Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Woman With a Secret by Sophie Hannah

Ah, the lovely genre of detective fiction and mystery! I love getting the chance to solve a crime, and what better way to do it than in a good mystery novel? When I first began reading this novel, I had no idea it was in a series. That would probably have been helpful as I found myself having a bit of a difficult time understanding how all of the characters were connected. However, this novel definitely did work as a standalone so if you don’t want to read all of the previous books, you don’t have to! Anyways, let’s move on to my review:

Nicki Clements did not think there was anything out of the ordinary when she was caught in traffic on Elmhirst Road  while she was driving. But then she sees the face of a man she hoped never to see, a cop who knows a secret about her. Desperate to avoid him, she makes a panicked U-turn and leaves the scene, hoping that she was able to escape undetected. Unfortunately, her peculiar behaviour did not go unnoticed, and the police have now summoned her for questioning – where she is a suspect for the murder of a controversial newspaper columnist named Damon Blundy, who lived on Elmhirst Road. As the police begin to badger her with questions about her actions on that day, Nicki scrambles to cover her tracks. One simple answer could clear her of all suspicion… but the consequences of revealing the truth could ruin her. Nicki may not be guilty of murder, but she is far from innocent…

Let me be blunt here and tell you that I did not enjoy this novel at all. There are a whole host of reasons and I’m struggling in choosing where to start. There were way too many characters introduced in very quick succession. Perhaps, if I had read the previous books in the series, I wouldn’t have been so overwhelmed but there were still too many potential killers with not nearly enough character development; I felt like I barely got to know anything about their personalities, and as such, they remained very one-dimensional. I thought the whole premise behind the story was absolutely pointless. Nicki Clements is a character that I cannot tolerate, and all she did was create problems when there were none. I also did not like the character of the main detective; he was always in his own thoughts and he just HAD to make the big reveal in the most anti-climactic way possible. The whole story didn’t really make sense and didn’t need to happen, and the motive of the killer was just … nonsensical. After finishing the novel, I was stunned at how pointless it all was. I think I’m just going to stop here and simply say that I would not recommend this novel to anyone. I’m probably also not going to pursue any of the novels in this series.

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