Cover Image: The Secret

The Secret

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Member Reviews

This was an okay read but I found it a bit dull and unfortunately a bit obvious. It took a while to get going, as a result the beginning felt slow and I was not immediately hooked. I did enjoy reading from the other characters perspectives and I liked the setting for the read, a sleepy village provides the perfect backdrop for lies. I have just come to expect more from Howells so I was disappointed.
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After reading The Vow, I added this author to my list of 'one's to look out for'.
The story is multi layered and kept my attention.
The different narratives meant we had a better view of what happened, though to be honest, I couldn't distinguish between them. The 'voices' weren't distinct enough.
Elise narrative was repetitive and somehow I couldn't fully engaged with her.
An uncomfortable subject matter,and not an entirely convincing story. Didn't fully deliver,though the final twist might have surprised a few readers.
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Thank you Netgalley and Avon Books UK, Avon fir the arc of this book. The beginning was really slow. When things started to happen I realized that the characters were completely unlikable, and the ones that were not completely unlikable were uninteresting.  The story was interesting, but the revelations were distasteful and the final twist was easy to guess.
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Elsie Buckley is married to Andrew who is a doctor and they have a teen daughter, Niamh. Niamh has a close relationship with her friend Hollie.  One day Hollie tells Niamh a huge secret that she is forbidden to share. After this, Hollie goes missing and soon after her body is found. Detective May is now forced to question everyone in this small village that they live in. She uncovers some pretty horrible secrets and she is left to discover what happened to Hollie. Was it murder and why?

This was a very detailed book with a lot of characters. Some parts were harder to read than others but the story was well written. The ending was a surprise and had some great twists. I would read more books by Debbie Howells. She knows how to tell a great story.

TW: Domestic abuse

Many thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for my ARC in exchange for my honest review

This review will be posted to my Instagram Blog ( in the near future.
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I received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review 

It was ok. It wasn’t great. It wasn’t atrocious. It was just meh. Found myself more interested in getting to the end than the characters or the narrative
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Deception And Duplicity…
An insular village; secrets and lies, deception and duplicity abound but who here would actually kill to keep something secret? A compelling, well written suspense with a credible cast of characters, an edgy storyline and touching on difficult, dark themes which are dealt with an empathetic sleight of hand. A truly immersive,one sitting read.
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The Secret by Debbie Howells
This was a briliant small town mystery. Told from multiple points of view the story kept unravelling more and more shocks and twists and turns. Brilliant. Highly recommended xx
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Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to read The Secret!
LOTS of secret and lies in this who dunnit thriller!
One you don’t want to put down and can’t wait to get back to. 
One twist I guessed coming but did not expect the ending! You thought it was all wrapped up and all revealed, then BAM! Love those kind of endings. 

I liked the different character perspectives and found the book easy to read, the words and chapters flowing. 
The characters were believable, and you could feel empathy for SOME of them! The others could make your blood boil. 
A sad but so real subject of how marriages can look perfect, but you never know what’s going on behind closed doors. 

Would definitely recommend.
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Elise Buckley is on duty as cabin crew when she views a headline of a passengers magazine which states that ‘Only 10% of people are good’. She reflects on this and understands only too well how tenuous her family life with GP husband Andrew and daughter Niamh is. Niamh’s friend Hollie has a barrel load of baggage, what does she confide to Niamh before she disappears? The story is told by Elise, Niamh and by DS Jo(anna) May. 

This novel confronts a number of very difficult issues and does so well. It’s a good examination of coercive control with all its horrifying ramifications. The book is quite sinister in a number of ways. There are several characters living in fear for a variety of reasons, some are controlled in ways that range from vicious to blackmail and there are several forms of abuse. The perspectives of Elise and Jo are done effectively, I’m a bit less certain of Niamh but as she’s a teenager then maybe her motivations are understandable. She’s caught between a rock and a hard place. The character of Andrew is done extremely well, what a vile excuse for a human being he is. The portrayal of the small Sussex village closing its protective ranks like the high hedges or walls that surround their multi million pound properties is also conveyed well although I’m not entirely convinced everyone would stay schtum, I know I wouldn’t! However, let’s keep that headline about the other 90% in mind! 

Although it’s fair to say I do enjoy the book and find it a compelling read, towards the end the revelations are not that much of a surprise as they kind of had to be. However, full credit to the author for her stark portrayal of the issues covered in the book and especially via the character of Elise where she really digs deep into the psychology of her situation which leads to greater understanding of her actions. 

Overall, it’s not an easy read in places nor is it meant to be but it’s well worth reading. 

