Monday, September 12, 2022

Book Review and Giveaway: A Secret in the Family

By Melissa Amster

The call came on a seemingly ordinary day. But as soon as Rachel heard the pain in her sister’s voice, she had to face the fact that life as she knew it was about to be shattered: “It’s mum. She’s not well. She doesn’t have much time.”

Though her heart breaks to leave her husband and children behind, Rachel knows the right thing is to return home to care for her mother Janet. Their relationship has been strained for years. This may be the last chance for them both to heal.

Walking up to the front gate of her childhood home, Rachel is overwhelmed with memories: of hazy summers playing with her sister, of laughter ringing through the house, of the accident which cost their father his life. After that day, Rachel’s relationship with her mother changed forever.

Rachel has never forgiven herself for what happened and it is clear Janet hasn’t either. Determined to make amends, Rachel begins to get her mother’s house in order. But hidden in the cellar, Rachel unearths a devastating secret. A faded photograph and a tarnished necklace are the only clues to unravelling a secret that should have remained hidden.

Can Rachel unravel the mystery when it has the power to destroy her family? And when she finally discovers the truth, will it destroy everything she has ever known? (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

When I first started reading Leah Mercer's novels, they were heartbreaking family dramas. She has since moved seamlessly over to writing mystery thrillers, as indicated from her three most recent novels, the latest one being A Secret in the Family.

This gripping and compelling story was a quick read and hard to put down. It was well orchestrated the entire time. I liked the dual narrative and timeline, as they worked well for this novel. I could guess at some elements of the mystery, but other parts were definitely a surprise to me. I was in suspense, wondering what really happened. It was easy to visualize people and places throughout the story, thanks to Leah's strong use of detail. I felt bad for Rachel and Sam in different ways, given what their circumstances were.

My only little issue was that Rachel seemed too sappy a lot of the time, especially in regards to her mother and sister. I got annoyed with her always pandering to her mother due to her guilt over her father's death when her mother didn't really do much to make Rachel feel valued to begin with. 

Overall, another enjoyable novel by Leah Mercer. I look forward to many more!

Movie casting suggestions:
Rachel: Charlie Murphy
Mo: Rahul Kohli
Rachel's mother: Lesley Manville
Lucas: Freddie Stroma
Sam: Georgie Henley
Will: Jonathan Bailey
Sean: Leo Suter
Jean: Julie Walters
Alex: Tom Hughes
Victoria: Sophie Rundle

Thanks to Leah Mercer for the book in exchange for an honest review. She has TWO copies to give away!

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

Giveaway ends September 18th at midnight EST.

More by Leah Mercer:

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Carla S. said...

I've only read The Man I Thought You Were so far, but I am looking forward to A Secret In The Family.

Rita Wray said...

I haven't read any yet. I would love to read A Secret in the Family.

traveler said...

I will definitely be reading A Secret in the Family which sounds captivating and intriguing.

Burma Turner said...

This is a new author to me. This book sounds great!

diannekc said...

Leah is a new author to me. I would like to read "The Puzzle Of You".

Tatum Rangel said...

I haven't read her work, but I would like to read, "Why She Left."

Emily Catan said...

Honestly, I haven't read any of Leah's books, but I'll definitely look up her books, and I am truly mesmerized by A Secret In The Family, and I would start with this book. Thank you for the opportunity to know Leah Mercer and her books.

Lindsey said...

I have not had the pleasure of reading a Leah Mercer novel yet. Based on the review, I would like to read A Secret in the Family first.

Jeanna said...

I haven't read anything by Leah yet, but would start with Ten Little Words.

Anita Yancey said...

I haven't read any of her books yet, but I would like to read Why She Left first.

Mary C said...

I haven't read anything by Leah yet. I would like to read "The Puzzle Of You".

bn100 said...

haven't read any; A Secret in the Family

Xia Lee said...

Ten Little Words

Lelandlee said...

The Puzzle of You

Cherisse said...

I have not read any of the author’s books yet.

Nancy P said...

This one sounds very intriguing!

Donna S. said...

This is a new author for me. I love the review and look forward to reading this novel.