The Secret by Debbie Howells

The Secret by Debbie Howells is a tense psychological thriller that kept me reading late into the night.


In the village of Abingworth, everyone has a secret to hide.

Best friends Niamh and Hollie are the only two teenagers in this small community. They tell each other everything. One day, Hollie shares the secret of all secrets with Niamh and makes her promise not to tell anyone, no matter what.

Not long after this, Hollie goes missing, and her body turns up days later.

When Detective Sergeant May gets assigned with solving this case, she quickly learns that this village is full of people who don’t say much but are quick to point fingers at one another.

Review of The Secret by Debbie Howells

This psychological thriller is slowly paced and intricately plotted and has multiple POVs. The chapters are fairly short and kept me turning the pages. It deals with some dark themes, so it won’t be one that everyone can digest. There are some great twists along the way that kept me guessing. I did not correctly predict the big reveal, but regular readers of the genre may have no trouble pinning it down.

I think the author accurately shows how debilitating emotional and physical abuse can be. A warning that some of the abuse is quite descriptive.

I recommend this to those prepared for a psychological thriller that takes it time examining dark subject matter.

This was my first time reading a Debbie Howells book, but it will not be my last. I believe there is a nice backlist to dive into.

CW: emotional and physical abuse/violence, child exploitation (non-descriptive).

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Expected Publication: 6 January 2022

Thank you to Avon for the arc provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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