So as a book blogger your #TBR is always threatening to topple over, right? So you promise yourself that you will have a wee break from blog tours and review requests, right? But oh no, that pesky publishing team Bookouture just keep coming up with little nuggets of temptation to throw in your way, don’t they! So here I am on the #BlogTour for Barbara Copperthwaite’s #HerLastSecret. Seriously guys how was I meant to resist this! That blurb, that cover! I had no chance!
Thank you to Bookouture and the author for the ARC which I chose to read and provide my honest review.
What does the blurb say?
There are some secrets you can never tell.
The last thing to go through Dominique Thomas’s head was the image of her teenage daughter’s face and her heart lifted. Then the shot rang out.
They were the perfect family. Successful businessman Ben Thomas and his wife Dominique live an enviable life, along with their beautiful children; teenager Ruby and quirky younger daughter, Mouse.
But on Christmas Day the police are called to their London home, only to discover a horrific scene; the entire family lying lifeless, victims of an unknown assailant.
But when Ruby’s diary is discovered, revealing her rage at the world around her, police are forced to look closer to home for the key to this tragedy.
Each family member harboured their own dark truths – but has keeping their secrets pushed Ruby to the edge of sanity? Or are there darker forces at work?
This dark, gripping psychological thriller will have you holding your breath until the very last page. Fans of Behind Closed Doors, Sometimes I Lie, and The Girl on the Train will be captivated.
I honestly thought I was going to be reading a tale of a spoiled rich family who get their comeuppance and I’d walk away with a smug grin on my face. Never did I expect for one minute that I’d turn that last page with the tears streaming down my face.
What an eerie picture painted in the opening chapter of a wealthy suburb swathed in the richness and delight of Christmas festivities marred by the haunted faces of residents peering from behind their doors at the blue flashing lights of the police cars arriving like the spectres at the feast on a Christmas day tableaux that is bound to be ingrained in their minds forever.
Her Last Secret effortlessly switches between the present and the week running up to the incident on Christmas day and we are taken on the journey of each key character in the lead-up to that fateful day.
As characters go, I did start off with preconceived ideas about each of them, the pretentious parents, sullen teen and nondescript goody two shoes youngest child. Benjamin and Dom come across as selfish parents too preoccupied with their own lives to pay much heed to their two daughters Ruby and Mouse. But we soon find out that each of them is hiding a dark secret and like the skin of an onion each layer is slowly peeled back revealing the darkness that lies within them and just what drives them to behave the way that we do.
Mouse, the youngest child is worried about her sister, Ruby who is locking herself in her room and appears to be keeping dark and morose secrets to herself. We get a picture of an angelic younger sister out-shadowed by a sullen and moody teenager. Everyone thinks that Mouse is oblivious to what is going on around her but the eight-year-old shows a depth of character and maturity rare in one so young. I warmed immediately to the young Mouse and her desire to escape into a world of make-believe in her books tucked safely away in her bedroom cupboard.
On the surface, Ruby is your typical angsty teen, hateful of her family and only showing a more gentle side when she is with Harry. Ruby is receiving mysterious texts – who are they from and what is she hiding? I’m not going to lie, it was the character of Ruby who completely engaged me throughout this book. I was so engrossed in this book that I read it in less than 24 hours and Ruby’s character is firmly engrained in my heart.
Her Last Secret explores a number of themes and it certainly challenges your assumptions as a reader as each character’s truth is unveiled. Lies and secrets are the main themes explored as I watched a family implode in front of my very eyes. However, Barbara Copperthwaite also poked around my emotions as she uncovers bullying and intolerance; while this is done sensitively it doesn’t pull any punches as to the very real impact that bullying can have.
If anyone asked me how this book made me feel then I’d have to say it punched me so hard that the tears were streaming and I’ve been left reeling since I turned the very last page. A psychological thriller with an emotional rollercoaster thrown in for good measure. #HerLastSecret is a novel wrapped up in a delectable parcel of secrets and lies and this book will have your heart racing and your eyes streaming! Do NOT miss it!
sneaks off to read the rest of Barbara’s books now, how have I not read them yet!
About the author:
Much of her success is thanks to her twenty-odd years’ experience as a national newspaper and magazine journalist. She’s interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. Thanks to people sharing their stories with her, she knows the emotional impact of violence and wrong-doing. That’s why her novels are dark, realistic and tackle not just the crime but its repercussions.
When not writing feverishly, she is often found hiding behind a camera, taking wildlife photographs.