Title: The Secrets She Keeps
Author: Michael Robotham
In the bestselling tradition of The Girl on the Train and In a Dark, Dark Wood, from the internationally bestselling author whom Stephen King called “an absolute master” of the psychological thriller, comes a riveting suspense novel about the unlikely friendship between two pregnant women that asks: how far would you go to create the perfect family?
Agatha is pregnant and works part-time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, counting down the days until her baby is due. As the hours of her shifts creep by in increasing discomfort, the one thing she looks forward to at work is catching a glimpse of Meghan, the effortlessly chic customer whose elegant lifestyle dazzles her. Meghan has it all: two perfect children, a handsome husband, a happy marriage, a stylish group of friends, and she writes perfectly droll confessional posts on her popular parenting blog—posts that Agatha reads with devotion each night as she waits for her absent boyfriend, the father of her baby, to maybe return her calls.
When Agatha learns that Meghan is pregnant again, and that their due dates fall within the same month, she finally musters up the courage to speak to her, thrilled that they now have the ordeal of childbearing in common. Little does Meghan know that the mundane exchange she has with a grocery store employee during a hurried afternoon shopping trip is about to change the course of her not-so-perfect life forever…
With its brilliant rendering of a shocking kidnapping plot and the secrets some women hold close, Expecting delivers a dark and twisted page-turner that is absolutely impossible to put down.
Having not read any of Michael Robotham’s novels before, I wasn’t sure what to expect – but I absolutely LOVED The Secrets She Keeps! What a roller-coaster of a read with The characters are fantastic; I loved both Meghan and Agatha in their own ways, and felt real empathy for some of the characters despite them doing things I may not agree with – it’s a testament to Michael Robotham’s writing that he can make characters do strange things we may not understand, but we can see perhaps why they might be driven to do what they do.
The novel addresses that feeling of wanting something that someone else has, and how it begins to take over everything. The story slowly reveals more and more to the reader and, without giving too much away, I think that the writing is excellent, the plot is well crafted and there are some brilliant developments which kept me completely hooked. There didn’t feel like there was a need for any huge twists in the plot; the story was brilliant and absorbing enough without needing the ‘shock tactics’ at the end of the novel.
The Secrets She Keeps really grabs you by the throat and keeps you captive in Meghan and Agatha’s world until you can bear to stop reading – and for me it was a case of reading it in two (very long) sittings, which would have been one sitting if it weren’t for work getting in the way! I’d highly recommend this novel; it’s everything a psychological thriller/ suspense should be and more!
Many thanks to the publisher, Scribner, and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.