Cover Image: A Secret in the Family

A Secret in the Family

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Member Reviews

A Secret in the Family
By: Leah Mercer
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/4 stars

"Wow… From the start to finish, I was literally hooked… The ending was what blew me away… Unputdownable, emotional and heartbreaking."

Rachel receives a phone call from her sister, Victoria, that their mother is very sick and does not have much time left. Rachel agrees to come back to her childhood home to split the care of their mother with her sister.

Due to a household accident, Rachel needs to tear down a wall in the basement due to water damage and there she discovers a body. Between protecting her mother from what is happening in her own home, trying to keep her own family together and trying to rebuild the relationship that she seems to have lost with her mother over the years, Rachel discovers that everything she thought she knew isn't quite correct.

Was her late father a murderer? Who is the woman in the wall?
This book definitely provides you with all sorts of twists and turns to keep you guessing! Great book if you'd like to suspense and major twist!

Thank you @netgalley and @bookouture for this ARC in exchange for my honest review

Published on September 9, 2022
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Rachel heads to her childhood home to care for her mother in her last days. They have a strained relationship and Rachel blames herself for the death of her father. But a shocking discovery in the basement threatens to destroy the remnants of the family...
A Secret in the Family is a domestic drama, psychological thriller and murder mystery all wrapped into one, set in the UK.
Rachel has been deeply unhappy for a long time. She feels responsible for her dad's death and this has caused a distance to develop between her and her mother and sister. This felt really raw and well described, vividly brought to life by the narrative. Now with a terminal diagnosis for her mum, she feels that this is her last chance to rekindle a loving family relationship. These plans are threatened by revelations from the past which Rachel needs to confront.
The book is written from two timelines, one in the present day and one in 1986. The connection was fairly obvious but I enjoyed seeing how the two plotlines played out. There is plenty of emotion as Rachel's family deal with a terminal diagnosis but also the mysterious death. Added to this is the guilt that Rachel has felt for year and the heartache at her estrangement from her sister and mother. Meanwhile Sam in the past is dealing with loneliness and single parenthood.
A Secret in the Family is an emotive book which maintained my interest in the characters and plot.
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This is a complex story with so many twists and turns. I did guess where it was leading but that did not spoil it at all. Another great story from this author and I will look out for more of her work 
Many thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this ARC
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I was so pleased to be able to enjoy indulging in another sensational read by Leah Mercer. There are so many twists and turns in this novel and a cast of characters that leaves you questioning just who you can trust. Between the covers of this novel you will find every element a good thriller should have and more.
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I have read several books by Leah Mercer before and enjoyed them. 
This was another good family drama, well narrated with a good pace that kept me intrigued. Plenty of secrets to unravel.
3.5 stars
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A Secret in the Family by Leah Mercer was a beautifully written book that just had me hooked from the beginning till the end. I just love the way Leah writes, she has a great way of bringing you into her latest book. Secrets......They always have a way of coming out. It doesn't matter how hard you try to keep them hidden, they always have  away of coming out especially family secrets. 

This book will have you glued to your chair and everything you had planned may go out of the window. So allow yourself time to enjoy this wonderful book. It will not disappoint. I loved it and I highly recommend A Secret in the Family by Leah Mercer.

Big Thank you to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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”I thought I knew my family…I was wrong…

A domestic drama, A Secret in the Family is my new favourite read from Leah Mercer. Hooked right from the beginning, I knew this was going to be a one sitting read (I was right) and this time around, after her last book, I was prepared and had the tissues at the ready. Did I need them? Yes I did!

This is a gripping tale of one family where secrets, lies and deception are at it’s core. I loved our lead Rachel, who’s story really pulled on my heart strings. The fractured relationship between herself and her mother, is in equal parts sad and intriguing and becomes even more strained when shocking events from the past collide with the present.

A beautifully written, emotive and powerful piece of work, that unfolds in a duel character narrative of past and present, this really pulls you in and is heartbreaking in so many ways. This is one tale that I highly recommend and is one that will be part of my best reads of the year.

Thank you to Leah Mercer, Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of A Secret in the Family, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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A bit of a mixed bag for me. I found Rachel to be too childish for someone who has a responsible role and a family. Maybe it was more that her role as daughter and sister took over but I wasn’t keen on her. The plot is very interesting and surprising so well worth a read but just didn’t wow me.
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Review for 'A Secret In The Family' by Leah Mercer. 

