Saturday, July 13, 2019

One Little Secret by Cate Holahan

Cate Holahan's standalone is usually not my type of book. One Little Secret takes three couples to the Hamptons, where they drink too much, discover too much, and the results are not pretty. On the other hand, I liked the police detective, who was not afraid to admit she was wrong at times.

Detective Sergeant Gabby Watkins of the East Hampton Police Department is talking to an au pair from the Philippines about a party the night before when her phone goes off repeatedly. It's important for Gabby to interview Muriel right then, though. The young woman is just eighteen, and she might have had a drugged drink the night before. She may have been a victim of sexual assault at the party. But, a dead body tops a possible assault.

Three couples are sharing a house in the Hamptons while their kids are at summer camp. One is Louis, a doctor, and his wife, Jenny, a sports commentator. Ben and Rachel are lawyers. Nadal and Susan are new to their common neighborhood, and Susan is eager to meet people and find a support network. Nadal is the CEO of a tech startup, while Susan stays home to work with their twins, one of whom is autistic.

Too much wine leads to arguments, family secrets spilling into public spaces. And, one member of the group ends up drowned. It doesn't take long for the police to determine it was murder, but it will take time for Gabby and the department to sift through the lies and coverups to find the truth. Everyone is a suspect, and anyone might have a reason to kill the victim.

The story is told in alternating chapters, "The day of" the murder, and "The day after". Holahan manipulates the story and the reader so that any of the members of the house party could be the guilty party. It's hard to feel sympathy for any of those six entitled people. However, it's easy to empathize with Gabby Watkins, even with her missteps made in anger. She's the star of the book, and the true reason to read this latest domestic thriller.

Cate Holahan's website is

One Little Secret by Cate Holahan. Crooked Lane Books, 2019. ISBN 9781683319726 (hardcover), 320p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.


Gram said...

I looked, but this book of hers is not yet in the system so I probably will not think to put it on my someday list. Dark Turns sounded interesting, but it isn't one in the system either so I think I will give this author a pass.

Lesa said...

My sister has one of those someday lists at her library as well, Gram.

Kay said...

I've been a little weary of books like this, but I'm about to try another again to see if my 'weary' has eased. Ha! This would be a good choice.

Lesa said...

I usually don't even read them, Kay, and, if it hadn't been for the police detective, I probably wouldn't have cared one bit!