No one lives forever. But the truth survives us all. Kate Murray is deeply troubled. In front of her lies a dead man, a stranger who only minutes before had approached her wanting to tell her about a mystery, a long-forgotten murder. The crime was old, he'd told her, but still deserving of justice. Soon Kate is caught up in a dangerous whirlwind of events that takes her back into her grandmother's mysterious war-time past and across the Atlantic as she tries to retrace the dead man's footsteps. Finding out the truth is not so simple, however, as only a few people are still alive who know the story...and Kate soon realizes that her questions are putting their lives in danger. Stalked by an unknown and sinister enemy, she must use her tough journalistic instinct to find the answers from the past - before she has to say goodbye to her future.
©2006 Susanna Kearsley (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
"The matchless Katherine Kellgren artfully presents this accomplished historical mystery, which shifts in time from WWII to the present day. Young reporter Kate Murray encounters elderly Andrew Deacon, who makes two significant revelations just before he's killed by a hit-and-run driver. Two plotlines follow, one in the past, one in the present: Kellgren touchingly portrays the kind, gentlemanly Deacon in flashbacks involving wartime spies, one of whom is Kate's grandmother. In the present, Kellgren captures the feisty and dedicated journalist as she pursues the complicated story of the spies while following their circuitous route across Europe. Audio is the perfect format for the unexpected transitions of time and setting. Kellgren's best creation is Murray's beloved grandmother, who reluctantly shares painful secrets with her granddaughter and beautifully recounts an unusual love story that will bring tears for what might have been." (AudioFile Magazine)
I had eagerly anticipated this new book by S. Kearsley. Slogged through the entire audiobook-- the story was ok but had little to redeem itself. It was repetitious and monotonous in its descriptions and repeats of story line. Must say I thought the heroine an idiot in parts, despite assertions of her intelligence. Felt there was little real action and got sooo tired of hearing about missed personal connections. Ughhh.
The narrator was ok but screeched when scary events were occurring -- terrible and vastly annoying.
If you are a Kearsley fan as I am -- get the book, that way you can skim the long interminable descriptions and spare your ears from the screeching narrator. Overall I sadly rate this audiobook a 2.
Like usual, Susanna Kearsley wrote a great book. That's why I had to give the audiobook four stars. However, the narrator's performance drove me crazy. Almost every sentence seemed over performed, but Kellgren only received two stars because I really don't like having the narrator scream the narration at me during intense scenes.
I am in love with this story! It is one of which I will re-read again, and again. The characters are true to life with the images built in my mind.
The kind of story that stays with you. The writing is superb and the character of Kate Murray, Andrew Deacon, and all the others make you understand how complicated the spy world was and still is. Not sure we have many men like Andrew Deacon who would sacrifice his happiness because of his honor for another. With the exception of The colonel, everyone was impeccably proper and good. The feelings that Kate went through when she was digging into what happened to Deacon and then the telling of her grandmother's story were the kind of stories that no one wants to find out about after everyone is dead. It was just a perfectly written and timed story about patriotism, love, loss and redemption. I loved the story. I listened to it on audible and the narrator Katherine Kellgren is superb.
I really enjoyed the idea of the storyline but the sheer number of characters and the switches from past to present were difficult to follow at times. I did like the heroine and the way she dealt with danger and fear. Mist of the other characters were compelling. I was not a fan of the narration. When speaking in the voices of characters I found it okay but during moments of her own voice, it just seemed a bit whiny and negative in tone. I like this authors books and overall, this one was well wirth a listen though reading it may have been a better option in this case
What has happened to this wonderful author who wrote such beautiful stories early in her career? I fear she has lost her touch. I put this one down in chapter six, as I surmised it was going nowhere and I found myself bored and very much not entertained. I sincerely hope Ms Kearsley finds her way on the next one, and yes, I will give her another try as she WAS that good before.
A little confusing at first to get characters straight but if you listen long enough you will get drawn into the story. Then it becomes hard to put it down. I really enjoyed it and it
was a break from all the books that have the same plot.
I have liked all of Susanna Kearsley's books so far, but this one was not up to her normal standards. And sadly, I hate to write poor reviews on narrators, but she was absolutely terrible.
