Saturday 27 June 2020

Book Review - Two Can Keep A Secret

Title: Two Can Keep A Secret
Author: Karen McManus
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 10 Jan. 2019
ISBN-13: 978-0141375656

A perfect town is hiding secrets. Secrets that somebody would kill to keep hidden.

Ellery's never been to Echo Ridge, but she's heard all about it.

It's where her aunt went missing at age sixteen, never to return. Where a Homecoming Queen's murder five years ago made national news.

And now she has to live there with her estranged grandmother, after her mother lands in rehab.

Malcolm grew up in the shadow of the Homecoming Queen's death.

His older brother was the prime suspect and left Echo Ridge in disgrace.

But now he's back- just as mysterious threats appear around town, hinting that a killer will strike again.

Then another girl disappears.

As Ellery and Malcolm race to unravel what happened, they realise every secret has layers in Echo Ridge.

My Review

After finishing the 'One of Us...' series, I was desperate for more by McManus and I knew this book was out there so I had to read it! Whilst searching for it online I did see some very mixed reviews but I was still determined to try it for myself. Then on my once a week shopping trip (the only time I was ever really venturing out during this crazy lockdown) I ended up in the supermarket and they had this book on offer - right there in front of me, it was almost too perfect for words, so I snatched it up and raced home with it.

I wasn't really sure what to expect, but i definitely know that I like her style of writing and think she can weave an excellent story so I was excited to see what would happen. We start with twins Ellery and Ezra who are having to move to Echo Ridge and stay with their Grandma after their mother has been taken to rehab. It's a town they have heard a lot about, at 16 years of age their mother's twin sister mysteriously disappeared and was never seen again, and their mother never got over that loss. The only time she went back to Echo Ridge herself was 5 years ago, when another young girl disappeared and then was found murdered. Both girls were taken after Homecoming, but were on the Homecoming Court - nominated for Queen. Could there be a link? Ellery is excited to find out, she is obsessed with True Crime novels and the workings of the criminal brain, she is hoping that she might be able to work out something to help finally solve these mysterious cases, but then things start to happen around the town. Creepy things that suggest history may be about to repeat itself, and Ellery has to be careful that she isn't caught in the middle of it.

I really liked Ellery as a character, she is very upfront and tends to say what she thinks before thinking it through which gets her into some rather awkward situations but you know she doesn't mean any harm by it. Her relationship with her twin brother is really sweet, we don't see as much of Ezra throughout the book but the two of them are always there to back each other up and help each other out.

We also meet Malcolm who has grown up in Echo Ridge, but is now just seen as Declan's brother - the brother of a potential murdered. Although his brother was never convicted, he was dating the girl that got killed and as he is the strong, silent type - the blame was easy to place. Whether he did it or not, he has left town to try to escape, leaving Malcolm and his mother behind. Malcolm now lives with his step-dad Peter and step-sister who is one of the queen bees at school. Something neither of them is happy about!

The book starts off well, introducing the  characters and a bit of background, but it's not too long before some action starts to pick up the pace. From the very first page I was intrigued, then I was hooked.

Karen McManus is super talented at being able to build tension and make you second guess yourself, throughout this whole book I had no idea who was responsible for the disappearances, murder or new threats - or if it was even one person. The story is so well paced that you just keep turning pages and with each turn you feel your heart beat faster in anticipation until you know that you won't be able to look away. I read this book in one sitting and barely moved during that time. I was absolutely absorbed within the story and the plot twists kept me firmly on my toes. Then the ending came in with a bang and had me totally surprised. I had not seen that coming at all!

The very last pages leave the story a little bit open- i know what I am supposed to believe, and I can see it happening, but I want to know what the next consequences would be - but maybe she will write another one sometime and carry it on.

Overall, I actually really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it as a gripping read. I will be looking out for anything else by McManus in the future.

My Rating

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