Book Review: Our Little Secret by Roz Nay

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Why This Book 
I was either approached by the publisher or received the book, Our Little Secret written by Roz Nay in 2018, through NetGalley. I liked the premise of the story and saw it was getting positive reviews, so I took it on. It was published this week, which meant I needed to read and review it to share my feedback with others. I would give the book 3.5 stars and encourage fans of thrillers and questionable narrators to give it a chance.
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Approach & Style 
I read the Kindle Reader version on my iPad in about 3 hours over a few days. It has ~30 chapters split across ~225 pages or ~3k lines. It is told in 1st person POV with the perspective on Angela or LJ or Little John (she has many names) where she conveys what she knows about the disappearance of an Australian woman named Saskia.

Plot, Characters & Setting 
The book takes place in a small New England American town over a 24-hour period where the main character, Angela tells a story to Detective Novak after being brought in for questioning. We have no idea who Saskia, the missing woman, is or what her connection is to Angela. It’s obvious Angela has either got information she’s hiding (protecting someone?) or has killed Saskia. Novak wants answers and holds her without arrest for maximum time.

We learn of Angela’s relationship as teenager with HP whom she fell in love with. She traces the last decade of how they dated, fell apart, how she dated Freddy, etc. Then we learn how Saskia fits in. We see what happened between everyone. And in the end, we discover what likely happened to Saskia. Add in Angela’s parents, a few other friends, and a couple of trips to Australia and Europe, the plot thickens. The book ends with readers knowing how it happened, but the cop is still uncertain, yet he makes an arrest.

Key Thoughts 
There are many parts of this book which I enjoyed reading. The story draws you in. The plot builds in all the right places creating suspenseful moments where as a reader you think you’ve got the answers. Then it changes and you’re back to the drawing board. Nay’s writing style is very strong and clean. It makes you feel part of the action and tension. You want to keep turning the pages to know what’s going on.

At the same time, I struggled a little with character attraction. Each character had a voice, personality, and physical descriptions, but I couldn’t quite find myself supporting Angela or even HP. I liked their romance, wanted them to get together… as kids, they were adorable. As a witness, Angela was evasive in a very good way in the beginning. As the story unfolded, I felt a little less connected to her and couldn’t quite get behind the decisions being made.

When the book ends, you’re left with a few “hmmm… not sure I understand that” moments and sorta think “eh, okay, well, I guess it was obvious in the beginning.” I think with a little more suspense and depth to have a bigger climax scene, this would have been a solid 4 star read. But it was missing a little something for me that either made it stand out because of who the main character was and the secrets being kept, or to give us that jaw-dropping moment. All-in-all, it was a good read and has lots of promise for the author to build an audience.

Summary 
This is Nay’s debut, and her writing skills are strong. Her plot development is also impressive. I would chance another novel, but I’d like to see some stronger character development as noted above. Thank you to NetGalley, Roz Nay, Minotaur Books, and St. Martin’s Press for getting me an early copy (ARC) to review.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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15 thoughts on “Book Review: Our Little Secret by Roz Nay

    Book Club Mom said:
    April 21, 2018 at 9:43 AM

    It’s hard to balance a good story with developed characters, so with a debut I can understand how there would be weaknesses. Nice, fair review!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 21, 2018 at 9:43 AM

      Thank you. I was trying to find the best way of saying ‘okay book, a bit bleh in some parts, but I can see the promise of something in the future’

      Liked by 1 person

    Cozynookbks said:
    April 21, 2018 at 10:07 AM

    Excellent, thorough review, Jay. I was waiting to get your perspective on it. We may differ in our overall rating, it was a 5-star read for me. In fact, I can’t stop thinking about it. But I definitely respect your thoughts on it. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 21, 2018 at 10:13 AM

      I’m so glad you loved it! I think something in that ending was off for me. I don’t want to say too much here as it would reveal spoilers. I was waiting for something really mega shocking. Angela was on the cusp of really shining but then I was like… did I understand what really just happened? Lol

      Liked by 1 person

        Cozynookbks said:
        April 21, 2018 at 10:18 AM

        I actually felt exactly the same way until I figured it all out, and then I was like “oh, how clever!” I thought the characterisation was marvelous. And since I know someone who is like the main character it came off incredibly realistic to me. 😬

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        April 21, 2018 at 10:21 AM

        I wonder if I missed a piece somehow. I will message you separately when I get home later!

        Liked by 1 person

    thebookwormdrinketh said:
    April 21, 2018 at 10:26 AM

    So, is this another book with an unreliable narrator?? Becauee I am SO TIRED of those!! Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 21, 2018 at 10:27 AM

      Yes! It’s done in a way tho where you know not to trust her. You just don’t know any details. So it’s different at the same time.

      Liked by 1 person

        thebookwormdrinketh said:
        April 21, 2018 at 10:39 AM

        Ok. I can probably deal with that. I’m just tired of the whiny drunks… Says the whiny drunk!! 😂😂😂😉

        Liked by 1 person

    BrizzleLass said:
    April 21, 2018 at 2:59 PM

    Smashing review! I almost want to read it and it’s way out of my comfort zone!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 21, 2018 at 5:44 PM

      Thanks! It’s definitely got a unique approach… sorta a head scratcher at the end!

      Like

    theorangutanlibrarian said:
    April 21, 2018 at 3:16 PM

    Shame this was missing a little something to make it 4 star, but glad it was good overall. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    Fantastic review Jay. I’m sorry you had trouble connecting with the characters, but it sounds like this author definitely has potential.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 22, 2018 at 8:20 AM

      She definitely has potential, and a fellow reader is convincing me why the psychological aspects are better. It’s worth a chance down the line.

      Liked by 1 person

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