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The Secret by Katerina Diamond
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The Secret (2016)

by Katerina Diamond

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I haven't read The Teacher by Katerina Diamond (yet), but this book was so tempting that I just couldn't resist agreeing to do a blog tour for the book. And, the beginning of the book was really captivating, and it was frustrating having to work when I wanted to read. However, I started to have some problem with the story as it progressed. The dialog felt terse and a bit contrived now and then. And, it bothered me because I found the story to be interesting.

We have three storylines in the book; the present time, what happened two years prior and we also have a single individual's life story as he "tells" the reader things about his childhood. It was with this life retelling that I really started to feel that the dialog was not working for me. It was very terse and jagged to read, and lacking finesse.

However, I was curious to what was going on with DS Imogen Gray (however I did see her big secret a mile away) and what linked the past story with the present. Then, something happened that really made me extremely frustrated. This may be a bit of a spoiler, but I need to put it here to show why I just couldn't give the book a higher rating. The parents to a missing girl went to prison for her murder. And, it just stunned me because how on earth can anyone go to prison for murder when there isn't a body or no proof for it to be murder? Sure, one can be declared dead after a couple of years. But, as far as I know you can't send someone to prison just because "they seem guilty". This bothered me quite a lot, I spent the next day at work fretting about it. And, that together with the dialog issues made it hard for me to truly enjoy the book.

However, I will say this, I found the story most of the time to be engaging. It did feel a bit over the top sometimes. Nevertheless, it was not boring to read. Sure, Imogen's problem with the men around her feel a bit like cheesy, like straight from a soap opera, but it was entertaining. And, if I hadn't been so annoyed with the whole prison thing (and some other things, but can't spoiler the book too much) and if the dialog had felt a bit more smooth, then I would have enjoyed the book a whole lot more. I do plan to read The Teacher and hopefully, it will work better for me.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Read this review and others on A Bookaholic Swede ( )
  MaraBlaise | Dec 14, 2017 |
The Secret – Words like bullets that hit the mark every time

When Katerina Diamond debut novel, The Teacher, came out she went in to the Sunday Times Bestseller list as it was a truly brilliant crime thriller introducing us to Imogen Grey and Adrian Miles as an investigative pairing. I thought that would be a hard book to follow, but oh wow, The Secret is not only its equal but I think even better.

We see that the lead characters become more developed and we start to see their back story, so that we understand why Imogen Grey had ended up in Exeter, rather than remain in Plymouth. We also see the development of Adrian Miles, that he is not just a good looking ‘lush’, but will do whatever he can to defend his son Tom and his sidekick Imogen Grey.

When undercover officer DS Bridget Reid goes missing, on the run from a brothel where she had been working, and other people had been killed, Grey and Miles know they are in a race against time. With no obvious clues to where she is or who has her she has to make contact with her Plymouth once again, and Miles knows there is something he is not being told.

The gritty story that builds up, we see some various drug abuse, people trafficking, prostitution and child abduction and a Mr Big who has the ability to send shivers down the backs of some of the most hardened criminals in Devon. With plenty of twists, there are no lazy plot lines, there are some surprising ones that give you, “well I didn’t see that coming” moments.

There is plenty of violence when required, that leaves it very clear the villains in The Secret have no saving graces. This violence is not gratuitous it is required to give the bad guys that depth that makes them completely deplorable.

Katerina Diamond has a writing style that draws the reader in and keeps them hooked from beginning to end. You can tell that his is a well-planned plot as there are no wasted words or padding, the words are like bullets and hit the mark every time.

Katerina Diamond clearly is getting better with every book and she has a pair of police officers who she is building a fantastic series around. They come across as human, and have the same fears of failure and but overcoming adversity. This really is a truly stunning and fantastic follow-up from an author who is getting better and another chart topping novel with this. ( )
  atticusfinch1048 | Oct 24, 2016 |
Note to publisher: the title of book #2 in the Imogen Grey series is missing an “s”. Secrets. Everyone’s got ‘em & some are real barn burners.
There are multiple plot lines in this story & they’re positively gordian, looping forward & back to weave the lives of these characters into a snug knot that is beginning to unravel. Some of them have cameo appearances as narrators but there are a handful who are central to the story.

Bridget Ford was fairly new at an Exeter brothel when 2 of her colleagues were horribly murdered by men looking for her. She’s lucky to have escaped but has no idea what’s waiting around the corner.

DS Adrian Miles is a homicide detective slowly drifting toward burnout. The bodies he’s seen haunt his nights & his usual partner is on medical leave after their last case. The last thing he needs is the scene that greets him when he’s called to the brothel.

DS Imogen Grey is finally back on the job after recovering from a gun shot. Exeter was supposed to be a fresh start after the fallout from a messy situation within the Plymouth police force. Now she’s got a great partner at work & can keep tabs on her crazy mother. When she meets Adrian at the brothel, it’s clear her down time is over.

The boy is just 10 years old when we first meet. We don’t know who he is but as his chapters unfold, we watch as he grows up in a dysfunctional family ruled by his violent, criminal father.

Isabelle Hobbs was just a little girl when she was snatched from home more than 10 years ago. Despite the lack of a body, her parents were convicted of murder & sent to prison.

There are many more characters slipping in & out of the pages & part of the suspense is due to not knowing whose side they’re on. Exeter seems to be a breeding ground for despicable people & it’s not long before the cops’ search for Bridget pulls them into a world of child abduction, drug dealers, corrupt cops & human trafficking. Chapters alternate between Imogen’s last case in Plymouth 2 years earlier & the present. As familiar faces begin to cross over between the time lines, the alarming scope of the plot gradually emerges.

So….heads up. If you’re a little on the squeably side you may find some scenes disturbing. But while graphic, they are completely in keeping with the criminal elements they describe. These are not people burdened with pesky things like ethics or morals. But they are products of their pasts & it becomes clear several never had a chance at “normal”. At times even Adrian & Imogen struggle as the line between right & wrong becomes faint.

They, too, have been shaped by the hard realities of their childhoods & are the emotional heart of the story. Their personal lives are irrevocably altered by what they uncover & by the end you realize it’s not over. While much is revealed & tied up, one significant part of the story remains open to be explored in the next instalment.

This is a book you’ll be sneaking into the bathroom at work to read. Once the bombshells start dropping, you’re hooked & simply have to know how it will all shake out & who will be left standing. Gripping, gritty, scary & tense….they all apply. Bring on #3. ( )
  RowingRabbit | Oct 21, 2016 |
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For my husband, without whom I would think about murder a lot less.
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Bridget could hear cars passing on the wet roadside below the windows of the listed Victorian building where she worked.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Can you keep a secret? Your life depends on it... When Bridget Reid wakes up in a locked room, terrifying memories come flooding back of blood, pain, and desperate fear. Her captor knows things she's never told anyone. How can she escape someone who knows all of her secrets? As DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles search for Bridget, they uncover a horrifying web of abuse, betrayal and murder right under their noses in Exeter. And as the past comes back to haunt her, Grey must confront her own demons. Because she knows that it can be those closest to us who hurt us the most...… (more)

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