Ben Harper, true crime journalist, is about to unravel his most shocking story yet . . . his own. The day his older brother was murdered was the day Ben Harper’s life changed forever.

In one of the most shocking crimes in national history, Nick and his friend were stabbed to death by two girls their own age. Police called the killings random, a senseless tragedy.

Twenty years on Ben is one of the best true crime journalists in the country. He has left the past behind, thanks to the support of his close-knit hometown community.

But when he learns about a fresh murder case with links to his brother’s death, Ben’s life is turned upside down once more. He soon find himself caught in a web of lies, one that implicates everyone around him. And on his quest for answers, Ben discovers one very important truth:

Everyone has secrets.
But some secrets are deadlier than others. 

My Review

This was so good. If I hadn’t read it with the Pigeonhole book club in twelve staves I would have read the whole thing in one go. Stayed up all night if necessary. So many secrets, so many mysteries, so many red herrings – this book has it all.

Then we have the characters, all well developed – some nice like true crime journalist Ben Harper and his school friend Holly, some not so nice like Sarah’s ex-husband James or Ben’s boss Madeline Wilson, and some downright nasty like Holly’s father-in-law Francis Richardson. But does that make any of them killers? Or just the keeper of secrets?

The ‘action’ takes place mainly in the fictitious areas of London called Haddley and St Marnham and briefly in Farsley in Yorkshire and Deal in Kent. The main plot follows Ben, whose brother Nick and best friend Simon Woakes were murdered by two 14-year-old schoolgirls, Abigail Langdon and Josie Fairchild. It was a crime that shocked the nation. Some years later the girls were released and took on new identities. Then a murder occurs which may be linked to the original case.

Ben’s mother supposedly committed suicide by throwing herself in front of a train, but with everything else that has come to light, Ben is not convinced. Now Madeline wants him to write his own story, but Ben starts delving deeper, something which puts a lot of people on edge. What do they know and what are they keeping from him? And then there are those who are just pretending that everything is OK. As I commented to the book club while reading, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Or good women as we will see as we read the book. But who is protecting who? And why?

Everyone has secrets. But some secrets are deadlier than others.” Brilliant stuff!

Many thanks to The Pigeonhole, the author and my fellow Pigeons for making this such an enjoyable read.

About the Author

Originally from Harrogate in North Yorkshire, Robert Gold began his career as an intern at the American broadcaster CNN, based in Washington DC. He returned to Yorkshire to work for the retailer ASDA, becoming the chain’s nationwide book buyer. He now works in sales for a UK publishing company. Robert lives in Putney and his new hometown served as the inspiration for the fictional town of Haddley in Twelve Secrets. In 2016, he co-authored three titles in James Patterson’s Bookshots series.

1 Comment on “Twelve Secrets by Robert Gold

  1. Pingback: My Top 8 Books of 2022 – part one – Bookchatter@Cookiebiscuit

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