With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Avon Books UK for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.
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I should have seen that ending coming, but I did not. One of the reasons I like mysteries is to see if I can put together the clues to figure it out. With The Secret, I could not and that already gets a star from me! There is a lot going on in the book. And at times a lot of characters, but they were always distinguishable from each other. Another star! Told from 3 different POV’s we learn what happened prior to and what happens after local teen Hollie is found murdered. Who would want to harm Hollie and why? In this seemingly idyllic village, nothing is as it seems and every one has a secret. This novel is full of suspense and intrigue. One thing is for sure, it’s never dull! Special thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this action packed thriller.
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Hollie and Niamh are best friends and tell each other everything. One day Hollie goes missing and is later found dead. Niamh's .Parents are Andrew who is the local Dr and Elise. The villagers see them as a loving family unit but once at home Andrew changes into the controlling husband that he is. Elise can't leave and so has to put on her face so no one finds out the truth about their relationship.
When Hollie is found dead questions get asked and certain goings on in the village come to light. Who is guilty and will do anything to hide the truth.
I really enjoyed this book and was not expecting the ending that it had.
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We all have secrets but could you be killed for them.. The surprises and twists just kept coming with this book and I loved that each of the characters played such a big part in the revealing of the story - this story will have you guessing until the end.
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I have read all of Debbie Howells' books and thoroughly enjoyed them all. They are engrossing and easy to read crime/mysteries with nice short chapters that keep you turning the page quickly. The book deals with some tough subjects but it is done well.

Hollie and Niamh are friends but share a secret. When tragedy strikes, it turns out that most people in this English village have secrets that they will kill to protect. The  story is told from three points of view; Niamh, her mother Elise and the detective Jo. Lots of good twists and and turns that keep you guessing and just when you think you know what happened, the story takes an unexpected final turn.
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Teenagers Hollie and Niamh are best friends in their small village. One day, Hollie goes missing, right after she tells Niamh a devastating secret. The Secret is an intense slow-burn thriller that tackles several  brutal subjects, and the village residents who harbor those secrets, leading to tragic consequences. This one takes a full third of the book to amp up, but once it does, it shifts into another gear, and a lot of those secrets come into focus. Some of the scenes can be a little rough, and the slow start affecting my rating, but it’s worth the wait. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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We all have secrets
But would any of us be killed for them? A problem shared is a problem halved.... Not in this book. I thought I had this all wrapped up but the surprises just kept on coming. Each chapter plays a huge part in the telling of the story and its one that will keep you guessing to the very end.
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I was gripped from the start of this book and didn’t get much else done today as I couldn’t put it down. 

The story is told from the points of view of Elise, Niamh and Jo and covers a variety of difficult subjects including child pornography and domestic and emotional abuse. 

Elise lives with her husband Andrew and teenage daughter Niamh in a quiet English village. On the face of it they are the perfect family - Elise, an air hostess and Andrew the local GP. However, appearances can be deceiving. 

Niamh and her friend Hollie are the only teenagers in the village. It is every parents worst nightmare when Hollie goes missing and before she disappeared she entrusted Niamh with a secret making her promise never to tell anyone. Niamh strives to keep that promise. 

As I said above, I flew through this book and was desperate to find out what happened to Hollie etc. I did guess correctly some of the plot before it was revealed but that didn’t stop me enjoying the story. I did find some of the subject matter a bit hard to stomach but these things do happen even if we are not always aware of them. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced read copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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The Secret started off brilliantly and carried on throughout with twists and cliff-hangers that kept me engaged. I loved that not all the characters we were rooting for were always ones we liked, and Howells writes with a nuance that is so easy to read. 
There was difficult issues tackled well and with sympathy too, not an easy read at times as they were so well thought out and true to life. 

Thanks again to Avon and Netgalley for the chance to read and review.
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Thank you Avon Book, NetGalley and Author for this advance ebook copy in return for an honest review!
Avon Books y'all seriously made my month gifting me with a copy of The Secret! 😘
I enjoyed Howells previous book The Vow but The Secret is 10 times better! 

Family, secrets, lies.... Add these together and I'm there reading it! 
This book was a good quick suspense read! With great characters!.
The writing was done very well! Debbie knows how to keep her reader engaged and scanning the pages wanting to see how this story ends! 
This book sucked me in at page one and kept me turning the pages. 
This thriller was full of mystery, suspense, and twists and turns.
Really enjoyed this book and I can't wait to see what she writes next! 

Thanks again NetGalley, Publisher and Author for the chance to read and review this amazing book!
I'll post to my Social media platforms closer to pub date!

Avon Book
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This was quite an average thriller. There is nothing that is unique or memorable about it all all. The twists were very predictable and the characters were not realistic.
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#TheSecret #NetGalley 
An ok read. 
Hollie told Niamh about a secret she didn't share with anyone. Now she's dead and someone in the village killed her just to save their secret. Who's the killer? 
This book had a little to offer but I just finished it because of the author, I trusted her that something big is going to happen in the end but I was disappointed. 
It's an ok read with ok characters and so so narration. Read it if you're her fan. 
Thanks to NetGalley and Avon for giving me an advanced copy of this psychological thriller.
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