One Little Secret by Cate Holahan

source: free ARC via AmazonPrime
title: One Little Secret by Cate Holahan
author: Cate Holahan / Twitter
genre: crime thriller
published: July 9, 2019
pages: 313
first line: Drowning can happen in two inches of water. 
rated: 4 out of 5

Everyone has a secret. For some, it’s worth dying to protect. For others, it’s worth killing.

The glass beach house was supposed to be the getaway that Susan needed. Eager to help her transplanted family set down roots in their new town – and desperate for some kid-free conversation – she invites her new neighbors to join in on a week-long sublet with her and her workaholic husband.

Over the course of the first evening, liquor loosens inhibitions and lips. The three couples begin picking up on the others’ marital tensions and work frustrations, as well as revealing their own. But someone says too much. And the next morning one of the women is discovered dead on the private beach.

Town detective Gabby Watkins must figure out who permanently silenced the deceased. As she investigates, she learns that everyone in the glass house was hiding something that could tie them to the murder, and that the biggest secrets of all are often in plain sight for anyone willing to look.

A taut, locked room mystery with an unforgettable cast of characters, One Little Secret promises to keep readers eyes glued to the pages and debating the blinders that we all put on in the service of politeness.

my thoughts:
Funny enough One Little Secret started out a little rough for me and I almost DNF’d it but I am really glad I kept reading because it turned into a gripping read that I could not wait to get back to.

Investigator Gabby Watkins is working on two cases; a possible rape and a murder case. An 18 year old au pair wakes up in a strange man’s bed after having been drugged the night before at a house party. A group of parents are vacationing in the Hamptons while their kids are off at summer camp when one of the moms is found dead on the beach one morning.

As the story flows, the plot twists and turns and all kinds of shocking secrets are revealed until the very last page. This one almost reminded me of Big Little Lies with the wealthy families and the posh moms and all the secrets they are hiding.

The reason I almost DNF’d at the start was that there was alot of going back and forth in the story-line as all the characters introduced. The lack of a linear timeline pulled me out of the story at first and I found it hard to keep track of the different characters. I’d say around page 60 or so is when the book started to really draw me in and I realized how good this was going to be. That is when I started to go back a couple of chapters and re-read a few sections to see who the couples were etc.

I liked that the lead investigator is a working mom and that’s she’s tough and making it in a male dominated work environment. The couples also intrigued me and I wondered who did it because they all seemed to have motive. Plenty happens early on and people and events are laid out, then the characters get more in-depth as the book goes on. Towards the latter half of the book I became really captivated as secrets are revealed layer by layer. There is alot going on behind closed doors.  I will give a trigger warning here because there is domestic violence in the story-line.

“The house was one of the handful of properties grandfathered into occupying the dunes themselves. Only people with a ton of money could afford those dunes. A murdered woman in the Hamptons was already newsworthy. A murdered, wealthy, blond woman would be a front page story.” p.57, One Little Secret by Cate Holahan

As the plot twists kept coming and bombs kept dropping I could not turn the pages fast enough. The diverse cast of characters, the well drawn out mystery and the great descriptive writing ended up making  One Little Secret  a fantastic crime thriller.  I recommend it.

“Underwater lights turned the pool ominous. The supernatural glow spilled out onto the lawn, imbuing the whole scene with an otherworldliness befitting a sci-fi horror flick.” p. 193, One Little Secret

Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. My free copy of One Little Secret by Cate Holahan arrived courtesy of AmazonVine. Some of these links are affiliate links.

14 thoughts on “One Little Secret by Cate Holahan

  1. It is kind of a fulfilling thing to be not sure of a book that eventually gets better. I have had the experience a few times. With that, some writers can get confusing with the use non – linear timelines and other similar devices.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Naida, it sounds like you really became absorbed by this book, after a while. I’ve had that happen to me as well, where it took several chapters to “get” what was going on. Excellent, enthusiastic review! I hope your weekend has been a good one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sometimes a slow beginning work and sometimes it don’t. I think it all has to depend on the kind of books we read. A thriller definitely needs a faster pace but then again it also relies on the execution. Ok, I’m rambling, lol. Anyway, I’m glad this book turned out to be a good read to you, Naida.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Naida,

    I can’t think I have ever given up on a book, no matter how bad it got – but that’s just me being stubborn!

    I would much rather have a prologue and epilogue in a book, than have the story jump back and forth through time, unless the chapters are short and well organised.

    This is a new to me author and the Goodreads ratings and reviews are a little mixed, however it is definitely going on to my TBR list as one I want to read.

    A nice review and some great shared quotes from the book!

    Thanks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can see how this could be a bit chaotic at first with all the characters they have to focus on but glad to hear it ended up being a winner. I do have a copy of this and am looking forward to it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m one of those readers that always keeps going hoping a not so good book will improve. Quite often I’m pleasantly surprised.


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