24 June 2022

Review: TWELVE SECRETS, Robert Gold

Synopsis (publisher)


Ben Harper's life changed for ever the day his older brother Nick was murdered by two classmates. It was a crime that shocked the nation and catapulted Ben's family and their idyllic hometown, Haddley, into the spotlight.

Twenty years on, Ben is one of the best investigative journalists in the country and settled back in Haddley, thanks to the support of its close-knit community. But then a fresh murder case shines new light on his brother's death and throws suspicion on those closest to him.

Ben is about to discover that in Haddley no one is as they seem. Everyone has something to hide.

And someone will do anything to keep the truth buried . . . 

My Take

Ten years ago Ben's mother died and now his chief editor wants to use the anniversary with an article that rakes over the details of of the murder of his brother and a friend just ten years before that. Madeleine wants Ben to write the story. She thinks the story will attract new readers to their paper but Ben says he does not want to re-live the past. He believes that nobody gains anything by looking back.

But then he changes his mind. A young woman is murdered, the same way his brother was murdered. An accidental coincidence or is it the murderer himself? Ben decides that his mother would want him to investigate, to follow the threads, to find out what is really happening.

The main narrator of the book is Ben, but we often hear the voices of others, and we gradually learn what happened twenty years ago, through a multi-layered, multi-stranded tale. The plot is clever, devious, and it is not until the last few pages that all is revealed.

My rating: 4.8

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 now 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.

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