennifer Hillier, Minotaur Books and NetGalley for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This book starts strong. The story was fast paced and was really interesting. Suddenly, after 10+ chapters from Marin's point of view, it switches to Kenzie's point of view. What? I didn't want to hear what she was thinking. I was fine with Marin's viewpoint. From that point onward, we switched back and forth between the two women. It was hard to have any empathy for Kenzie, she was a manipulative, self aware character. And Derek, the husband, comes off as a douche.

I felt the middle dragged a bit, but after Marin made a certain decision, the pace picked up again. The ending was a little too pat, and I totally disagreed with Marin's actions in the very last chapter. Overall, this was a fun read. I read it over two nights and enjoyed reading it.

I received a free copy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martins Press for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Wealthy couple Marin and Derek’s 4 year old son is kidnapped in a busy Seattle market around Xmas time. Over a year later the investigation is stalled and Marin finds out Derek has been having an affair with a much younger woman. She leans on her best friend and ex college boyfriend Sal, while barely being able to cope with this affair let alone life without her son.

Well this was about a 2 sitting read for me. I could not put it down. I have read and enjoyed several other novels from this author, but I believe this was her best. There was a lot going on and very little of it had to do with the actual search for the missing son. I was hooked from the start, needing to know how all of this would play out and I was not disappointed. There were only 4 main characters but I had no idea who was guilty of what. This was an excellent page turner.
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Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier was a thriller that I could not read fast enough because I had to know what happened. In a moment, Marin's seemingly perfect life changes. While out shopping with her four year old son Sebastian, he is kidnapped when she is briefly distracted. She and her husband Derek work with the FBI, but all of the leads go cold. Desperate to find Sebastian, Marin hires a private investigator unbeknownst to her husband. The work of the PI then finds an additional secret- Marin's husband is having an affair. Marin then must navigate her husband's affair and her resulting emotions, as well as the continued grief of losing her son and keeping hope alive he will be found. This thriller was so well told in that it did deep dives into the motives, emotions and reactions of so many of the characters. There was focus on Marin as she navigated two life-changing experiences. There was focus on Derek as he works through what has happened in his own way. There is also focus on the other woman, Kenzie, an Instagram influencer who has found rich boyfriends help with her financial challenges. I liked that all of the characters in the story had a backstory and a depth. It made the experience all the more real as there wasn't just an air of "Here's what happened" rather there was also a "Here's WHY this happened" vibe. The twist at the end was unexpected, and as it slowly started to come together, I had that "WHOA!" moment I just love when I'm reading a thriller. This was a pageturner in its truest form. Thanks to NetGalley for the early look at this April 2020 release.
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Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book is the epitome of a psychological thriller it had so many twists and turns.
It was well written in that it constantly gave just enough information to keep it moving and keep you on the edge of your seat.
I will definitely be following and reading more from this author Jennifer Hillier.
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Holy cow.  Now THIS was a superb book.  I could not put it down.  Chilling and filled with twists from beginning to end.  Highly recommend!!
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“Little Secrets” is another fantastic read from Jennifer Hillier. I have loved almost everything from this author and her storytelling continues to get better and better. 
The latest opens with Marin Machado a successful, wealthy owner of three salons that cater to the rich and famous and her son doing last minute holiday shopping at Pikes Place Market. She has one more stop and then she has promised her 4 year old son Sebastian a giant lollipop as a reward. She let’s go if his hand to answer a phone call from her husband Derek and Loses her son. 
They see on video that he has been taken by someone in a Santa suit and he has the lollipop he had been begging for. 
This begins every parents nightmare. 
Marin and Derek both deal with their loss in very different ways.  
The author does such a good job with characters that you normally would intensely dislike but instead empathize with. I did have suspicions on who the villain was but I still missed things. 
This is a must read for not only fans of Jennifer Hillier’s works but those who love thrillers or just a well written story that grabs you and has you reluctant to read the last few paragraphs. 
This is due for publication in April of 2020, put this on your must read list now. Thank you to #netgalley and #stmartinspress for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Less than a minute. That’s all it took for Sebastian slip away into the crowd. At first Marin's sure that her four-year-old son is just lost in the throngs of holiday shoppers. But as the minutes and then hours go by, so does hope of finding him. And when security footage shows the little boy being led away by a stranger in a Santa costume, everyone knows that this is much more than a lost child. Fast forward four hundred eighty five days. Sebastian is still missing. Marin is still grieving. And her husband Derek is largely absent, losing himself in his work as a way of dealing. But Marin hasn’t stopped believing that Sebastian will be found. She fears the worst but hopes for the best when her private investigator asks to meet with her. She never would have guessed what’s been uncovered.

Jennifer Hillier is a master storyteller. She pulls you in from the first page and keeps you wondering until the very end. This newest book is intense and twisty with surprises at every turn. Five stars!
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Your worst nightmare happens. You’re standing there in a crowd of people. Your cell phone rings, you let go of your kids hand for 4 seconds ... that’s all it takes and the kid vanishes. Just. Like. That. This book kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole story. Twist after twist. Another great book by Jennifer Hillier. I also loved her other book Jar of Hearts. Highly recommend both these books. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my honest review.
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This is well-written and a good choice if you’re in the mood for something dark. No villain or victim is all villain or all victim, which makes it interesting.
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Loved this book! I have not read a book by Jennifer Hillier before, but I loved her writing style. I will definitely be reading her previous books.  

