Good morning, lovelies!!! Or afternoon. Or night. Wherever you are, hello!
I am so excited to post my very first review of the year! And so happy that it is about a book that blew me away! I’m kinda spoiling the effect but… OMG I adored this novel!!!! Can you think of a best way to start your blogging year? Because I can’t!
I received a copy of Dirty Little Secrets from Quercus Books through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the team, and the author!
Title: Dirty Little Secrets
Author: Jo Spain
Publisher: Quercus Books
Date of publication: 7th February 2019
Rating: 5 ⭐️
Six neighbours, six secrets, six reasons to want Olive Collins dead.
In the exclusive gated community of Withered Vale, people’s lives appear as perfect as their beautifully manicured lawns. Money, success, privilege – the residents have it all. Life is good.
There’s just one problem.
Olive Collins’ dead body has been rotting inside number four for the last three months. Her neighbours say they’re shocked at the discovery but nobody thought to check on her when she vanished from sight.
The police start to ask questions and the seemingly flawless facade begins to crack. Because, when it comes to Olive’s neighbours, it seems each of them has something to hide, something to lose and everything to gain from her death.
The new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of The Confession, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty.
Six reasons why you should read Dirty Little Secrets!
- Neighbours! One of life’s biggest mystery! How does fate decide who is going to live next to us? When I was living in the countryside, horses and birds were my closest neighbours and I found them quite annoying with the smell and the chirping. Now I live in an apartment and I want to kill the kids upstairs. And the dogs’ owners who don’t care about leaving their furry loved’ mess everywhere. I barely know their names but I can spot their car when they try to steal my parking space. Sartre said something about others being hell? I agree. But, hey, neighbours are also a gigantic source of wonder. I love them almost as much as the husband-is-the-suspect trope. I would love to be a fly to know what happens after we say hello and they close the door. Dirty Little Secrets feed my addiction to neighbour-voyeurism! It turned me into the mouse hiding in the cupboard to spy on you!!!
- Curiosity killed the cat. In this case, Jo Spain killed the cat!! But in such a way that the cat stays one of the strongest voices in the novel. Indeed, Olive, poor Olive (do you have a neighbour called Olive???) gets full chapters revealing her thoughts on the people living around her house. Words from the grave, isn’t this cool? And chilling. Just what I love. I think those were the chapters I was addicted to. You get to step into a dead woman’s shoes and compare her take on things to what others say, or don’t say…
- Jo Spain is my psychological thriller hero. Her writing is always powerful, spot-on, and creative. This time again, she managed to build a world behind the gates of a small neighbourhood and to give everyone a voice — unique, flawed, surprising, absolutely amazing. The ones living closest to Olive couldn’t have been farther from her. I revelled in the back and forth of the police team in charge of making sense of what happened in house number 4. It takes more than characterisation to create such a web of life and lies. Dirty Little Secrets is a breath-taking masterpiece of the observation of human behaviour. I couldn’t get enough of the talks, the words unsaid, the actions with no sense, the secrets. I am seriously addicted. If some books give you a good time, this novel is the party of the year!
- The police. Yeah, I’m always on their side. And this time, it was easy! Frank and Emma are an unusual team. With everything going on at Withered Vale, you’d think there wouldn’t be room to build their relationship or get to know them. But the author is so good she uses their new case to give enough information to fall, or not, for those people trying to discover the truth. It took me a few chapters to warm to Emma, Frank made me laugh with his remarks and his gruff side. Their personal lives invade the case, as you’d expect it. We are human beings, no matter what we do for a living, and our experiences affect how we respond to a situation. There is a perfect combination of Police VS Neighbourhood that it just made me so engrossed in all storylines.
- Three months. It took three months for Olive’s body to be discovered. And it takes a few days for the police to unravel lives, unearth secrets, and have masks drop. Dirty Little Secrets is nothing like what I’ve read before. Far from being a simple case of who’s done what, the author takes advantage of the plot to bring the worst and the best of her characters and make them grow. It is hard to explain, but the ending? Not what I expected. MUCH BETTER THAN WHAT I WAS HOPING FOR. And it says a lot because I knew I was in for a marvellously weaved plot who would have the most wonderful finish.
I’m going to try and be a little more specific. Those novels have a tendency to end badly. This one did for Olive, of course, but… But those neighbours? Their lives have changed too. Jo Spain explores changes, judgements, impressions, and the sense of community, or lack of. There is a life lesson in Dirty Little Secrets. A strong and amazing one, brought to us in an unexpected way. That’s what makes the difference between an okay read and a perfect read.
- What, you need a sixth reason? Guys, Jo Spain! Neighbours! A dead body! Just get the book!!!
Dirty Little Secret blew me away with its astounding plot and superb characterisation. I already know this novel will be high on my list of favourite books of 2019. A must-read!
Mark the date and pre-order, guys! Amazon
Jo Spain’s first novel, top ten bestseller With our Blessing, was one of seven finalists in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition. It was named as an Irish Times crime fiction book of the year by Declan Burke. Beneath the Surface (2016) and Sleeping Beauties (2017), the second and third in the DI Tom Reynolds series followed, to further critical acclaim. Her standalone thriller, The Confession, released in January 2018, became a number one bestseller and sold in multiple territories. Jo is releasing the fourth Tom Reynolds, The Darkest Place, in 2018 and a new standalone Dirty Little Secrets in 2019.
Jo also writes for TV and is the co-writer of new series Taken Down.