This is my second Kate Morton novel. After loving the Lake House earlier this year I rushed out to buy another book by Morton. It may have taken me a while to get to it but eventually I got there. The Secret Keeper is about Laurel, a sixteen year old girl who witnesses a violent crime committed by one of the closest people to her in life. Flash forward fifty years to present and this crime continues to haunt her. Something doesn’t quite add up and Laurel is determined to find out what happened before the truth is lost forever. The story flashes between the present time, the 1960’s when the violence occurred and the 1940’s wartime London where events are set in motion that lead up to the fateful day.
I found this story intriguing and read it rather quickly, although it did not quite capture me in the same way as the Lake House did. I put this down to the characters. I didn’t find the characters in the Secret Keeper to be quite as likeable as those in the Lake House. I didn’t feel like I knew them as well and therefore didn’t care for them in the same way. The characters were, however, more flawed, raw and perhaps more relatable? I’m not sure but all eventually becomes abundantly clear in due course and they end up slightly redeemed by the conclusion of the story.
The book however does have the classic Morton feel of many plot twists and turns. The book leads you down the path of one explanation and even though you know it won’t end up being the correct you can’t help but follow it. Then the next piece of evidence comes to light, leading you down another path. Eventually you may guess at parts of the mystery, but never the whole truth, leaving you satisfied with the ending. A little too satisfied for some people’s tastes I can imagine. The pieces of the story eventually fall into place so neatly that each and every loose end will have a neat little bow, tying it off. Some people won’t enjoy this aspect of the story. It isn’t particularly realistic and if that is what you are after this may not be the book for you. I think of Morton’s stories more like a romanticised mystery, rather than anything too serious or life-like.
Overall, I found the book to be fast-paced and enjoyable with plenty of bombshells dropped (both figuratively and literally) before the conclusion of the story. I look forward to trying more of her novels in the future. I give the Secret Keeper three cameras, helping solve the mystery.