Cover Image: What I Never Told You

What I Never Told You

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Member Reviews

A great plot which attracted me straight away. It was full of twists which kept me on my toes the whole way through. Loved how it was set in the 1980's.
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WOWZERS! The further into the book I got the more I thought I had it all figured out but my god was I wrong!

This is a real multi stranded plot, everything going in different directions until it is expertly weaved into a finale that is tied together with a perfect bow.

While this isn't my typical fast paced read it had me gripped with its complexities. I wouldn't even call it a slow burner, it's more of an evolving plot.

Told in a dual timeline of 'Then' and 'Now' tells a story about Helen over a 30 year period but for once it's been set out perfectly clearly to follow. Narrated by Helen herself the 'Then' covers Helen's troubled childhood whilst living in a privileged family with privileged friends and the 'Now'is Helen as an adult, unhappily married with teenage children and stepchildren, living in an inherited house. The epitome of a dysfunctional family.

Dark, suspenseful,  intense, atmospheric and gripping.

A story of just how easily the forgotten past can so easily come back to haunt you!

Huge thanks to netgalley and Aria & Aries for the ARC.
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Helen’s marriage isn’t a happy one.  She is married with one child of her own and two step children who don’t get on with Helen.    One day Matt, her stepson, brings home his new girlfriend Diana, Helen takes an instant dislike to her.  When an old photo surfaces it looks as though Diana is going to reveal Helen’s secret from her past.  Then Diana is found dead and all the members of the family seem to have motives.  The story is told is two timelines with chapters alternating between Helen’s teenage years.  She was from a privileged family and was part of the “in crowd” but were also bullies and this is where the secret lies.  There are also chapters from her husband and children's points of view.  There are plenty of twists and turns and Helen’s secret isn’t revealed until near the end of the book and also the identity of the blackmailer.  A good psychological thriller with lots of tension.  A good read.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishher for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Loved this one!  When Helen Whitmore's stepson brings home a new girlfriend one evening, her already imperfect family begins to tip towards breaking point. Diana is smart, beautiful, feisty and clearly out to cause trouble.

Then an old photograph resurfaces that threatens to uncover a long-buried secret, one that Helen has taken great care to keep hidden in the past. Only one person could have that photograph – and she is dead.

Helen immediately suspects that Diana is connected somehow, but before she can confront her, Diana is found dead and the entire family has motive.
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A beautiful rich family. But under the surface they definitely have their issues. The wife has a lot of secrets - a friend died when she was younger from her inner circle and she helped cover it up. And now there’s evidence of this murder coming back to light. And she will do whatever it takes to keep this buried. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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Helen lives in her home that has been in her family for years with her husband and stepson & stepdaughter, and her own daughter.
The story goes from past to present and then they collide when her stepson brings home Diana from school and an old photograph from her past suddenly appears.
The Diana is found dead in the pool, and all of the family have motive for killing her.
Well told story and has you turning the pages to see what is going to happen next and what has happened before.
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First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Dawn Goodwin, and Head of Zeus for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Intrigued when a new author appears on my radar, I eagerly agreed to read the latest novel by Dawn Goodwin. A tale of deception and suspense straddling two time periods, Goodwin pulls the reader into a mystery from the opening chapters and builds on things from there. With a strong narrative and captivating plot, the story gains momentum and leaves the reader begging for more, as all is revealed. A decent story that kept we wondering!

Helen Whitmore does her best to keep a work/home balance in her small English community. Living in her ancestral home, Helen has a blended family full of strong-wiled individuals. She’s doing her best tp keep the peace, which can be harder than it seems.

When Helen’s step-son, Matt, brings a guest over to the house one evening, it ruffles many feathers for various members of the family. Diana is not only beautiful, but has a conniving side that leaves many turning away from her. Helen also notices that Diana may be more mischief than a new sweetheart for Matt.

All the while, Helen is struggling when an old photograph emerges, as well as some taunting secret notes that make idle threats. The two girls in the photo are well-known to Helen, she being one of them. The other is a girl Helen knew in her past, who died in a mysterious manner. 

While Helen has numerous flashbacks to her own youth and how Tracey Deane fit into it, she musty also deal with present-day drama. Diana has turned up dead and everyone in the house has a motive for it. While the authorities scramble for answers, Helen must piece it all together to see who might have taken the ultimate step to silence the deceptive Diana. It will bring a flood of old emotions to the surface again, forcing Helen to confront sentiments she long ago buried. Goodwin spins a tale and keeps the reader gripped as things progress at rapid speed.

