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The Secret Keeper [Hardcover]

Kate Morton
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,548 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 9.45 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

11 Oct 2012

1961: On a sweltering summer's day, while her family picnics by the stream on their Suffolk farm, sixteen-year-old Laurel hides out in her childhood tree house dreaming of a boy called Billy, a move to London, and the bright future she can't wait to seize. But before the idyllic afternoon is over, Laurel will have witnessed a shocking crime that changes everything.

2011: Now a much-loved actress, Laurel finds herself overwhelmed by shades of the past. Haunted by memories, and the mystery of what she saw that day, she returns to her family home and begins to piece together a secret history. A tale of three strangers from vastly different worlds - Dorothy, Vivien and Jimmy - who are brought together by chance in wartime London and whose lives become fiercely and fatefully entwined.

Shifting between the 1930s, the 1960s and the present, The Secret Keeper is a spellbinding story of mysteries and secrets, murder and enduring love.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Mantle (11 Oct 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0230759505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230759503
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 16 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,548 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of southeast Queensland, Australia. She has degrees in Dramatic Art and English Literature and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Queensland. Kate lives with her husband and two young sons in Brisbane.

Product Description


‘Kate Morton excels in this enthralling novel about desires and divided loyalties’ Good Housekeeping

‘An evocative tale of wartime secrets and family loyalty . . . The story unfurls with a beguiling sweetness, but there's a real sting to this tale, too’ Marie Claire Good Book Club choice

About the Author

Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland and lives now with her husband and young sons in Brisbane. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature, specializing in nineteenth-century tragedy and contemporary gothic novels.

With just three novels published, Kate Morton has sold over 7 million copies in 26 languages, across 38 countries. The Shifting Fog, published internationally as The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden and The Distant Hours have all been number one bestsellers around the world. Each novel won the Australian Book Industry award for General Fiction Book of the Year.

You can find more information about Kate Morton and her books at or

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
371 of 380 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful story of family intrigue, 11 Oct 2012
By C. Colley TOP 500 REVIEWER
I was really pleased to get a pre-publication copy of The Secret Keeper. It's a huge book and I admit that I started it with a little trepidation. The story in Kate Morton's previous novel, The Distant Hours was really good, but overall I felt it was a little drawn out.

This story opens on a summer's day in the 1960s. Sixteen year old Lauren Nicholson is a witness to a crime that involves her mother, Dorothy. The police arrive and the matter is dealt with, but it's many years later before Laurel uncovers her mothers shady past and what led to that shocking event.
Dorothy's story goes back to the late 1930s. She leaves her family behind and goes to London. During wartime, Dorothy becomes involved with Jimmy, and comes into contact with Vivien, the wife of a once famous author. When Dorothy's, Jimmy's and Vivien's worlds collide, the tension in the story begins to mount.
In the present day, Laurel is back at the family home in Suffolk. Her frail mother is in hospital and the visits to see her are helping Laurel piece together the family mystery that's haunted her for years.

This book is a super read. It starts a tiny bit slow, but this is necessary to develop the plot. The story moves back and forth and becomes more intricate as it unfolds. The characters are vibrant and there is a wonderful sense of time and place, particularly in wartime London where the atmosphere and plot-line are tense.
Everything unravels in the latter pages and leads to a brilliant twist. The story certainly keeps the reader guessing and my guess was way off the mark.
Kate Morton has written a fantastic story here and I think it's her best yet.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb read 15 Dec 2012
By val r
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Kate Morton has constructed a wonderful story, flitting between the present day, the 1960's and the war years. Her description, characterisation and skill in telling the story all make for an enthralling read. In particular, the links between the eras are so well thought out that she kept me reading long into the night even though I did not want the story to end. This is one of the best pieces of writing which I have read in a long time and I shall look out for other novels by Kate Morton. It deserves to become a classic.
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133 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kate at her best! 4 Nov 2012
By Dimity
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have just finished reading this wonderful book this morning and have wiped the tears away now. Tears because the book has ended and also because I was so touched by certain aspects of the story. I very rarely cry at books but this one had me a few times.

I have loved all of Kate Morton's previous books. Even The Distant Hours, which received quite negative reviews. So I was eagerly awaiting the release of this novel and wasn't disappointed.

What a wonderful story. So beautifully well written, as always. I would say that it was pitched perfectly, were it not for the fact that I found it a little hard going and over descriptive at the beginning. If you find this too, stick with it; it will reward you!

I'm not one for outlining the plot in reviews; the above Amazon blurb is there for that. However, I would like to point out that the many twists and turns and the triple time frame narrative are all handled extremely skillfully and you need to keep reading to get the posed questions answered. Beautiful!

Also, talking of twists, there is rather a large twist that was all the more satisfying for me as I hadn't already worked it out. I usually always see the twist coming a mile away and, as, with hindsight, this one was quite clear, it is a great testament to the writer's skill that I didn't twig earlier. I did read back over several sections after 'the reveal' and kicked myself with a gratified smile.

Very lovely, beautifully written, well researched and enjoyable novel from a fantastic writer. Buy it! If you liked KM's other books, you'll love this. I will definitely be reading it again.

I have now started to re-read The Forgotten Garden.
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another superb read from Kate Morton this time set over three time periods, 1941,1961 and 2011 it starts in 1961 with Laurel, eldest daughter of Dorothy Nicholson witnessing a shocking event.

In 2011 with her mother reaching the end of her life in hospital Laurel decides she needs to re-examine that day and longs to find out more about her mother's early life. Her mother is also remembering the early days giving the reader a narrative of London during the Blitz.

As always Kate Morton draws crisp characters along with great descriptions of wartime life, based upon solid research that only occasionally intrudes through the storytelling, but rather blends seamlessly into Dorothy's life. The number of main characters is kept to a minimum with enough bit-players to give depth but not so many to confuse matters.

The book is split into four parts, with each chapter clearly stating the time period it relates to, this makes for easy clear reading and the tale rattles along as a good book should.

The end of the story doesn't disappoint, although for some I expect it may be just a little to neatly sewn together. I loved every moment of this book.
Another winner, I am already looking forward to Kate Morton's next book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
As usual good story with twist.
Published 1 day ago by Janet Webster
5.0 out of 5 stars The secret keeper by kate morton
Totally involved and captivated by this book. I love kate Morton's books. The story is very cleverly written and kept me guessing throughout. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Cecelia ahern
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book with wonderful twists and turns.
Published 3 days ago by Mrs M Walton-on-Thames
5.0 out of 5 stars As always Kate Morton holds your attention as she involves ...
As always Kate Morton holds your attention as she involves you in her mystery and keeps you wondering what the outcome will be!
Published 3 days ago by Colette Cozens
5.0 out of 5 stars Best keep secret!!!
This book was recommended to me by a friend so I git it on my Kindle and really loved the story. I have not read Kate Morton before but as soon as I finished this book I downloaded... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Mrs. L. A. King
4.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing read
I took a little while to get into the book but once I did I was hooked. it isn't initially apparent where the book is leading but bear with it, you won't be disappointed!
Published 7 days ago by Susan
2.0 out of 5 stars I did not enjoy this as much as the last one of Kate ...
I did not enjoy this as much as the last one of Kate Morton and must admit have not finished it yet.
Published 9 days ago by Lynda Whitney
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read!
Published 9 days ago by Jan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another great read from Kate Morton. The story pulls you in and never lets up until the last page.
Published 11 days ago by Rosemary Haynes
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read in ages
Best book I've read in ages. I couldn't put it down much to my husband's irritation. Keep recommending to anyone who'll listen!
Published 12 days ago by Gemma
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