26 March 2023

Review: THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS, Michael Robotham

  • This edition an e-book on Kindle (Amazon)
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01N7SVPRI
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Sphere (July 11, 2017)
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 385 pages
  • my original review


Amazon summary
Everyone has an idea of what their perfect life is. For Agatha, it's Meghan Shaughnessy's.
These two women from vastly different backgrounds have one thing in common - a dangerous secret that could destroy everything they hold dear.
Both will risk everything to hide the truth, but their worlds are about to collide in a shocking act that cannot be undone.

Fantastic Fiction synopsis

Meghan doesn’t know Agatha, but Agatha knows Meghan. And the one thing Agatha looks forward to each day is catching a glimpse of her, the effortlessly chic customer at the grocery store where she works stocking shelves. Meghan has it all: two adorable children, a handsome and successful husband, a happy marriage, a beautiful house, and a popular parenting blog that Agatha reads with devotion each night as she waits for her absent boyfriend, the father of the baby growing inside her, to return her calls.

Yet if Agatha could look beyond the gloss and trappings of Meghan’s “perfect life,” she’d see the flaws and doubts. Meghan has her secrets too, especially one that she dare not ever tell. Soon the lives of these two women will collide in the most spellbinding and intimate of ways, until their secrets are exposed by one shocking act that cannot be undone. From internationally bestselling author Michael Robotham, The Secrets She Keeps is a dark, exquisite, and twisted page-turner so full of surprises, you’ll find it impossible to put down.

My Take

Followers of my blog will know that this is one of my favourite Australian authors and that I have read this novel before.

I am reviewing it a second time, because I am re-reading it with a U3A Crime Fiction group. For some of them this is the first time they have read a book by this author.

So here I want to come up with some pointers for our discussion. However I think it is also important that the readers of this blog don't come across any spoilers, although of course in our face to face discussion we will be working on the assumption that all participants have read the novel

Here are some of my pointers

  • the dual narrators: Agatha and Meghan. We are told who the narrator is at the beginning of every chapter, but did you eventually get to the stage where you knew who the narrator was? What helped you get to this point?
  • Why does Agatha see Meghan as a model for her own life? What do they have in common? Where do they differ?
  • How does Agatha stalk/watch Meghan and Jack? Why does she do this?
  • What do we learn about Agatha's life history?
  • What secrets do Agatha and Meghan have?
  • What actions has Agatha taken in her efforts to become a mother? 
  • How has Agatha become a killer?
  • This novel marks the first appearance of Cyrus Haven, a police profiler who will later appear in his own series
       1. Good Girl, Bad Girl (2019)
       2. When She Was Good (2020)
       3. Lying Beside You (2022)
  • The BBC TV series: In 2020 the novel became the basis of a 6 episode tv series that, apart from being set in Australia, stayed fairly close plot-wise to the original book. However a second 6 part series screening in 2022 goes well beyond the original book

My rating: 5.0

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