Book Reviews, Books 💜

The Secret by Debbie Howells

What was your fav book of 2021?

I have a loot! Okay, maybe not a lot but I do have quite some lovely books that I adore. I’ll make a Top 10 books of 2021 post pretty soon.


Title: The Secret

Author: Debbie Howells

Genre: Thriller, Psychological Thriller

Published: January 6th, 2022

Pages: 400

BLURB

Two can keep a secret – if one of them is dead.

The next gripping thriller from the author of #1 ebook bestseller The Vow – pre-order now.

‘Everyone has secrets. And now, one of mine is yours…’

As the only two teenagers in a small village, Hollie and Niamh tell each other everything. Behind Abingworth’s closed doors, every family has its secrets – and theirs might hide the worst ones of all.

One day Hollie tells Niamh about a devastating discovery, swears her to secrecy … then vanishes. All the villagers claim to know nothing. Until Hollie’s body is found, and the police know one of their number isn’t just a liar, but a killer…

What did Hollie tell Niamh before she died? And who would kill to keep the secret?

A completely unputdownable suspense which will leave you reeling at the final twist…

I love! this book. It’s my first time reading a book by Debbie and tbh I was flabbergasted.
It tells the story of Hollie and Niamh, two best friends living in a village. They’re actually the only teens there so they pretty much go everywhere together. One day, Hollie confides in her friend and tells her an awful secret. One that Niamh promises to keep. Soon, Hollie goes missing and the whole village is in uproar as investigations begin.

The story is told in both Niamh and her mother, Elise’s perspective. There are a lot of trigger warnings here. Mental health is at the core of the themes as Niamh looks on at how her mother diminishes day by day, subject to her father’s abuse on both of them. Elise becoming a shadow of herself, as her husband continues to reign his dominance on her and her daughter is heart-wrenching. Being a victim of abuse myself, I couldn’t hold back my tears. Niamh knows a lot more than everyone thinks she does. She has learnt to keep quiet and watch. The repercussion of which is deadly.

I love how Detective Jo comes on the scene. Being a victim of an abusive husband, she knows all too well the signs when she see one. Hence, her trying to persuade Elise to take matters into her hands before it’s too late. But nothing is easy. Especially in situations like this, in which the victims have been manipulated psychologically. They feel fear and they can’t leave.


I absolutely love the way the facts played out. Getting to discover the secret that the town was holding was absolutely shocking. I couldn’t believe it! It was so sad that poor Hollie ended up the way she did.

This is one of my best reads of 2021. Totally adore it. Thank you very much to Netgalley, the Publisher and Debbie Howells for the arc copy of the book.


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