Every Single Secret

Every Single SecretEvery Single Secret by Emily Carpenter
on January 1st 1970
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I didn’t see that coming! Seriously, did anyone see that coming???????

Daphne and Heath appear to be the perfect couple. But appearance can be deceiving. They have secrets – both of them. Daphne doesn’t like to talk about her past neither does Heath. They have this in common. Both live in the present while making plans for their future together. However, Health is having nightmares – nightmares which are getting worse. One day Health suggests they go on a seven-day retreat with Dr. Matthew Cerny, a psychologist who Health feels can help him (and Daphne if she wishes to participate). Daphne is reluctant to attend the retreat but agrees to go to support Health. The retreat is in a remote location and they are asked to turn over their cell phones and not speak to the other couples at the retreat. They are instructed that the rules are in place to help retreat participants focus on the work they will be doing at the retreat with the psychologist, Dr. Cerny.

This is one of those books where I thought I had it figured out. I thought how clever am I? I know how this is going to play out! How wrong I was! BTW, I love when I am wrong about the plot or shall I say the BIG reveal. I love when an Author can weave a tale which surprises me. Emily Carpenter definitely surprised me with this book. It is safe to say that she is the clever one!

The setting of this book was perfect – remote location, no phones, isolation, etc. You just know that this book is going to have a creepy- something is not right- vibe from the setting alone. What secrets do these two people have? That is the question which keeps the pages turning. I love how the plot unfolded and secrets were revealed. This book has layers. I really appreciated how the reader is shown a scene early in the book, one which will come back and into play later in the book. Again, I thought “I did not see that coming!”

This was a dark and intriguing read. I would not call it scary as much as it is dark and has that creepy, something-is-not-right-vibe to it. Whether you like the characters or not, they are all interesting and deliver what they need to deliver to keep this book interesting. Emily Carpenter pulled off all the twists and turns in this book brilliantly.

Emily Carpenter stated that this book was her love letter to another Author. I won’t say who that other Author is, as I do not want to give away any spoilers, or have readers draw conclusions as to how this story will play out based upon the Author who inspired this book!

I received a copy of this book from Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


The Weight of Lies

The Weight of LiesThe Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter
on January 1st 1970
Pages: 382
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here are family secrets and then there are family secrets….

Megan Ashley has grown up living a very privileged life. Her Mother is a best selling “Horror” writer – think the female version of Stephen King. There is a lot of angst in their relationship. In public, her Mother, the famous Frances Ashley, is loving and present. They appear to be a happy Mother-Daughter duo. In Private, there is a cold distance, manipulation, secrets, and isolation. Meg is not happy that she was constantly shipped away to boarding schools while her Mother lived in the limelight of her own success.

Success that Frances Ashley found after writing the Novel “Kitten” at the age of 19. A novel that has a cult like following. A novel which tells the story of the murder of a young girl, which happened years ago on Bonny Island, Georgia.

Meg wants to start a new life and be independent from her famous Mother. The two women have not spoken in three years. Then one day, Meg receives an invitation to attend her Mother’s Birthday party which is quickly followed by tragic news. Meg, sad and alone, is approached to write a tell all book about her Mother and the story behind her world famous book “Kitten”.

Meg goes to Bonny Island and soon meets the real life woman, Dorothy, who everyone believes is the inspiration behind the book “Kitten”. She and Dorothy form a kinship and Meg feels like she is at home. She enjoys the people working at the once popular hotel. She begins to ask questions and delve into the murder of the young Native American girl. There are several suspects but who carried out the heinous crime? I like that we are faced with several suspects and theories as to who killed the girl. Will Meg ever get the answers she is looking for? As Meg gets closer to the truth, it appears that not everyone is as they seem. Almost everyone that Meg comes into contact with has his/her own secrets and agendas. Secrets they are willing to do anything to keep. Who can be trusted when the proverbial shit hits the fan?

I enjoyed the novel within a novel in this book. It is not a unique idea but it worked to tell some back story. This book is full of lies, plot twists, secrets, family secrets, long buried anger, suspicion and doubt. Meg is a great and likable character. She is strong yet also flawed and with a much understood chip on her shoulder. All she ever wanted was a Mom but what she got was a celebrity in love with her own fame.

This book is very atmospheric and the island itself feels like a character in this book. There is a plot twist I did not see coming – which I love. The ending had everything tied up nicely. Some may argue a little too nicely but it worked for me. I found this to be a solid mystery/thriller with a little romance thrown in.

I received a copy of this book from the Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.