Read and reviewed via NetGalley for Leah Mercer, Bookouture publishers and Bookouture anonymous 

Publication date 6th September 2021.

This is the third book I have read by this author. I have previously read 'A Mother's Lie' and 'Why She Left' which I highly recommend.

I was originally drawn to this book by its beautiful eye catching cover and its intriguing synopsis and title. The synopsis stated that this book is 'Perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Barbara O’Neal and The Silent Daughter. ' I am a huge fan of Liane Moriarty so am looking forward to seeing if this lives up to this statement. I am also a huge fan of Leah and if this is half as good as 'A Mother's Lie' and 'Why She Left' it is sure to be a page turning read. I must admit I was also biased due to the publisher being Bookouture. I have yet to read a book published by Bookouture  that I haven't enjoyed. Hopefully this won't be the first... Watch this space! (Written before I started reading the book).

This novel consists of 38 chapters. The chapters are short to medium in length so possible to read 'just one more chapter' before bed...OK, I know yeah right, but still just in case!

This book is based in London, England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 , UK 🇬🇧 . The bonus for me of books that are partly or fully based in the UK is that I live in the UK and have sometimes visited places mentioned in the book which makes it easier to picture. I have recently visited London so will be interested to see if there are any places I visited mentioned. 

This book is written in third person perspective and the protagonists are Rachel Varna and Sam. The benefits of third person perspective with multiple protagonists are that it let's you see the bigger picture of what's going on and you get to know more characters more, what they are thinking and what they are doing. It feels like you get to see the whole picture and not miss out in anything. 


his book is extremely well written with fantastic descriptions that really set the scene and put you in the storyline. The cover and synopsis suit the book perfectly!! 

This book is absolutely addictive, I just could not put it down. The storyline isn't just one plot but has many layers that peel apart as you read it. The book just keeps getting better and better as you go on.. The storyline is filled with lies, secrets, abuse, twists, turns, red herrings, suspense, tension and everything you could want in a psychological domestic fiction. I must admit that I wasn't shocked by some of the revelations  and worked a few things out very early but there was a twist at the end I wasn't expecting. Sadly due to this and the fact that I only give honest reviews I feel I need to give this book a 4/5 rather than a 5/5. However I would like to say please don't let this put you off as I have read hundreds of crime and psychological thrillers and it is getting harder and harder to shock me. This book was emotionally packed and the two storyline and lives of Rachel and Sam were placed perfectly in order for the storyline to weave together until the truth is revealed. I thought the ending was beautiful and it wrapped the storyline up perfectly. A very sweet and emotionally packed ending to a dramatic storyline. The detail Leah uses in her writing makes it very easy to visualise the people and surroundings and I felt I was beside Ruth and Sam throughout. It is a very smooth, easy and quick read. An absolutely riveting, page turning and addictive read that I would love to see turned into a movie. 

It is set over multiple time lines. When books show what has happened in the past and what is happening in the present I find it really helps the reader (if it is well done) understand why things are happening and what has lead to the present activities and decisions. It also shows the bigger picture.

The characters were all well written and strong. My heart went out to Rachel but I must admit there were several times I could have shouted at her. I found her to be quite sappy at times and too pandering to her mother. She was definitely more forgiving than I would have been to certain people. On the other hand I found I really connected with Sam and I really felt her pain. The sympathy I felt for the both characters were on two different levels. I found Sam's character to be more realistic than Rachel's and it really was heartbreaking to watch everything she was going through. I was glad that she had Jean and Mo to turn to and I felt a connection to both these characters. They were realistic, lovable and a great addition to the storyline. I can't say too much about the other characters as I don't want to give anything away. I was a bit disappointed by the fact that Alex seemed to be quite a big character in Sam's life but he seemed to disappear in the plot. I know he was told where to go but I thought there may have been more of him later in the storyline. However I have a feeling there may be a possible reason for this as I belive Leah wanted the reader to connect him to certain events. I won't say more now but the characters all came together to make this storyline captivating. 

Congratulations again Leah on yet another riveting page turner!! This is exactly why you are one of my favourite authors and here's to your next success 🥂 

Overall an addictive page turning domestic, psychological fiction with a deep meaning that will keep you up late at night. 

