the secrets between us is my third book in ‘The Transworld Book Group Reading Challenge’
When Sarah and Alex meet in a hotel on the south coast of Sicily, Sarah is feeling numb from the trauma that has rocked the foundations of her world. There is a mystery surrounding Alex’s wife who has gone away. Sarah feels drawn to Alex’s son Jamie, experiencing maternal feelings for him.
We get to find out about Sarah’s relationship with Laurie and the fact that she has never had a personality of her own – she has always been seen as Laurie’s shadow as he has made all the decisions and dominated the relationship.
Alex and Sarah meet again in Sicily on a tour where Alex suggests to Sarah she lives with him to look after Jamie ………….. so on their return, Sarah moves from Manchester to a village in Somerset where she is not accepted and shunned.
What follows is an amazing story full of suspense, intrigue and nail-biting moments as the story of Alex and Sarah’s love unfolds amidst the mystery surrounding Genevieve’s disappearance.
Sarah and Alex’s love is innocent and accepting. The secrets are exposed layer upon layer, which only serves to bring more darkness and uncertainty. Their passion and its undercurrents are powerful to be drawn into. By creating a journey shared, the power of the past to wound and scar is blunted and compartmentalised.
The setting is exactly what you would expect to create the mood. We have the remotely located house, the old and big empty barn, the family and villagers not accepting an outsider and when the story peaks, the wintery landscape.
Louise Douglas’s writing of the scenes is descriptive (but not flowery). You get to feel the twigs snapping below your own feet as you walk and the wind howling through the cracks in the windows. She builds tension by using short sentences, which only spur you on to read faster to find out where your imagination is being taken. The psychological/mind game scenes had the hairs on the back of neck bristling and I had goosebumps! I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat totally focussed.
Everything is by inference (which I thoroughly enjoy). I loved using the hints and intrigue to try to guess ahead of time where they would lead, to draw my own conclusions. We don’t find out anything conclusive until near the end of the story. I did not guess until the words were in black and white in front of me.
Due to the strong emotions I experienced, I know the secrets between us will stay with me for a very long time.
I don’t think there will be any surprises when I say I am giving the secrets between us my highest rating. This one is definitely a book you should loathe to share for fear it won’t be returned – it’s a keeper to be re-read!