Dawn Goodwin masters the dual timeline in this piece, telling two independently, yet interwoven, stories, with Helen Whitmore at the centre. The piece flows well and keeps the twists coming until the final chapters, allowing the reader to engage in both the plot and the characters that push it along. While I found myself struggling at times, I chalk it up to a busy mind rather than less than stellar writing. I enjoy stories like this and Goodwin does well to develop things at a pace most can digest with ease. The mystery builds and the tension heightens until all comes crashing together at the climax.

Helen Whitmore is surely a strong protagonist, straddling both timelines throughout this novel. The reader learns much about her and the struggled she has overcome, as well as the layers of secrets she has been forced to keep. for so long. The novel is written in such a way that the reader gets pieces of teen and adult Helen throughout, allowing one to build an idea of how she has become the woman she is today and just how secretive she remains. While there were times I wanted the backstory to be condensed and a focus on the current timeline, I can see why Goodwin presented things as she did, hoping to allow for a thorough explanation to develop, as it relates to modern events.

I struggled, not with the story or its plot, but with some of my own personal connections to the narrative. While things did move along well, I found things lagging at times and I wanted to get to key twists faster. That being said, I think a lot of it had to do with my personal state of mind, rather than Goodwin’s writing. The narrative was strong and moved along well, keeping both timelines progressing throughout. Key characters emerged in both stories and connections could be found where they were needed, with strong development emerging throughout. The plot held together well, offering mysteries and jolting realities in equal measure. I would love to try reading more of Dawn Goodwin’s work to get some comparisons, so I will add at least one more novel to my toppling ‘to be read’ list to see how I feel.

Kudos, Madam Goodwin, for a great story. Your first impact on me was a good one, though I will be sure to read the next of your novels with a clearer head to get a better sense of my overall sentiments.
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This book was a fantastic read. It was a slow burn but a story told so well that I enjoyed every second of it. It was deeper and more heart-wrenching than your typical psychological thriller, tragic at parts. Looking forward to reading more by the author.
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Helen has a secret her entire family have secrets and her stepsons new girlfriend seems to be the catalyst for all of their secrets to be revealed. The question is though why? Or is Helen paranoid and someone else knows the truth? 

This is one of those books that is extremely hard to review for the reason being, I don't want to say too much because I could inadvertently spoil the storyline. 

So what I will say is firstly this is an amazing thriller/mystery! With Helen being our main character we jump between the past and present day. With the story of her past we get to slowly find out what the secret of she's scared of coming to fruition, this in itself threw me as I had so many different scenarios I expected it to be none of which were correct. I found it really well written the way the narrator of the past felt much younger than the present day. So often people jump time lines without altering the protagonists voice. There are also a few areas that are focused on in this timeliness race is a huge part of it and again is written so well. 

In present day we'll I was on edge throughout, I found myself so lost with who was doing what and what everyone's secrets were, I should of taken notes ha.  But honestly once everything gets tied together it all makes perfect sense. I also love that there are some moments in the book where we get to know the reality behind an event and I loved this but again I had far more questions than answers. However all this did was have me continue reading wanting to find out more and I wasn't disappointed when it concluded. 

The author uses descriptions of places and people really well so I always had a cleat image when reading. They also managed to keep you interested in each characters side storylines and want to find out what their secrets were also. They write so well that even wirh so much going on it isn't overwhelming. Both time lines are done well although I probably preferred rhe younger one a little bit but purely because I wanted to know more. I flew through this book in one sitting. 

I totally recommend what I never told you and rate it an easy 4 stars. Thanks to netgalley, the publisher and author for an ARC in exchange for my fair and honest opinions.
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3 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Helen Whitmore’s life is imperfect.  She’s stuck in an unhappy marriage, her daughter and two stepchildren do not respect her, and she is harboring a secret from her past.  One day, Helen’s stepson brings home a new girlfriend, Diana, who is clearly trying to cause trouble within the family.  When an old photo suddenly surfaces, it’s clear that Diana is trying to expose Helen’s secret… but then Diana is found dead.  The more you read, the more you’ll realize that Helen isn’t the only one in the family with motive…

This is a dual timeline story, with chapters alternating between “then” and “now.”  We see inside Helen’s teen years (where the secret lies) as well as her present day.  This book also gives us a few chapters from the point of view of her husband and children.  The changes in POV are not confusing at all and only help you to understand exactly what’s going on.  I think I enjoyed the chapters in "then" better than "now" but overall this book is worth reading.

Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.
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Fantastic author and another read that never fails to keep me gripped throughout, throughly recommend. 4 stars
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Spoiler Alert: Thank you NetGalley for this ARC of What I Never Told You.  This book follows Helen in current day and goes back to when she was in high school.  I enjoyed the back and forth and the mystery of what happened when Helen was a teenager that is impacting her life today.  Helen grew up in a house that has been passed down over the generations to all the female descendants.  Her father is always working and her mother doesn't really engage with her as much as their housekeeper.  She goes to a private school and is friends with Eloise who is a very uptight snobby mean girl.  Helen meets Tracey who is different than the other students and they become friends.  Unfortunately something awful happens one night that is resurfacing 30 years later.  In present day Helen  is married to Hugh and his 2 teenagers live with them and also Helen's daughter.  They are have secrets especially when Matt Helen's stepson brings home a new girlfriend Diana who seems to have ulterior motives.  Lots of red herrings and a surprise ending.  I give this book a 4.5 as I just felt that Helen's character's personality changed a lot from high school to an adult and she was quick to turn to someone somewhat sinister.  Otherwise very good read.
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What I Never Told You by Dawn Goodwin was my first read from this author, but it will certainly not be the last.  I was pulled into the cleverly woven mystery from the very start, and remained invested throughout.  This one will keep you guessing, and doubting everything you think you know.

Told from the alternating timelines of past and present, we meet Helen Whitmore, a woman in possession of a secret.  Upon meeting her stepson's new girlfriend, she cannot shake the feeling that something just isn't right with the mysterious Diana.  And when Diana is found dead, an entire family will fall under suspicion.  

I love a domestic drama with enough twists and turns to have me flying through the pages in order to get to the bottom of it all, and this novel delivers in spades.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Aria & Aries, Head of Zeus for an ARC.
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“How well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?

Well! The more of this book I read, the more convinced I was that I had most of the twists and turns ironed out and I knew exactly what had happened in the past, and was happening now, some thirty years later! – WRONG!

Okay! So now I need to tear up all my notes and start this review again from scratch, as those last few chapters, with all their new twists and turns, changed everything, turned all my preconceptions on their head and totally messed with my mind, as I tried to straighten out and in some way weave together, the multitude of different strands to this storyline. I do have to admit however, that I never really did work out, or even manage to guess, the complexities of this plot, which were completely driven by the desire for revenge and retribution.

Set in the picturesque, fictional village of Hamblemere, close to the very real and beautiful Cornish coastal town of Padstow, it would be very difficult for the casual observer to fathom why the house and its female descendants might not have led a happier, more fulfilled life. ‘Cliffside’ is perched, as its name suggests, right at the edge of the coastal footpath, its spacious grounds are well tended by its hired gardener, and it boasts its own outdoor pool and pool-house, complete with pool-man! However, disappointingly for any ‘armchair travellers’, very little is made of the surroundings away from the foreboding environs of the house, which is exactly as the author planned it, as she very cleverly wanted to keep me focused  on the confines of events and life within its walls, without distraction.

This was no fast-paced, action packed, pot-boiling thriller. Rather more of a lugubrious, slow-burning and evolving story, which has at its heart, a monolithic, eccentric house, complete with the added burdensome caveat of a female only line of succession, who must continue to live there with their families, until that last female line is ended, when it can finally be sold. Helen has already tried to shake the dust of the house from her shoes once, after her own unhappy childhood within its forbidding walls. But now she is back, with her own daughter, a husband and step-children, who are about to unwittingly unleash the full hidden fury of the secrets the house has been hiding, despite Helen’s best efforts to forget her past and conceal the truth. Helen doesn’t play the truth game very well, as I now know to my cost, having read the story to the very last page. When someone starts to ‘dig the dirt’ on her personal life, they really do need to take heed, as she doesn’t take prisoners when it comes to protecting what is hers and saving her own skin in the process!

