Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Small Ones, The Bad Ones & The Predictable Ones

The adjectival title is referring to secrets, the subject of Kate Morton's latest novel, The Secret Keeper.

THIS novel
This novel was the first that I have read by Kate Morton, but was fairly well done, and makes me interested in reading another by her. As you might have guessed, the novel revolves around personal and family secrets, with a juicy murder at the heart of a daughter's investigation into her ailing elderly mother's past.

Is your interest piqued?

Okay, I admit that most descriptions of this novel are going to sound like a trashy TV show that has jumped the shark, but Morton's writing saves what could be an overwrought, plot-crazy novel into something interesting and sweet.

Morton writes characters who are fleshed out and believable, and whom you want to continue reading about, even though you don't like everything about them. Really, there is only one character who is truly despicable in the novel, though a few of the characters do horrible things - and that is one of the possible flaws. The villain is the only character who is not fully fleshed out. Somehow, this lack of detail for that one character worked for me, as a reader. He became a shadowy kind of bogeyman, creeping me out and causing some part of me to want to pull my covers over my head. I do think, though, that this lack of detail for that one character might bother some readers.

Mm... covers
There was one thing that kind of bothered me about this book. There's a "twist" at the end, but I saw it coming at least 2/3 or my way into the reading (possibly earlier, it's taken me awhile to get around to writing this review, and my memory regarding this is fuzzy - but definitely earlier than I was intended to perceive it). I am also, to put it nicely, no Sherlock Holmes. I'm not even an Hercule Poirot, sitting around being nice to the ladies while twirling & admiring my excessively large mustache. So if I can see a twist coming, it's probably pretty obvious to most people - with the exception, perhaps, of the individuals who do not read very often.

Despite having foreseen what was supposed to be a shocking revelation, I continued to enjoy reading this novel. Not in the compulsive, "OMG, this is so horrible, but I have to keep reading it" way that has occurred in the past, either; I was simply enjoying the writing. And while I knew where the writer was going, I was not entirely sure how she was going to get there.

Thus, The Secret Keeper is a pretty good novel that I highly recommend. While I received a free copy for review, I would not have been disappointed to have paid money for it (and might just do that, with the holiday season right around the corner (I'm ignoring the stores that already have Christmas displays up b/c it is TOO EARLY to begin the madness)).

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