Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Book & Audio Review: Every Secret Thing by Susanna Kearsley

Every Secret Thing

Susanna Kearsley
Narrator: Katherine Kellgren
Series: Christopher Redmayne (Book 1)
Publication: Allison & Busby (October 20, 2011); Audible Studios (January 10, 2017)
Length: 324 p.; 13 hours and 42 minutes

Description: ‘No one lives for ever. But the truth survives us all’

Kate Murray is deeply troubled. In front of her lies a dead man, a stranger who only minutes before had approached her wanting to tell her about a mystery, a long-forgotten murder. The crime was old, he’d told her, but still deserving of justice.

Soon Kate is caught up in a dangerous whirlwind of events that takes her back into her grandmother’s mysterious war-time past and across the Atlantic as she tries to retrace the dead man’s footsteps. Finding out the truth is not so simple, however, as only a few people are still alive who know the story…and Kate soon realises that her questions are putting their lives in danger. Stalked by an unknown and sinister enemy, she must use her tough journalistic instinct to find the answers from the past – before she has to say goodbye to her future.

My Thoughts: This was an amazing story that shifts seamlessly from the present to the past and back again. Kate Murray is a Canadian journalist in London to cover a trial when she is approached by an elderly gentleman who wants to tell her a story about a murder that was never solved. Preoccupied with her laptop, she doesn't pay much attention to the stranger. She does agree to meet him the next day to hear his story. Then he takes his leave, remarking that she has her grandmother's eyes. Moments later, Kate watches as the man dies in a hit and run accident that happens right in front of her.

Feeling guilty, Kate decides to attend Andrew Deacon's funeral where she meets his nephew who seems to believe that Andrew and Kate had met and Andrew had told her his story. He mentions a report that Andrew wrote and sent to Whitehall and to Lisbon. He thinks that Kate had read it and was going to write a book or an article to make things right.

When the nephew is killed in what looks like a home invasion and Andrew's house is ransacked, Kate becomes intrigued about the mystery that he wanted to share with her. But she's on her way back to Toronto and doesn't know what to do next. When she tells her grandmother about Andrew Deacon's death, she finally learns secrets she had never known about her grandmother's past during World War II when she worked for British Intelligence in New York and Washington. Then, while they are talking, shots are fired into her grandmother's kitchen killing her and sending Kate on the run.

This action-packed story switches seamlessly from the present to World War II as we learn what happened in New York and Lisbon those many years ago and whose murder needs to be solved. And who still, sixty years later, wants to keep all the secrets well-buried and is willing to leave a trail of bodies behind.

I loved this story. I loved that it was often told from Kate's viewpoint in the first person which I found very engaging. I mostly listened to the audiobook and enjoyed it though I did think the narrator got a little too excited at a few very dramatic parts of the story. The story really engaged my emotions and I found myself near tears many times as I was reading it. 

Favorite Quote:
With his hands in his pockets, he studied the frames on the wall. "I always think they're rather sad things, photographs, when someone dies. One is left with the pictures, but none of the stories."
I bought this one in Kindle and audiobook editions. You can buy your copy here.

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