The Secret They Kept

By: J.S. Ellis

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Emily Clarke’s life seemed to be perfect. She had her own business, which was thriving, she just bought a cute house, and her boyfriend was going to be moving in with her shortly. Upon moving in, the neighbors were friendly and brought her food. Except the house across the street. Emily liked to look out her window and watch the family inside. The family consisted of a mother, father, and son. A beautiful son; a model name Lucien.

But then strange things starting occurring – a jammed door, a rock through her window, a message written in lipstick, and missing items. She breaks up with her boyfriend Ed, and he goes missing. Emily befriends Lucien and he tells her about the history of the house she is living in, and the secrets of the street. Lucien had a brother who disappeared, and the woman who used to live in her house disappeared. Now Emily believes they are all related, and she wants to figure out how. Can she do this and stay safe?

I really wanted to love this book and give it a 5 star review. The description lead me to believe that this was going to be a gripping thriller. Unfortunately it wasn’t gripping. It was a good book, a very interesting plot line, but I wasn’t on the edge of my seat.

I enjoyed the blossoming relationship between Emily and Lucien and sort of hope that there is another book with a plot line about them. I didn’t see the ending coming, I guessed the wrong person had been involved in the missing people. So that automatically makes it a good book!

There were a few grammatical issues as well that bothered me, and the writing style bothered me a bit as in America we use “Mrs.” and not “Mrs” without the period. I guess also living in America we don’t drink tea every chance we get. I felt like it could be a drinking game with how many times someone made tea or touched a tea kettle.

The writing for me also felt a bit choppy. In the middle of the section where Emily and Ed were eating dinner in Chapter 3, it went from him taking a phone call and her looking out the window in one sentence to the next her describing the sky and she was on the phone with a client. It was very offputting how many times this occurred in the book. I would have appreciated a break so that we were moving from one scene to another.

Overall, I did love the plot line and think this is a book worth reading. You can pre-order your copy here.