Cover Image: The Son's Secret

The Son's Secret

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Member Reviews

Can you trust a mother’s intuition? A son disappears but no one takes it seriously. How far will the mother go to discover what is behind her son’s disappearance? Will it be too late when she is finally believed? This book is set in the historical New Orleans and pays tribute to its past. This book was a good read with well written characters that unfolded to reveal the events leading to the disappearance.

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Thanks to #NetGalley and #SevernHouse for the ARC #TheSonsSecret by #DarylWoodGerber. This was a great book about a mother’s relationship with her son and about her “mother’s intuition” when he turns up missing. Highly recommend.

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This was an amazing book. I highly recommend it to everyone. Great characters and a great plot. I will be looking for more books by this author. The book is superbly written. Lots of twists, turns and shocking turns of events

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I am a big fan of this author's cozy series and read them as fast as she writes them. This book, however, is touted as a thriller and not a cozy. It misses the mark on that. It feels like a bit heavier cozy but didn't quite make it to a suspenseful level for me. The characters and red herrings all felt more along the lines of what you would get in a cozy versus a more streamline deeper plot for a thriller. That being said, it was a good story even if it felt incredibly obvious who the person behind Aiden's disappearance is. If this author is moving to write more suspense novels, I'll read them as I know she will get better as she becomes more comfortable with that genre.

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The Son's Secret is the latest suspense book by cozy mystery writer, Daryl Wood Gerber. I've read her previous ones and most of her amateur sleuth series, and usually they are top notch for me. Relaxing, fun to solve, and full of great settings and characters. I admit, I struggled a bit with this one, but only because I expected more suspense/thrills and helpful backstory to join all the clues together. It worked, and I do like the premise... just wanted stronger punches with the big reveals and the details of what really happened to the son. That said, I will always read the author's books as she is a wonderful writer with a brilliant imagination.

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Daryl Wood Gerber, best known for a string of successful cozy series, will strike an emotional chord in mothers with this story of a woman trying to find her missing son. When college dean Maggie Lawson's son stops communicating, she knows that isn't normal behavior for him, but the people around her keep telling her he's a grown man and entitled to go off the grid for a few days. She begins to fear that someone enraged by her ex-husband's investigative journalism has taken revenge by harming their son. She feels she has no choice but to do everything she can to find him on her own. The writing doesn't have the bite of a thriller, but it's an entertaining read.

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An excellent thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. I started to figure out who was behind the deeds done, but I needed to know their reasoning why. Maggie Lawson is pulled in all different directions between her job and her personal life. She has a great relationship with her son, but when he stops contacting her, her mother's intuition starts to kick into high gear. This story was well thought out, and well written. I love Daryl Wood Gerber's books, and I highly recommend this story. If you haven't read any of her books, you definitely should!

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I love Daryl Wood Gerber's cozy mysteries because they're always entertaining and well plotted. This was something new but I felt the plot a bit forced and the story fell flat
Not my cup of tea
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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The latest novel by Daryl Wood Gerber, The Son’s Secret, is different than her regular cozy type mystery. Maggie, the Dean of a private college, feels that her son Aiden is avoiding her when he won’t return texts or calls. Worried that isn’t normal behavior for him she starts investigating on her own to discover what is happening and the twist and turns begin. Fast paced, kept me guessing most of the way through.

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I enjoyed this.and the premise wasn't the most original but it was well executed and It kept my attention while reading it.
The characters weren't very well developed but you still got grabbed your attention. It was shocking but it was still a satisfying ending.
Was a good read that kept you wanting to read!

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Maggie's son Aiden isn't responding to her texts- but why? This slim volume is a fast read with a plot that might seem familiar. It also wanders between cozy (which Gerber is most know for) and thriller but it's more former than latter. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. I've liked Gerber's work in the past but this one felt like a stretch. That said it's a fast read and one which did have a few surprises.

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This domestic thriller has the quick pacing necessary for a weekend read. Set in New Orleans, a small college Dean is running in circles trying to get the authorities or even her ex-husband concerned when it's discovered her son has gone missing. With evidence and threats piling up, finally the ex acknowledges something isn't right. A bit of voodo and mystical reads add to the mystery.
Lots of red herrings but still the reader will figure out the who soon enough but will need to read to the end for the why.
Ultimately this one is light fare and was hard to be truly invested in the outcome for this reader.

Thank you to Severn House for access to an early ecopy via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

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This was definitely a thrilling ride with an intriguing premise. I just didn't like it all that much, the storyline felt flat, the story was repetitive. It just didn't do it for me.

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I was really excited to read this book- I thought the plot sounded interesting and Daryl is a new author to me!