Her general reading voice was OK, but every time she tried to do a British accent, it made every single character sound like a 90-year-old daughter. It was rather annoying and ridiculous. Additionally, anytime something exciting happened, she would start screaming which did not help the storyline, just Made you want to turn the entire thing off. I could not even finish it listening to her.
Difficult to follow characters at times because of the narration. I didn't connect well with the main character like done with others. Doubtful I will listen to this one again.
Reviewer for Delighted Reader Blog
It all begins with a forgettable old man telling her he has a story about murder to share with her and then Kate watches him die before her eyes in a hit and run. Starting slowly like the dropping of a stone into a body of water and the waves increasing steadily in size. This is a story of discovery and an unforgettable story of past sacrifices and secrets touching the present with danger and murder.
Originally published under another pen name, Emma Cole, Every Secret Thing is now released by Susanna Kearsley as the first book in the Kate Murray series.
The story begins with Canadian journalist in London for a big murder trial. She's covering the story and when the verdict comes in, she'll wrap up and head back home to Toronto. While the jury is out deliberating, Kate encounters a bland forgettable older man outside the courthouse. He strikes up a conversation and then speaks of her writing up a story he has about an old case of murder that never saw justice. Kate is distracted by thoughts of her own story and thinks he's just a forgettable, lonely old man until she watches him walk away and die when struck by a car. He made one comment that disconcerts her- she has her grandmother's eyes. How would this stranger know that?
Next thing she knows, she is being warned away from Andrew Deacon's story, his things are ransacked, and everyone connected to him is meeting with fatalities. It really strikes home when just after she gets back to Toronto, her grandmother tells her a story- a story of a life during the war years when her grandmother worked for a top man in British intelligence in NYC. Kate is flabbergasted to discover that not only did her grandmother know Andrew Deacon, but they were close. Then her grandmother is shot.
Kate goes on the run for her life and knows that she'll never be safe until she discovers the truth behind that old murder that Andrew Deacon wanted to come to light. Her investigations take her back into the past- Lisbon of the 40's. She must avoid those who are trailing her and keep those who know of the past safe even as someone is dead set on the opposite.
Alright, this book solidified what I already knew. I love Kearsley's work. I love her dual plotted stories that make the past come alive with the present story line and pose a cunning suspense and light romance plot as well. Every Secret Thing got going with some excitement and then turned gently paced in the middle. The end picked things up again.
But it was not just the pacing so much as how the plot was teased out. The reader is given an explosion of early facts and situation, characters, tone, and setting to drawn them in and get things started. Then details come along that start making sense while also confusing matters. Things are not always what they seem. Kate learns that she has to figure out who to trust and who is telling the truth. But that end-wow, a twist on a twist on a twist. So many details that I saw and didn't grasp the significance made the puzzle pieces finally fit and give the full picture. Some I worked out, but other pieces left me amazed.
Beyond the suspense, there was a beautiful bittersweet story of star-crossed lovers, people affected by war, honor, and duty, and hard truths. Many of the players in this one particularly in the past story line were so alive to me. At first, the reader is introduced to this old man who soon dies and he seems to be almost throwaway just to get the plot moving. Even now, I get emotional just thinking of how wonderful and heroic that self-effacing man really was and I had to hear his story knowing that he was gone- murdered. Kate is the central figure, but her story is tangled up with those in the past. I bawled my eyes out there near the end at the loss, pain, and poignancy of this story that goes well beyond the usual engaging romantic suspense piece.
The settings both historical New York City and Lisbon and modern day London, English country village, Lisbon, DC, and Toronto were well drawn. I felt I was there and could appreciate these international settings.
I enjoyed this book in audio format. It was my first time with Katherine Kellgren as the narrator. I thought her voice really matched well with the characters from the past. I think it is a gift to not only portray a persona and their accent, but a person not from modern times and then switch it with people from the present and representing several nationalities. She really gets into her storytelling and startled me the first time she told an exciting part because I wasn't ready for her to break out of her steady storytelling voice. But I adjusted and came to enjoy her dramatic telling.
This story felt complete when it ended, but I noticed that it had been labeled as the first of a series. I assume the main character, Kate, will have more suspenseful adventures and maybe do something about the attraction she shares with a certain someone.
In summary, this was abso-fab and I can't praise it enough. The mystery plot would have been enough, but the blend with that historical time, the people, and the tone made it extraordinary. Romantic suspense and historical mystery lovers really should grab it up.
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