This story begins with Sabastian, a four year old, who is snatched by Santa Claus from a busy candy store. What is unique about this story is the book is ultimately centered around a missing child, yet there is so much more to it. You are introduced to characters whom you think have little importance to the story and by the end you find out your are very wrong!

I don't want to give to much about this book away. Go into it thinking it's a book about a missing child. It is exceptionally told, thrilling, and I couldn't put it down. Read this book! You will not be disappointed. 

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced copy for my honest review.
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It is no secret that I adore Jennifer Hillier's writing. <a href="http://bookishgeek.com/2018/04/16/review-jar-of-hearts-by-jennifer-hillier/">I read <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Jar of Hearts</span> last April</a>, and it remains one of my favorite thrillers, and is one I always recommend when someone seeks thriller recommendations from me. Everything I love in a thriller wrapped up in one neat, tight package that I devoured. So when I saw her latest novel, <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Little Secrets</span>, available on NetGalley I slammed that request button and immediately dusted off my Kindle to read it. I am so glad I did.

<strong>Rating:</strong> <img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-1190" src="http://bookishgeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/BOOKISHGEEKRATING5.png" alt="" width="226" height="50" />
<h2>How I'd Describe This Book to a Friend</h2>
Marin and Derek are your typical affluent suburban couple - they are rich beyond measure, and are blessed with a perfect little boy named Sebastian (which makes them metaphorically, emotionally rich as well). They live in a perfect little Instagrammable bubble world, and nothing could possibly change that - until one day Marin lets Sebastian's hand go in a store for a split-second and he disappears. Store footage later shows him leaving the shop with a man in a Santa Claus costume, holding a giant $5 gourmet lollipop. But no one knows who this Santa was, and Sebastian was not seen in any other footage found. In a split second - 480 split seconds, to be exact - Santa Claus took Marin and Derek's perfect four year old son, and nobody has seen him since.

It's been over a year, now. Merin is a shell of a person - absolutely gutted and riddled with relentless guilt over having let go of her son's hand so carelessly, so willingly. Her marriage is crumbling - Derek handles his grief differently, it seems, and Marin's mourning is really putting a damper on his excellent rich white guy lifestyle. While she still manages to work and keep afloat, Marin's lifesaver at this point is her lifelong friend, Sal, who checks on her each and every day. And Vanessa Castro, the private investigator she's paid to ceaselessly look for Sebastian.

What Marin does not expect, however, is for Castro to sit her down one day and tell her that while she hasn't found Sebastian, she <em>has</em> found out that Derek is cheating on her - with a young, sexy twenty-something graduate student named McKenzie Li. Kenzie, who has a few secrets of her own. Marin would do anything to get rid of this tart, this homewrecker - and I mean <em>anything</em>.
<h2>The Bottom Line</h2>
I can't say a whole lot more, because the plot twists and turns are what made <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Little Secrets</span> so addictive - it's like a breadcrumb trail of revelations that shock and surprise you and keep you guessing. While I have never lost a child - nor has Hillier - Marin is written in such a relatable way that you feel like you're right there next to her - going to her support group, dreading every phone call with a twinge in your gut. I've lost a spouse, and while it's not the same as losing a child it's definitely a unique, hard to explain loss that twists a knife in your heart - it's even harder when they're lost but "lost" is not necessarily synonymous with "dead" in this case. Sebastian could have been dead for months now, or he could be just fine and in hiding. I cannot even imagine what a throat punch that must be, but Hillier really puts us there.

We get a dual perspective here, though it doesn't flip back and forth every chapter but rather from part to part for the most part. We hear not just from Marin, but from Kenzie - we are told that we hate Kenzie in the beginning while we are inside Marin's head, but of course getting inside of Kenzie's adds another layer and makes her more multifaceted than a generic villain. Kenzie is young and smart, ruthless and sharp - she has a long history as the sidepiece to many rich, married men and she has no qualms about extorting them for money to get by, to keep her ailing mother in her retirement community. But this one is different, because Kenzie is falling for Derek in a way she's never fallen for any of these guys before. And that presents a problem. You feel for her, too, even though you <em>desperately</em> don't want to.

This story is a haunting, captivating thrill ride - not just about loss of a child or revenge, but about who you really know, how far you'd go to save a life or get revenge on another. How much can we ever really, truly know another person? This is a captivating, thought-provoking read that will stick to my bones for a long time to come. I cannot wait to read Hillier's next book, and hope I have the privilege of reading an arc of that one, too.

<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-1185" src="http://bookishgeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/BOOKISHGEEKLINEBREAK.png" alt="" width="291" height="50" />

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<blockquote>"She is enraged. She feels it washing over her like hot wax, coasting her outsides, hardening like an armored shell over all the soft, squishy, vulnerable, unprotected places.

She welcomes it. It's been a long time since she felt anger like this, and she'll take anger over sadness, any day. For the past four hundred eight-six days, sadness has knocked her sideways, debilitated her, confused her, made her weak, talked her into settling for things she doesn't want, and never did.

Rage, on the other hand, will get shit done."</blockquote>
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With only 4 major characters wasnt much of a mystery. One of those books I wonder why I bothered to finish.
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