Genres covered in this novel include Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Thriller,  Domestic drama, Murder Mystery, Women's Fiction and Psychological Fiction amongst others. 

I would recommend this book to the fans of the above as well as fans of Liane Moriarty, Barbara O’Neal, 'The Silent Daughter' and anyone looking for an addictive, meaningful page turning psychological domestic fiction. 

248 pages.

This book is just £1.99 to purchase on kindle or free on kindle unlimited and £7.99 to purchase in paperback via Amazon which I think is an absolute bargain for this book!!! 

Rated 4 /5 (I enjoyed it ) on Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon UK and Amazon US and on over 30 Facebook pages plus my blog on Facebook. 

Feel free to add me on Goodreads or follow me on my website or Facebook for more reviews 

#ASecretInTheFamily #Bookouture  #LeahMercer #NetGalley #BookReview #BlogTour #BooksOnTour
@LeahMercer  @Bookouture @Bookworm1986 @bookworm86
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This book was interesting and very well-written. I would likely want to read more from this author and will recommend this to friends.
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This is the story of Rachel, Victoria, Sam and Janet. Also a man, Sean, who is at the bottom of it all. It's a very complex story in many ways but also easy to follow. It's told in two time frames, switching back and forth ever so many chapters.

How these women's lives intersect will keep you turning the pages. What Sean does will keep you wanting to smack him. He's a first rate jerk and there's no excusing what he did. I wanted to scream at Sam several times to listen to Jean. It sure might have saved her some heartache. Maybe. Victoria and Rachel are sisters. This story is told mainly from Rachel's point. Her story is one that will leave you in tears. Parts were hard to believe but not improbable. I use to know someone who was very much like Sean.

Sam is a young woman who works as a manager of a pub. Her boss Jean gave her the job and they become the best of friends. Jean is older and treats Sam like a daughter. The people who frequent the pub think the world of Sam. She meets Sean and is completely swept off her feet. There were times I felt like Sam was just a bit too naive. But she was young so it was believable that she would fall for anything that Sean told her.

This book is well written and does not leave anything to guess. You find out everything. Even who the murder is. I personally was not in the least surprised. It didn't take away from the story though. How could a person be so cruel though. How could a person raise a child and not have any feelings for that child. Maybe a bit or resentment but that is all. I think you would have to feel some kindness to any child. But that is not always the case. The young lady in this story lived blaming herself for things that were not her fault by any means. But she still had to learn that she was not to blame. I can't tell you what happens because that would ruin this book for you.

This book certainly had me turning the pages. I wanted to know how Sam and Sean ended and how the other characters figured into the story of them. It's well written and easy to follow. One that you should enjoy a lot. It's a tearjerker in parts no doubt but also one that keeps you wondering about. I really like Rachel. I didn't like Sean or Janet at all. I liked Sam and really loved Jean. As with any good story there are people to like and ones to hate.

Thank you to #NetGalley, #LeahMercer, #Bookouture for this ARC. This is my own true thoughts about this book.

4/5 stars and a high recommendation.
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When I first started reading Leah Mercer's novels, they were heartbreaking family dramas. She has since moved seamlessly over to writing mystery thrillers, as indicated from her three most recent novels, the latest one being A Secret in the Family.

This gripping and compelling story was a quick read and hard to put down. It was well orchestrated the entire time. I liked the dual narrative and timeline, as they worked well for this novel. I could guess at some elements of the mystery, but other parts were definitely a surprise to me. I was in suspense, wondering what really happened. It was easy to visualize people and places throughout the story, thanks to Leah's strong use of detail. I felt bad for Rachel and Sam in different ways, given what their circumstances were.

My only little issue was that Rachel seemed too sappy a lot of the time, especially in regards to her mother and sister. I got annoyed with her always pandering to her mother due to her guilt over her father's death when her mother didn't really do much to make Rachel feel valued to begin with. 

Overall, another enjoyable novel by Leah Mercer. I look forward to many more!

