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EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU KNOW IS A LIE…
Can you keep a secret? Your life depends on it…
Bridget Reid has a secret, one that could get her killed… If she can escape the man who is keeping her locked in a basement bedroom.
DS Imogen Grey is good at keeping secrets – truths she’d never reveal to her colleagues at Exeter Police. She worked hard to get where she is – she nearly died for it. Now her past is catching up with her…
As DS Grey and her partner DS Adrian Miles search for Bridget, they uncover a terrifying web of abuse, betrayal and murder. And they realise that some secrets are better left buried…
I saw this book on NetGalley and decided to get it because of the beautiful cover and the intriguing blurb. It was only later that I discovered that it’s the second book in a series. However, I read reviews that indicated that the book could be read as a standalone and so I decided to give it a try.
The Secret by Katerina Diamond is not your usual kind of thriller. There is so much going on at the same time although it is all interwoven. The story is narrated into timelines labeled as past and present. The difference between these two timelines is two years. However, they are both connected through the investigations. There is another narration written in italics. It is by a young boy and it spans over a couple of years where we get to see the growth of a very troubled young man. I have to admit that this was the creepiest part of the book but it was also the most interesting for me. I looked forward to these sections although they scared me at the same time and the boy repulsed me. Another dark narration is by Bridget, the missing undercover cop mentioned by in the blurb. There were other minor POVs from other characters.
The different POVs added to the richness of the mystery and heightened the suspense. At first, it was a little confusing. However, once I was able to distinguish the voices and timelines then it became very easy to keep track of all the happenings. Another thing that I liked about the book was the character development. The main characters are all well developed. The lead female detective, Imogen is multi-dimensional. She’s not the usual detective but her portrayal makes her very real hence relatable. I also liked the male detective Adrian. Like Imogen, Adrian was likeable. He was so well portrayed that it was easy to like him despite his faults.
The book has quite heavy themes that are revealed through the investigation. There are cases of human trafficking that expose an extreme level of depravity. As readers, we get to learn what the women go through in captivity and it is both shocking and heartbreaking. There are extremes like one incident where humans are hunted for sport. I can’t say more without spoiling the book for those who haven’t read it. Other themes include sexual abuse, violence, infidelity, murder and addictions. Interestingly, there is some romance brewing amidst all this.
The Secret by Katerina Diamond has everything that makes a thriller great. There are secrets, twists, well-developed characters and enough suspense to the last page. In addition, I liked the unpredictability of the story. I was only able to figure it all out in the final chapters. There are also some really gory scenes. I didn’t mind the gory details as much as the scenes with the disturbed boy. In addition, the gory scenes were necessary in the storyline. All in all, the book was a real page-turner. The pacing was also well-balanced and I was able to read the book fast. The only sections that I didn’t care about involved some steamy scenes but otherwise, this was a great thriller.
The ending of this book was something else. There was a huge reveal that leaves us with a cliffhanger. I had started seeing the signs of the reveal earlier on but my heart was still racing towards the end. I definitely have to read the next book to see how it all goes.
I recommend this book to all fans of thrillers, mysteries, crime fiction and police procedurals. As I mentioned, I haven’t read the first book in the series, The Teacher but I was still able to enjoy this one. Of course, it would have been better to read both books but just in case you end up with this one first like I did then don’t worry about not getting the story.
About the book
Here is the first book in the series:
The Teacher by Katerina Diamond
You think you know who to trust? You think you know the difference between good and evil? You’re wrong…
The body of the head teacher of an exclusive Devon school is found hanging from the rafters in the assembly hall. Hours earlier he’d received a package, and only he could understand the silent message it conveyed. It meant the end.
As Exeter suffers a rising count of gruesome deaths, troubled DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles must solve the case and make their city safe again. But as they’re drawn into a network of corruption, lies and exploitation, every step brings them closer to grim secrets hidden at the heart of their community.
And once they learn what’s motivating this killer, will they truly want to stop him?