Our Little Secret is a dark love story, a fairy tale, but less Disney and more Grimm. Well-written, slippery, and engrossing. I did not "like" it, yet pretty much read it in one sitting. As I sat with Angela Pettijean whose nick name is LJ or Little John (from her last name) in the interview room, I was uneasy from the beginning.
Angela is surprised to find herself being questioned by Detective Novak when Saskia, the wife of Angela's former boyfriend goes missing. In order to respond to Novak's questions, Angela insists on telling her story her way, beginning ten years previously.
The story is convoluted. Love and loss. Jealousy and betrayal. Poor decisions. Anyone who reads the news knows that while they may not understand the labyrinthine twists of human behavior, people do strange, impractical, personally destructive things.
Angela is certain that when Novak understands the way events have unfolded during the past ten years, he will understand and believe her. But will he? He allows Angela to tell her story, but obviously doesn't trust her. Angela's version is the only one we hear, and even as she presents her story, the jealousy is evident. Saskia interfered with her life, and Angela frankly acknowledges it. So...to trust Angela or not? And if Angela is not responsible for Saskia's disappearance, who is?
Roz Nay doesn't waste anything; she wraps up this gripping novel in fewer than 300 pages and still tells a complex tale in which none of the characters come off particularly well. A promising debut from a talented writer.
Read in February. Review scheduled for April.
NetGalley/St. Martin's Press
Psychological Suspense. April 17, 2018. Print length: 272 pages.