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Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus
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Two Can Keep a Secret (edition 2019)

by Karen McManus (Author)

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821,498,181 (3.67)None
Member:rhian_of_oz
Title:Two Can Keep a Secret
Authors:Karen McManus (Author)
Info:Penguin (2019), 336 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
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Tags:TBR

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Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus

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Not as good as her first but still intriguing enough to keep me hooked. In a small town Echo Ridge , 1 girl disappeared 20 years ago and 10 years later 1 was murdered. Told from two view points. The first, Ellery a new possible "victim" of the supposed serial killer who has come to the town with her twin brother Ezra to stay with her grandmother for the first time since their mother ran away at the age of 18. (The mother's twin sister was the first girl who disappeared). The second viewpoint is that of Declan the younger brother of a man suspected ( but never found guilty) of being the murderer of the second girl because she was his girlfriend.
There are all sorts of secrets in this town but when suddenly the three girls chosen for the Prom Queen court ( including Ellery) are being threatened with murder- red paint in lockers, dolls hanging with "You're next" etc....all the usual stuff - Ellery must team up with Declan (?) to share what they know to track down a killer.
Must admit that I guessed EXACTLY who the murderer was about a third of the way through ( motive, means, opportunity) but the red herring that she threw in ( who has another secret to reveal!) did cause me to ponder my original choice; so kudos to the author for getting me to doubt my gut as that doesn't happen very often.
My students will LOVE this book. Has swearing and violence and affairs so Years 9-10 but pretty tame. ( )
  nicsreads | Mar 18, 2019 |
I loved McManus' debut novel 'One of us is lying', and was really pleased to see another book from her. This one suffers from being a second book more than anything -- it is just a bit rushed, the characters are just a bit less relatable than those in the first, the plot is just a tad off at times. And most of these things are ones that I probably wouldn't have noticed to the same level if I hadn't loved the first one so much.

Another issue for me is that this story spends the whole time hinting that the next shoe is going to drop. At the beginning of the story there are two murdered young women, but both of these deaths are in the past. There is also a death early on, but it doesn't match the pattern; that plus deliberate plot elements wind up the feeling that someone is going to die, and that the protagonist is going to end up in some kind of trouble.

It does manage to be one of those lovely 'in a small town, everyone has secrets' stories. And unlike, say, many Agatha Christie novels, I actually found a lot of those secrets to be quite plausible.

Sadly, it doesn't manage to avoid some of the tropes of the serial killer sub-genre, in which dead young women are arranged as props. This is particularly noticeable because all the viewpoint characters were closely linked to one of the two dead. The young women might not be there for the main male character's emotional arc, but there are certainly echoes of that type of writing.

In terms of content warnings - it needs them, but they are also spoilers for the story. ( )
  fred_mouse | Feb 8, 2019 |
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