After three excellent books in his Hester Thursby series, Edwin Hill is now releasing a tangentially connected standalone novel called The Secrets We Share, which further elevates his storytelling prowess – entrancing readers and leaving them anxious for more.
Natalie Cavanaugh and Glenn Abbott are sisters molded by the murder of their father when they were young girls. Natalie followed a path that led her to become a Boston cop – out of the spotlight, but helping to provide justice; while Glenn slowly built a following via her baking blog and now stands on the cusp of stardom – always the center of attention and soon-to-be a best-selling cookbook author. But the discovery of a dead body in an abandoned building threatens to open old wounds and expose long-buried secrets.
Not much more can be said about the plot, as spoilers abound. Edwin Hill has crafted a tightly-knit narrative with themes of family loyalty, revenge, and misplaced trust. The Secrets We Share is domestic suspense of the highest caliber, taking reader expectations and turning them upside down and inside out.
There is indeed such a thing as too many twists. Adding revelation after revelation can stretch the credibility of any narrative, however it turns out that if one reaches that level of excess and then keeps going, the end result can be triumphant. That is exactly what Edwin Hill has done with The Secrets We Share. Each of the first dozen or so chapters in the book ends with important and shocking revelations that alter the reader’s expectations. This trend then continues throughout the novel, although not quite with such regularity. The use of revelations morphs from gripping to manipulative to organic across the breadth of the narrative with the end result being that readers will be in awe of the vast quantity of shocks Edwin Hill is able to pack into this one novel – leaving them wanting more rather than saying “come on, really?” Not to be outdone, the quality of these twists remains on par with the quantity. Like the recipes Glenn Abbott is famous for, each of these surprises is an integral ingredient in the finished product and removing any one of them would have resulted in the whole thing falling flat.
Readers of the Hester Thursby series will remember Hester’s close friend, Detective Angela White. Angela has been promoted and just happens to be Natalie’s boss. In a nice nod to continuity, while investigating this case, Angela will call on Hester to help with some background research. The Secrets We Share truly is a stand-alone novel requiring no familiarity with the series, but this tiny Easter egg rewards long-time fans and reminds us that Hester is alive and well.
Edwin Hill is a master of pacing. The narrative drive of The Secrets We Share ebbs and flows with precision. This is an author who knows when to pull back on plot to allow his characters to shine, but also when action set-pieces will better serve the work over drawn-out conversations. Readers will find themselves so engrossed in The Secrets We Share they will hardly notice the passage of time. As such this is not a book to start late at night if one has to be up early the next morning…Or maybe it is, since it could easily cause a sleepless night.
Readers always hope their favorite authors get better with each new release, but that is often not the case – especially when the first book out of the gate is so exceptional. But Edwin Hill has managed to achieve this path book after book, building a reputation as an author hellbent on giving his fans top-quality work each and every time. The Secrets We Share is easily Edwin Hill’s best novel yet and it will leave every reader wondering what he might have in store for us next.
Disclaimer: A print galley of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the publisher. No promotion was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.