Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Lake Union
Publication Date: 1st May 2020
Review Date: 3rd March 2020
A daughter pushing the limits. A marriage ready to crack. A secret that can break them.
For Emily Rossi, life may not be perfect, but it’s pretty close. She has a great career, a house in the country, a solid marriage to Eric and two wonderful children—tennis superstar Daniel and quiet, sensitive Zara. But when her fourteen-year-old daughter brings home a toxic new best friend, Emily’s seemingly perfect family starts to spiral out of control.
Suddenly Zara is staying out late, taking drugs and keeping bad company. And just when Emily needs Eric to be an involved father, he seems too wrapped up with his job in London to care. What’s more, he’s started drinking again.
When a dark secret from the past emerges, Emily’s life is turned upside down. Struggling to protect the people she loves, can she save her damaged family? Doing so may mean keeping a secret of her own…
OMG just WOW. As a book blogger I get to read some pretty amazing books but now and again I come across one that absolutely blows everything out of the water – and Little White Secrets is one of them!
Right from her first novel, Carol Mason has delivered an evocative and almost poetic style of prose, and over the years I have seen this grow into something that is quite remarkable. Her last book The Shadow Between Us saw a slight shift away from her usual genre of Women’s Contemporary Fiction, with the plot bordering Psychological Suspense. This was one of my favourite reads for 2019 and how the author has now managed to push the boundaries of her already exceptional voice yet again is quite beyond me. But she has, and Little White Secrets delivers a domestic noir style narrative at its absolute finest.
In true Carol Mason style, the protagonist, Emily, is a strong female character who is both easily identifiable and likeable. At the beginning of the novel it seems as though Emily has a pretty much perfect life: a happy marriage, nice home, two happy and successful children. However; as the story progresses small seeds of doubt are cast as to just how perfect this family is – first with Zara, her introverted daughter who lives in the shadows of her successful brother; and then Eric, Emily’s husband, who not only works away but sometimes chooses to stay away at weekends. The story begins with Emily and her family being interviewed for a newspaper, as her son, Daniel, is a teenage local tennis celebrity. This event leads to the story’s intriguing hook that had me whizzing through so fast, at one point it felt like I was watching the scene playout in front of me with the remote control stuck on fast forward! How was this person involved in Emily’s life – I just had to find out.
The novel is structured around both a dual perspective and timeline. The present day is from Emily’s perspective, and the past timeline is from Eric’s perspective. This complex structure not only draws the reader into the lives of both characters it also adds a layer of dramatic irony as we start to understand how what happened to Eric in the past is affecting the problems his family are facing in the present; and all the while Emily is left in the dark and you're just itching for her to find out. When reading Emily’s present-day perspective you start to think Eric is a bit of a dick, especially when the reader is privy to flashback scenes. But when drawn into Eric’s past timeline you really empathise with him – but just how much can you trust him?
But this twisted and heart-wrenching plot is only part of what makes this such a brilliant read, and as the sub-plots merge, Emily’s true strength of character is revealed, making for one extremely satisfying read. I really can’t recommend this fabulous novel enough, and I am absolutely certain that as brilliant as Carol Mason’s previous books are, this is the one that will bring her reputation as the outstanding and exceptional writer that she is, well and truly under the spotlight.
I would recommend this book for anybody who likes any of the iconic Queens of Domestic Noir such as Louise Jensen, Lisa Jewell, Jane Shemilt, Jane Corry …
About the Author
Carol Mason is the Amazon Charts and Kindle #1 bestselling author of women's commercial fiction. Her novels have been translated into more than 15 languages and are available all over the world. Originally from Northern England, Carol married a Canadian and has lived in Canada most of her adult life. When not writing, she likes to cook, travel to big cities or the ocean, walk her rescue dog, Henry, amuse her three-legged cat, Tria, watch boundless Netflix, and read inspiring fiction. Oh, and you will most likely find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where she tends to spend a little too much time, so do please follow her there, if you wish to tag along!
Thank you to the author for an Advance Review Copy of this book.
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