Friday, April 24, 2020

Book Review: Every Little Secret

By Jami Deise

In the domestic thriller space, sometimes it seems that every author is trying up the ante with the twists and turns of the protagonist’s husband’s secret. In U.K. author Ruby Speechley’s thriller debut, Every Little Secret, the lies start with a single tiny omission, then cascade until they destroy lives.

When Maddy’s five-year-old daughter Chloe dies overnight of meningitis, it seems like nothing worse could ever happen to her. But they do: Only a few weeks later, the police arrive at her door to tell her that her husband, Max (whom she thought was away for work) was seen jumping off a bridge… and his backpack with his ID and his car were found nearby. The police search the river for days, but a body is never recovered.

Pregnant and out of her mind with grief, Maddy can’t believe that Max would do this to her. Even with his sorrow over Chloe, he never would have committed suicide. The police have to be wrong. Maddy goes looking for him herself….and finds evidence that Max had a whole other family. Is the other woman hiding Max from her, or is she another victim of his lies?

Speechley uses multiple third-person points of view to tell this story, planting subtle clues that pay off as the novel progresses. As Maddy searches for Max in the present, Max in the past tells his story of being down on his luck, meeting Maddy and quickly moving in with her. Near the mid-point, Speechley adds the point of view of Max’s other woman.

Initially, I found the voice in the novel to be a bit off-putting: It’s written in present tense, in a clipped British tone. But the story is so intriguing, I went along for the ride, and after awhile the voice didn’t bother me anymore. Similarly, the scenes in the past felt like filler in the beginning, but Speechley drops enough subtle clues so that everything that Maddy does makes sense for the character.

Even with the other points of view, Maddy is clearly the heroine of this story, and watching her react to every new revelation was like watching a car wreck happen in slow motion. The cars are moving toward a head-on collision and bystanders can only watch the carnage unfold. With all the horrible things that have happened to her, there’s no possibility of a happy ending for Maddy, only something that looks like survival.

Speechley writes an author’s note at the end of the book explaining her interest in the subject and the readings and interviews she did to research the material. In it, I inferred a sympathy for the man in the middle that I think she used to develop Max’s character. This reader, however, did not feel an ounce of sympathy for him. Read the book; you might feel differently.

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Ruby Speechley is a psychological thriller writer. Her debut novel, Someone Else’s Baby, was published by Hera Books on July 25, 2019.

Visit Ruby online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Visit all the stops on the blog tour:

No comments: