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.
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.
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.
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.
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.