It’s him. Tom. The boy whose mother I helped put in prison for life.
I recognise the sharp nose and flare to the nostrils. His thick eyebrows and defined cheekbones. But mostly it’s the eyes. Sea green. But my daughter, Joni, keeps calling him Michael. And they’re here at the lake house telling us they’re getting married.
It can’t be him. But even if it is, what can I say? Suddenly I’m thrust back fifteen years, looking through photos of a violent and bloody crime scene. I can’t be sure.
We haven’t been the perfect family. Joni went through a rebellious phase. Her dad had an affair. But we got through it together. I will do anything to protect us, to protect the life we’ve fought for. Anything…
This is a book full of secrets, suspense and unexpected twists from one of my favourite authors. It’s so good you’ll gasp out loud at some of the goings on.
It may be called Her Perfect Secret but they are far from the perfect family. Is Emily an unreliable narrator? I wasn’t sure. She certainly knows more than she’s letting on. And what about husband Paul, who had an affair, although she insists they’ve worked their way through it – together.
Then we have Tom, “I recognise the sharp nose and flare to the nostrils. His thick eyebrows and defined cheekbones. But mostly it’s the eyes. Sea green,” but daughter Joni keeps calling him Michael and tells mum and dad that they are engaged to be married. So is Michael really Tom, the damaged boy who Emily treated 15 years ago after the violent murder of his father by his own mother. And if he is, then how did he meet Joni? Was it a coincidence? There are no coincidences in good thrillers -and this is far too sophisticated a thriller to resort to that old trick. So did Michael/Tom plan it and could his mother be behind it? I had no idea, but in a good way.
And if he is Tom then is Emily safe with him in the remote lake house knowing what she knows and is Joni safe with him? But is he the real danger? I was exhausted trying to work it all out! What a rollercoaster!
Many thanks to the author for allowing me to be the ‘first brave’ reader (his own words) and giving my honest opinion along the way. My review is totally unbiased. 4.5 stars.
About the Author
T.J. Brearton’s books have reached half a million readers around the world and have topped the Amazon charts in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. A graduate of the New York Film Academy in Manhattan, Brearton first worked in film before focusing on novels. His books are visually descriptive with sharp dialogue and underdog heroes. When not writing, Brearton does whatever his wife and three children tell him to do. They live happily in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. Yes, there are bears in the Adirondacks. But it’s really quite beautiful when you’re not running for your life.