The best kind of books are the ones that keep you guessing. I've found myself shying away from the mystery genre as a whole because most of them couldn't. I basically use Gillian Flynn as my benchmark for a great mystery/thriller-- unreliable narrators, lots of twists and turns, dark characters-- and the most recent one to surprise me was PRETTY THINGS. LITTLE SECRETS is the most recent to join those ranks with its dark storyline and morally grey heroines that will leave you guessing who the bad guy is.
LITTLE SECRETS opens with Marin in the crowded Pike Place market. Her little boy is stolen from her in broad daylight by a man dressed as Santa Claus and her life is never the same. Over a year later, she's crippled with depression and the desire to end her life and her marriage is on the rocks. In fact, it's worse than she thought: her husband is seeing a younger women, a college age woman, with pink hair and a youth that Marin doesn't have.
Kenzie calls herself a "professional girlfriend." She doesn't want a relationship, just the baubles that come from being a rich man's side piece. She's also an influencer on Instagram with over 50,000 followers who eagerly watch her every move. But Kenzie's life isn't as put together as she pretends it is. She's desperate.
Marin, in a fury, decides that if she can't get her son back, she can at least get rid of her husband's girlfriend. She has a friend who knows a guy who can make her go away. But nothing's ever that easy. Marin's in a downward spiral, Kenzie's clinging to life by the teeth, and both of them are lying even as they're being lied to. And it's the lies that will undo them. And the lies that might destroy them. *evil laughter* Mua-ha-ha-ha.
So obviously I loved this book. I finished it in less than a day. Both Kenzie and Marin were so well done. I kept forgetting that this book wasn't written in first person because the author did such a good job getting us inside both their heads. Kenzie wasn't likable, but she was interesting. And Marin's grief and depression poured from the pages. I felt so bad for her; she was a woman whose life was falling apart, leaving her at the end of her rope. Part of what I liked about PRETTY THINGS was that neither woman was what she originally seemed to be. LITTLE SECRETS is like that, too. And that was part of what really engaged me with this book, having all my expectations dashed and shattered.
Some people probably aren't going to like the ending, but I did because it wasn't the one I was expecting. You can take that as you will. It definitely won't mean what you think it will, so I don't think that's a real spoiler. ;)
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!
4.5 out of 5 stars