Review: “Keep My Secrets” by Elena Wilkes

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Ultra twisty and shocking, “Keep My Secrets” by Elena Wilkes is the long and winding road of novels.

About the Book

“Keep My Secrets” by Elena Wilkes

A life built on lies – now the truth could destroy her

Frankie Turner knows what it’s like to be unwanted; she was brought up in care. Now as a social worker to kids in the same system, she’s someone who understands … But Frankie is hiding an unthinkable secret: one that may have its roots in the murder of a young, beautiful woman fifteen years ago.

Yet the past is out there. Someone knows what Frankie is hiding – and now they’re back to shatter her perfectly constructed life, terrorising her with menacing letters and silent calls to the house she shares with husband Alex.

She may have reinvented herself, but Frankie’s past is back to haunt her – and now, there’s nowhere to run.

A gripping psychological thriller that will have you hooked. Fans of Lisa Jewell and Erin Kelly won’t be able to put this one down.

My Review

Then. Frankie was a teenager brought up in the care of social services. Secretly involved with 21 year old Martin, a volunteer at her group home, she thinks she’s found true love. But what happens after a night of hard partying leaves one girl murdered and Frankie’s life changed forever.

Now. Frankie’s managed to move on from what happened fifteen years before. Married and working as a social worker, nobody knows about her past. She knows if they were to find out, she’d lose everything. When she starts receiving menacing notes and phone calls from someone she knew back then, she frantically works overtime to keep her past from revealing itself to her present-day life. Her husband’s already suspicious. There’s only one huge problem. What Frankie’s hiding is only the tip of the iceberg. There’s more to what happened in the past than even she knows and — this time — it’s coming for her. There’s no running from it.

Ultra twisty and shocking, “Keep My Secrets” by Elena Wilkes is the long and winding road of novels. Nothing and nobody are as they seem. Even the story itself is not as it seems. When Frankie receives anonymous notes, she seems afraid of the sender. Yet, her stalker seems like more of a lovesick admirer than a threat. And the big secret Frankie’s trying to hide? You wonder why she just doesn’t tell her husband, because it doesn’t seem as bad as she makes it out to be — once she tells you what it is. In addition, there are a lot of characters with a lot of loose ends. Although they’re not hard to keep track of, it’s a challenge figuring them out.

Alternating between the past and the present, “Keep My Secrets” weaves the story of Frankie’s past and what she believed happened fifteen years ago with her current life. The contrast between the two is startling at first. If Frankie had been a more likeable character, it would have been easy to root for her to be able to keep what happened a secret because her current life is a good one. But the way she behaved in the past combined with the way she lets her husband agonize in present-day does nothing to endear her to you. At times, you’re more wary of her than the stalker. There are plenty of suspenseful, tension filled moments throughout, but when the past and present finally collide, it’s impossible not to be shocked by what goes down.

“Keep My Secrets” is a complicated, multi-layered tale that becomes more addicting the further you read. If you gloss over pages or rush through, you’re likely to miss out on the detail, scene, or chapter that sucks you in completely and compels you to read through to the end. This book requires your full attention, and it’s not what I’d ever call fast-paced, but it’s well worth picking up.

Thank you to Hera Books and author Elena Wilkes for the gifted ARC.

About the Author

Elena Wilkes grew up in Walsall in the West Midlands and then worked for eighteen years in H.M Prison Service. The people she met there provided the basis for all her novels.

Many of the prisoners there came across as very ordinary people who had committed the most appalling crimes but would, one day, walk straight back on the streets.

This begged the question: how much do we know about anyone, really? The people who live amongst us may seem no different from us at all, but when you scratch a little deeper, you realise they hold some very dark secrets.