A dual timeline story, where neat, well-signposted chapters, which alternate between the ‘then and now’, span the thirty years since the 1980s of Helen’s youth to the present day, and where we find Helen now owning her own bookshop ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ in the village, are narrated and guided by Helen herself. So now you can see how all those half-truths and embellishments, might have clouded my judgement a little, as one new twist and turn was added after the other to try and ‘muddy the waters’ and they are oh! so convincing and plausible. Mind you, if I had endured the unconventional childhood Helen did, maybe I wouldn’t have been able to maintain my physical and emotional wellbeing and equilibrium into adulthood either. Wilful emotional abandonment and neglect, marital infidelity, drink, drugs, eating disorders, bullying, racial abuse, drink spiking – and MURDER, and that only just touches the periphery of Helen’s troubled childhood home life, she only being saved from the total abyss by the pseudo-mother efforts of the family’s live in housekeeper, Martha. Even the privileges of money alone can’t make you happy, if they come with the ultimate price-tag of being instead of, rather than as well as, the love and comfort of parental support.

This disturbing, well structured, multi-faceted storyline, was gripping, desperately intense, claustrophobic and rich in atmosphere. The fluent writing, suspenseful plot and cleverly crafted narrative, really sucked me in and immersed me in the lives of this family, who are being dragged to their knees because of their own apathy, discontent and misery. When not one, but two outsiders, decide to cash in on the family’s reduced emotional circumstances and rake up the ashes of past indiscretions, the race to the bottom begins in earnest for them all, although little do they realise how Helen is still pulling the strings and manipulating them for her own advantage. The lies, deceit, duplicity and distortion of the facts, just keep building, finally overwhelming them to the point where there is only one person left standing, who has ensured that the line of succession is going to continue unchallenged into the foreseeable future.

Dawn has created a wonderful cast of complex, emotionally starved, wickedly clever and genuinely twisted characters; who although well developed and fleshed out, are not authentic or reliable, are manipulative and duplicitous in the extreme and have little or no synergy between them, giving me no compelling reason to relate to, invest in, or engage with them. The only certainty in this complex jigsaw of human emotions, was that their own volatility and unreliability, would be their eventual downfall.

I always enjoy Dawn’s wonderfully twisted style of storytelling, but she has surpassed herself this time!

“Oh, What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!”
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I really loved this book!! It had so many twists and turns. It kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next!! This was my first book by this Author, and it won’t be the last!! Quick read!! Highly recommended!! You won’t be disappointed!!
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What I Never Told You by Dawn Goodwin is a story of a family and a past that one member has kept secret for more than thirty years.

The life is mundane and somewhat boring when things starts unravelling and Helen, the main character realizes that someone is onto her sordid past.
Then all of a sudden a mysterious girl shows up and warms herself in with Helen's family and starts to create havoc.
This is a slow burn book yet there is always something happening. There is never a dull moment and this story held my interest and was quite absorbing. 
We get to know other characters in a book and see their points of view as well. They are all quite complex and well drawn out.
I didn't see the end coming and was taken aback by it.
All in all a good reading and I recommend it.
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This was the first book by Dawn Goodwin that I've read and wow, what a read. 

I really felt like the characters were real and could imagine this being turned into a film or series.

I liked the ending as it had a few surprises which I didn't see coming at all.

I am definitely going to search out other titles by this author
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*4.5 Stars*

ARC kindly received via NetGalley for an honest review.

This was a really interesting read, with great characters. It made me go "Wow, the goings on of some people and the cruelty and lies they spread". The ending surprised me and I enjoyed this book. Would recommend.
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I really enjoyed the flashbacks and think the author managed the dual track past and present contexts very well.  The characters were hard to like and, for me, that meant I was less invested in their fate.  But there is no doubt this was a thrilling read with plenty to keep you interested and guessing.
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Psychological family drama, set in current day and the past when Helen was a teenager. Helen is now married with a daughter and two step children. Everything seems to be moving  along nicely or is that really true?  Helen received a letter in the post - and soon you see that things aren’t as sweet and wholesome as they seem. There are secrets and undercurrents that indicate trouble ahead. 
Helen’s stepson brings a new girlfriend Diana home and Helen instantly thinks she is trouble and is responsible for the mystery letter and the photo it contains but before Helen can find out more Diana is found dead.
Well written,, keeps you hooked and has a really good twist.
Highly recommended 4 Stars ⭐️ 
Thanks to #Netgalley for allowing me to read this book in return for a fair review.
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