Unfortunately, I very quickly learned that his writing style is not for me. It felt unorganized and choppy and was very repetitive. I also did not like any of the characters. They were not relatable and I felt like I didn’t really know them (lack of character development?) Again, that’s just my personal experience in reading this book. I don’t mean any offense to the author. I see that Daryl’s cozy mysteries are quite popular! Maybe I’ll try reading one of those next :)

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I enjoyed this. The premise wasn't the most original but it was well executed and It kept my attention throughout. I wasn't a fan of the writing style, some parts felt over explained and like they were just there to up the word count with unnecessary details. The characters weren't very well developed but you still got a good sense of who they were and I was keen to finish and see who was behind it all. It was shocking but it was still a satisfying ending

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Maggie’s son is missing. She does not believe he would willingly ghost her and the texts he’s sending her do not sound like him. She makes it her priority to find him. Seeing Maggie turn over every stone and watch along as she eventually figures out who is responsible for her son’s disappearance made for a very easy book to find hard to put down. Maggie was a complex character and truly a mother who loves her son. I liked her tenacity; she didn’t ever give up. I think anyone who likes a good mystery will like this book. I received an arc of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Son's Secret by Daryl Wood Gerber was the first dramatic book I've read by this author. I'm used to cozy mystery books from Daryl Wood Gerber.

Maggie Lawson is the dean of a boutique college. When Maggie can't reach her college senior son, Aiden, to tell him that his father has been shot, she starts to panic. She has to rely on her own investigative instincts to find Aiden.

Even though the plot was not unique, it was interesting and I felt the author did okay in presenting the information and some red herrings to keep the reader guessing. However, I never could connect with Maggie or any other character. Some parts of the story were a bit slow.

Overall, just an okay read for me. I will stick with the cozy mystery books from this author.

#TheSonsSecret #NetGalley @severnhouse

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I didn’t really like this story. Most of the book was texting Aiden, OMG he’s not responding back, why isn’t he responding. Over and over again. I knew who the bad guy is from the start. #TheSon’sSecret #NetGalley

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Thank you to NetGalley and Severn House for an ARC of The Son's Secret.

Dean Maggie Lawson's adult son is missing. She knows something is wrong even though people keep telling her to not worry. I enjoyed following along as Maggie solved the mystery of her missing son. Some of the side characters, like her ex-husband and her bff Gina, were really fun. I really liked the fortune teller Maggie comes across. I would have liked more of her in the story. I can understand why some might have found Maggie annoying but I thought she acted the way she did because she had an anxiety disorder.
The only thing I really had a problem with was the antagonist's reasoning for what they did. I think because the whole thing was focused on Maggie and only knowing what Maggie knows did that no favors. Aside from that the journey to the conclusion was interesting enough to keep me reading.
Over all, I found this to be a solid 3.5/5 and a nice thriller perfect for the beginning of autumn.

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*Thank you to NetGalley and Severn House for an ARC of The Son's Secret*

<b>Breakdown of rating:</b>

<i>Plot 4/5
Characters 2/5
Writing 3/5
Pacing 3.5/5
Spice 0/5 peppers (does not impact my overall rating)</i>

Overall I'd give the book 3/5 stars, given its compelling plot concept and thrilling pacing, but it lacked refinement in its writing and character development.

<b>The Plot:</b> The concept itself was thrilling and appropriately frustrating, so the plot got my highest rating in the breakdown even though I found it very predictable. There's something comforting about a quick and easy, predictable book when you're not in the mood for something too intricate. Aside from predictability, the idea that you know in your bones that a loved one is missing but no one will do anything because there isn't hard evidence of it, is terrifying. It was so infuriating every time someone would disregard Maggie's concerns as paranoia and make her just sit and wait even longer to find her son. However, there were definitely certain elements of the plot that were just outright unnecessary. The whole part of the plot with the athletic coach being accused of assaulting three of his gymnasts was so unneeded, especially the comment made by Gina when <spoiler>it turned out that the coach was innocent. She just had to say that so many men are impacted by false accusations?</spoiler> That was a wild thing to just throw in there, especially when Gina is a therapist. That's going to be so triggering for some who read this. Speaking of triggers, this book should absolutely have a trigger warning for suicide, especially with how much it's referenced.

<b>The Characters:</b> This was, in my opinion, the worst element of the book. The best character was the cat, who appeared in about 3 chapters throughout the entire book. Gerber showed that she can create a solid baseline for a thriller, but lacked the ability to create characters interesting enough to create any investment from the reader.

<b>The Writing:</b> The writing was a tricky one for me to rate, because there were some specific things I really was not a fan of at all, but the story as a whole progressed fine so the writing wasn't abysmal or anything. Its biggest hinderances were over-explaining the setting and using odd/uncommon phrases or terms. At some points it felt like Gerber just Googled synonyms of a word and picked the most obscure one, and it was never relevant that a store was on the corner of x and y, which was next to z and across from a, etc. Also: we get it, it's in New Orleans, that fact doesn't need to be drilled into our brains every chapter. It started to feel like an excuse to up the word count.

<b>The Pacing:</b> The pacing, although sometimes interrupted by the aforementioned over-explaining of the setting, was really enjoyable as a reader. With books like this, the real-time rush to save a life can be a thrill when done correctly. Gerber did a decent job of balancing a real-time plot progression with the reader's impatience to end their suspense. Even when I found myself skimming over repetitive setting details, I was still thoroughly enjoying the plot's momentum.


Please note that while these are my opinions on the book and my personal reading experience, my review is never meant to tear down the author or readers who enjoyed the book. I understand that a lot goes into writing a book, and that a book I didn't love could still be someone else's favorite.

Happy reading everyone!

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