As “Our Little Secret” begins, only a few things are clear.
Saskia is missing. Saskia is H.P.’s wife. Angela Pettijean is somehow involved with H.P.
The police suspect Angela knows more about Saskia’s disappearance than she’s saying.
About the Book
Angela Pettijean sits in an interrogation room, being questioned by homicide detective J. Novak. He wants to know what happened to Saskia. He is convinced that Angela can tell him.
But in order to tell him what she knows, Angela insists that she must first tell him a story. Her story. About her life. About her relationship with H.P. He was her first love. Her only love.
The story she tells starts when she moved to Cove, Vermont and met H.P. eight years before. By the time she’s finished, she reveals what happened to Saskia and who’s responsible for her disappearance. However, one final twist lies ahead.
You never forget your first love.
Even though “Our Little Secret” is set in an interrogation room, the story that arises from the pages is one of first love more than than a potential crime. It’s easy to sink into the book and to get caught up in your own memories. We all have first loves, and most of us remember them as sweet and intense — just like Angela does. It’s what makes Angela relatable throughout the first parts of the book. However, first loves rarely last a lifetime, and most of us move on with someone else.
But what happens when you can’t let go?
It becomes clear as “Our Little Secret” progresses that Angela couldn’t (and wouldn’t) ever completely let go of H.P. There are also hints along the way that Angela is an unreliable narrator. While memory isn’t perfect, and we tend to remember the past in a way that paints us in the most favorable light, it’s clear that’s not what she’s doing. She’s lying. Angela makes untruthful statements about Saskia in order to detract from her character. While they’re never proven to be actual lies, they don’t match the version of Saskia who plays a role in the story.
The problem is that all this takes too long to reveal itself in the book. While Angela’s story sucks you in and reminds you of your own first love, there’s not a lot of suspense built in to make you care what happened to Saskia. Besides, what happened becomes obvious as you continue to read. The hints become more like flashing neon signs. It makes the big twist at the end less than shocking or satisfying — and more like a dull thud.
“Our Little Secret” by Roz Nay is an enjoyable read. It’s well written with strong characters. Angela and H.P.’s romance comes to life on the page, and you can feel how much Angela loves him. It just doesn’t pack the punch I expect from a psychological thriller. It’s a good book that falls short of my expectations for the genre.
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