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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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Liked the Book - But The Narrator Drove Me Nuts

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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Really bad reader don't let the sample fool you

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No. The story line is fairly good and the book moves along. But the reader has apparently never been to a drama class. Her dramatic emphasis is jarring and would probably be funny in another setting. <br/><br/>I saw other reviews and was warned about the reader, but when I listened to the Audible sample it sounded ok. Don't be fooled, don't waste your money or credits on this one - read the book if you have to know the story.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Strongly Resonated With Me Emotionally Page Turner

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Cynthia
  • Zanesville, OH, United States
  • 02-15-17

Outstanding!

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amy
  • PALM COAST, FL, United States
  • 02-04-17

Not her best work.

Would you try another book from Susanna Kearsley and/or Katherine Kellgren?

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.

What didn’t you like about Katherine Kellgren’s performance?

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda
  • Bowie, MD, United States
  • 01-15-17

Perfect Story of British Spies, Intrigue, and Love

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Long winded

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.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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I will truly read anything written by this author!

I've read or listened to nearly all of Ms. Kearsley's books, and most have some sort of mystery element, history element, and romance element. I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one. Ever since I first opened and read The Winter Sea, I started buying up her books, eagerly devouring them. Many, if not most of them, have a far-in-the-past history element, and that was the initial draw... her descriptions, characterizations and plots simply make a book seem like a vacation to a different time. It's like being Dr.Who when you read! (That was for my fellow Sci-fi nerds.).

This book is a bit different. There is still the mystery (actually a crime to solve... a cold case), but the history takes place during a recent generation. After all, many of us living today had close family members (grandparents or parents, etc) who remembered WWII. Instead of making this novel less exciting, it seemed to have even more relevance, almost as if this could be a true crime novel. There was still a romance element to this book, but it was only there in a distant sort of way, you'll understand what I mean if you read/listen to the book. It wasn't so much a love in passing, like ships passing in the night, but a slow simmering type of journey back in time, all of it being told 2nd or 3rd hand. No passion, just sentiment for the past. Which is the way many of us still think of the way things were back in the 40s, so the romance element truly set the scene. Like the romance and the overall arc of the story were kindred spirits. The crime was also relevant enough and carried over enough into the &quot;now&quot; for some heart pounding, which makes for a more enjoyable novel.

As for the reader/narrator, I've listened to Katherine Kellgren many times before, and it's always a great experience. She does different voices for different people, but instead of putting on a fake-deep male voices, her own voice is perfect for a simply changing the timbre, the accent, the tone, or maybe adding some roughness, so that when she speaks the parts for men, you forget you're listening to a woman. If I think hard, I can still tell a woman is speaking, but she pulls the reader so far into the book, and so easily, that thinking of anything beyond the story itself, getting caught in the sheer excitement and drama of it, almost seems impossible.

I had a friend in the college orchestra once. They performed in the orchestra pit during school plays. After one play (not a concert, but a play), a friend came by to tell her how great the orchestra sounded during the show. My friend didn't say much until the person left, but then she turned to me, disappointed. She said, &quot;we must've done a poor job of it.&quot; I asked why she would say that after receiving a compliment, and she pointed out, &quot;during a play, we are supposed to bring the observer INto the play, not bring them OUT of it to listen to us.&quot; When I listen to a book read by Katherine Kellgren, I think she makes a great orchestra. Very seldom do I think &quot;wow, what a good reader&quot; when she reads, only noticing after the fact that I listened to a narrated book, instead of living in the story.

I will miss the characters from Every Secret Thing, especially the character who died first.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Dramatic narration and difficult to follow

The storyline is a compilation of memories and present day experiences. The narration made it difficult to determine when there was a transition between present day and a memory. Additionally, the narrator was very dramatic, raising the volume and increasing speed of her voice to reflect panic. The dramatic performance distracted from the overall enjoyment of the audiobook.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good story

I think the acting was a bit over board, her excitement got annoying but the story was good, hard to keep characters straight
Story ran on to much

1 of 1 people found this review helpful