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Thursday, March 16, 2017

(25)The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood


Mila Jackson's father has just died.  Sean Jackson was a wealthy man who was always looking for the newest toys and newest wives.  He was married to his second wife that fateful August when one of their three-year-old twins disappeared from their summer home under mysterious circumstances.  It happened twelve years ago when Mila was just a teenager, but she remembers that weekend and she remembers the aftermath.  Sean was on his fourth wife when he died and Mila shows up for the funeral with her fifteen-year-old sister, Ruby.  Ruby and Mila were going through some of her father's things when Mila sees a familiar piece of jewelry, a child's gold bracelet that once belonged to CoCo - a bracelet that she never took off. What was that bracelet doing in her father's belongings? All of her father's friends that were there that weekend that CoCo died were there for the funeral, will they finally tell her the truth about what happened to her little sister?

I love Alex Marwood and really enjoy her style of writing. She creates some of the most dynamic characters - not all of them are likable. In fact,  I feel confident in saying that you will find most of the characters in The Darkest Secret quite distasteful.  Sean Jackson and his friends are of the mindset that money can buy them whatever they want - including a weekend with minimal interruptions from the children.  The story is told in two different times, August 2004 and now.  In 2004 the story is mostly told from the perspective of Wife No. 2 and while Mila painted her to be a monster, it becomes clear that she is the product of her environment - married to an ass.  There was a pretty big piece of the plot that was never resolved - (WHO was with Sean when he died??) and that disappointed me.  I have never experienced that from this author.  I did like how as the funeral gets closer Mila and Ruby's relationship strengthens and Mila starts to realize that not everything was as she thought it was.  And the people her father called "friends" were keeping some pretty dark secrets about what happened that summer. As the end of the book approached I  figured out the truth- CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS

Bottom line - Alex Marwood knows how to hook a reader and moving to the top of my "must read list" along with authors like Karin Slaughter and Chelsea Cain.  Definitely worth the read.

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