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The Secret Keeper Hardcover – 11 Oct 2012

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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: 16 x 4.7 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,618 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,874 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


"Morton excels at creating absorbing mystery." (PEOPLE)

"Morton is the master of the atmospheric old-fashioned novel packed with enough stories to fill all the worn satchels in the Milderhurst attic." (Bookpage)

"In this fascinating story, filled with twists and turns enough to satisfy the most discerning listener, three lives become serendipitously but irrevocably intertwined in England during WWII. They leave in their wake a trail of clues that must be pieced together many years later to solve the mystery of the death of a stranger, witnessed by a child in a tree house. Caroline Lee's ability to make each character's voice a "perfect fit" and to deliver myriad accents from various strata of English and Australian society is icing on the yummy cake. This riveting audiobook that will not disappoint." (AudioFile Magazine) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

377 of 387 people found the following review helpful By C. Colley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Oct 2012
Format: Hardcover
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 By val r on 15 Dec 2012
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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135 of 142 people found the following review helpful By Dimity on 4 Nov 2012
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 By C. Bannister TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Oct 2012
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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