Movie casting suggestions:
Rachel: Charlie Murphy
Mo: Rahul Kohli
Rachel's mother: Lesley Manville
Lucas: Freddie Stroma
Sam: Georgie Henley
Will: Jonathan Bailey
Sean: Leo Suter
Jean: Julie Walters
Alex: Tom Hughes
Victoria: Sophie Rundle
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A story about a family that is far from perfect. When Rachel goes to help from ailing mother many secrets are uncovered. I liked the idea of this story and have enjoyed other books by this author but I did not think this was her best work. Many things in the book were resolved too easily. Overall it was an enjoyable story.
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Rachel has always had a strained relationship with her mother and she feels that it’s her fault because she distanced herself after her father died. But when Rachel’s mom, Janet, is sick and only given a short time to live, Rachel thinks now is the time to make amends. A gruesome discovery leads to a path shrouded in mystery and family secrets. 

This was an easy read, but very predictable. I couldn’t really relate to the main character because although she was a grown woman with a family of her own she seemed to be stuck in her childhood, constantly making childish decisions. Although this wasn’t the greatest book, I’d probably give the author another chance.
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What a beautiful book. Great writing, Such believable characters. Amazing story. A book I could not put down. Loved it.
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A Secret in the Family is a gripping domestic drama that had me hooked from the very start.  I just love when I start a book and get that brilliant feeling that I am really going to enjoy the read.  This one is told in two timelines we have Sam in 1986 and her story and Rachel in current day.  This is an emotional read at times.  This was a fast paced read wirh a couple of twists thrown in, wirh one in particular I never saw coming.  I recommend this book for fans of domestic drama books.
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I’d like to thank Bookouture and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘A Secret In The Family’ by Leah Mercer in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Rachel’s sister Victoria rings her to say that their mother is terminally ill and hasn’t long to live.  Rachel realises this may be her last opportunity to form any closeness to her mother that’s been missing since their father died many years ago.  During her sister’s absence Rachel moves into their childhood home to care for her mother but as she’s in the cellar she’s in for a shock.  She knows that what she finds could destroy her mother but she can’t forget what she’s seen and is determined to discover the truth.  

I don’t need to read the description of any novel by Leah Mercer as I already know I’m going to enjoy it and ‘A Secret In The Family’ is no exception.  It’s a compulsive family drama of secrets and lies kept hidden within a family and the two threads running through it are Rachel as she leaves her family to care for her mother and Samantha Hughes, a barmaid back in 1985 when she meets Sean, a good-looking customer who she falls in love with.  A soon as I started reading I was gripped by the storyline and characters and despite realising halfway through where the story was heading it didn’t make any difference to my enjoyment and I had to keep reading.  I loved the suspense and intrigue as it gathered momentum and I read all through the day finishing in it in practically one sitting.  A great novel, thoroughly enjoyable, thank you Leah.
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I love this author so I was excited for this new book. I was not at all disappointed, the writing is always stellar! Highly recommend all of her books if you enjoy good writing, intriguing mysteries and lots of twists!
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A family mystery and a gruesome discovery  that turns Rachel's life upside down. I liked the dual time line and the way the backstory slowly revealed what happened the night a young mother died. But I did think the story was a bit over stretched, taking a long time to reach its conclusions, and that some of the secrets were easily guessed.
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Rachel has been plagued with guilt for years over the death of her father. She has always believed that his death was her fault, and her guilt became so overwhelming, and her mother's grief was so devastating, that the two became completely alienated. However, Rachel receives a phone call from her sister informing her that her mother's health is rapidly declining and she needs constant care. Rachel agrees to leave her husband and children to give her mother the care she needs. Rachel's loving husband encourages Rachel to take all of the time she needs.

If Rachel's mum has very little time, she will do what she can to make amends by taking care of her to the best of her ability. Perhaps the time Rachel will be spending with her mother will help the two repair the rift that is between them.

This will be no easy task for Rachel, as happy memories of her past clash with very sad memories. In fact, her father's death apparently changed everything between her and her mother. Not only does Rachel become her mother's nurse, she also works to get the house in order, making or arranging for any repairs to be done. By so doing, Rachel stumbles upon an old photograph and also a necklace. She feels these two items are clues to a secret. A secret that will destroy her family beyond repair.

A Secret in the Family is a taut, emotional read. One that pulls at your heartstrings, especially as revelations are revealed one-by-one. It was impossible not to feel the burden of Rachel's pain as she dealt with her feelings of guilt. While she no doubt hoped to repair the past, her realization that the items she found might make that impossible. The twists in this book were utterly shocking, and along with excellent pacing, this book proved to be a truly enjoyable read, one that led to a stunning conclusion.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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