The Secrets She Keeps, Michael Robotham
The thing with a Michael Robotham thriller is that even when he's working in territory that's been extensively explored, there's always something extra about his interpretations. So it is with THE SECRET SHE KEEPS, where again there's complexity and nuance in the portrayal of both "good" and "bad".
The narrative in THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS switches between two main female characters. Both are eight weeks pregnant, both have secrets they are keeping to themselves, yet they are very different people. Agatha is struggling on her own, poor and clearly underprivileged she's working in a local supermarket, doing it tough, envious of Meghan's seemingly perfect life. Meghan's the one with the nice house, two children, the successful husband. Agatha's watching Meghan, very closely, envy quickly slipping into something more creepy, worrying, especially as Meghan's utterly unaware of the interest, battling with her own life, that might seem perfect to Agatha, but is riven with problems of its own.
Robotham choreograph's an elaborate dance between these two characters, delicately revealing more and more details about their lives, intertwining them together closer and closer - building the tension gently, slowly, languidly in the beginning, until suddenly the reader will find themselves a page turning witness to a slow moving car crash that is all the more disturbing because of the carefully crafted inevitability of many of the plot lines.
It's a mark of Robotham's skill that he's inserted THE SECRET SHE KEEPS into a crowded domestic noir scene, littered with unreliable narrators, dysfunctional families and tension because of poor judgements, and created an extremely readable, quite chilling, page turning entrant.
Everyone has an idea of what their perfect life is. For Agatha, it's Meghan Shaughnessy's.
These two women from vastly different backgrounds have one thing in common - a dangerous secret that could destroy everything they hold dear.
Both will risk everything to hide the truth, but their worlds are about to collide in a shocking act that cannot be undone.