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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Southern Gothic Psychological Thriller Immersive and Engrossing

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

The electricity crackling between them is the first thing Daphne Amos notices when she meets gorgeous real estate developer Heath Beck.  She can tell right off the bat that he's experienced the same kind of darkness she has.  When they get together, they decide to start anew—they'll leave their pasts in the past, hiding them even from each other, and focus instead on creating a bright new future for themselves.  That dream is interrupted when Heath starts experiencing debilitating nightmares.  Daphne wants to marry Heath, but this new development is decidedly unsettling, so when he suggests they attend a week-long couples retreat to get some help, she reluctantly agrees.  

Daphne's immediately unnerved by both the retreat's remote Blue Ridge Mountain setting, as well as its rules—no leaving the grounds, no cell phone use, no socializing with the other guests, video monitoring during daytime hours, and no roaming about at night.  The longer the retreat goes on, the more worried Daphne becomes.  Something is not right here and she plans to get to the bottom of it.  What she discovers are shocking secrets that someone will kill to keep under wraps ...

Tense, puzzling psychological thrillers are my guilty pleasure and Every Single Secret by Emily Carpenter certainly qualifies.  With its shivery Gothic vibe, a cast of complex characters, and a plot that keeps the reader guessing throughout, it's an engrossing, stay-up-until-3-a.m.-to-finish-it kind of book.  Like most of these kinds of novels, Every Single Secret is dark, depressing, and twisted.  Still, it makes for an immersive, consuming read—I basically read it in one sitting.  I had never heard of Emily Carpenter before picking up this book, but I've now read every one of her books and am eagerly anticipating her newest, Until the Day I Die, which comes out in March 2019.  That says a lot about how much I enjoy this author's books, disconcerting though they may be.   

(Readalikes:  other books by Emily Carpenter [Burying the Honeysuckle Girls; The Weight of Lies) and those by Ruth Ware, Sharon Bolton, and Carol Goodman)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for strong language, violence, blood/gore, sexual content, depictions of illegal drug use, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I bought an e-copy of Every Single Secret from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

1 comment:

  1. How fun to find a book that you like so much and that the author has multiple books that you can read!


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