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4.4 out of 5 stars49
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 31 August 2008
I first read The Missing and thought it was a wonderful read and would be very hard to repeat. Not the case Chris Mooney is a fantastic writer and I am now going through the web collecting the other books. The secret friend is a constant page turner, it grips you pretty much from the beginning.
0Comment11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
'The Missing' was a very good book, taut, full of suspense until the end and, of course, the introduction of CSI Darby McCormick.

She's back for a second outing now, better equipped and highly regarded so that when another serial killer comes into view, she and her team are obviously the people to chose to prise out the killer.

Inevitably, she manages to find minute clues through her forensic investigations which help her track down the person in question but, halfway through, up pops another character from a previous book (not known to me at the time of reading) who, frankly, seems to know than anybody and who gradually guides Darby to the final outcome. Quite why remains a mystery.

This book is not as good as the first one, probably because the story, although quite gripping and intricate, doesn't build very much on the characters we already know. It's a little procedural. not in the police work which seems to be well portrayed but rather in the way the story unfolds. Few - if any - red herrings and always an underlying thought that with Darby in charge, she will save the day and the victim - just in time.

I gather we are supposed to regard Darby as a book version of Kate Beckinsale. Well, okay but do we, therefore, expect journeys into the netherworld sometime soon? We shall see as I'm just about to read the third outing for the girl.
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on 6 January 2012
College girls from Boston are being abducted, and turning up murdered months later. Boston Police Department officer, Darby McCormaick, is investigating these cases, which start to have a link, with another murder case from the past.

Having already read, The Missing, also by this author, I was really looking forward to reading this story. However, I felt it was a bit disappointing. I did not find the characters as engaging, as in the earlier book. I also found the plot a bit slow moving too. Basically, there was nothing in this story, that made it stand out, or above other thrillers out there.
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on 29 July 2008
discovered Chris Mooney when I picked up his novel Deviant Ways. I instantly fell for Jack Casey and the mysterious Malcolm Fletcher. I have read all of Mooney's books and I have adored all of them.

The Secret Friend is the newest Mooney entry and I have to say that I ADORED this book. Our main character Darby McCormick, who we have seen in Mooney's previous novel is back and she is asked to investigate a body that was found floating in the Boston harbor. After some research, the body is linked to another murder - that of Emma Hale - who has a father with an endless supply of money and many, many connections. As Darby continues to investigate, she will come across a potential third victim which will lead the police on a wild chase to find the third victim before she is killed.

Surprisingly, Darby will get some unwanted help from a very, very important person - who makes a return appearance from Deviant Ways - and I am so thrilled that he is part of the storyline. Mooney made a great move in joining Darby and this character and we now get a tad more info on this character. There is chemistry between the two and from the very beginning, when they meet, you can feel a connection, although Darby refuses to acknowledge it.

What I also loved about this book is the location. Alot of the action takes place in a deserted, spooky mental hospital. Mooney does a great job of describing the hospital and makes it all sound almost supernatural. I thought it really added to the storyline. There is also an interesting twist towards the middle of the book that I was not expecting at all.

All I can say is that I am thrilled to see these two characters in the same book and I think it may be time to bring back someone else from Deviant Ways - please Chris???????

You have to buy this book - its a great read and will make the hair at the back of your neck stand up.
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on 11 November 2012
The Secret Friend, the good points- well we get to learn some about Malcolm Fletcher, good guy gone rouge, perhaps, although I think in the most recent outing we get to feel a bit more flesh on his bones, as we should because so far he seems a bit smoke and mirrors. Next positive- the story flows well enough and some pulse quickening events take place, but that's about it. The negatives- my own personal hate, the good old 'lunatic' gets another outing, if all else fails blame the 'looney down the road', and we're not talking an old school psycho, we're talking a full on schizophrenic, how he manages to be a competant killer (of course until he comes against the forces of all things good) is beyond belief. The fact that this is our slayer of nice, hard working college girls came across as a bit shoddy, also offered no sense of surprise as by a third in you have it worked out. Another negative, our heroine has became a touch judgemental and Chris Mooney seems to have no problem in offering various internal dialouges regarding people or events that seem to fire up her self righteousnes, even towards victims. I dont know that I'd want her applying her forensic skills to me, should I end up unfortunate enough to be offed by a raging looney (as it seems the poor buggers who suffer from schizophrenia have the nounce to carry out rather eloborate killings!). All in, 3 out of 5, something to read if you have a few hours to kill and aren't looking to be too challenged.
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In this book we meet Darby again. She's a great character. The story is original and well written. I don't usually like American crime stories but Chris Mooney writes really well. I will be reading more of these books!
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on 18 February 2010
I apologize - not native speaker and my review will contain some outrageous mistakes, thta's for sure. But never mind. About the book - based on just 2 items (The Secret Friend and The Missing), I would recommend Mooney's Darby McCormick stories with no much hesitation. Feels a bit like Val McDermit's Carol Jordan but it would be nice to have a counterpart to Tony Hill as well. Makes a reading that would easily get you through a nasty air trip or smth. If you were lucky enough to read it on a lazy vacation day, I would bet you will read it through with one go. Unputdownable.
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on 5 November 2013
Wow! Murder/suspense - right up my street ........... absolutely adore these wonderful minds - now can ascertain tv murders without blinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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on 10 April 2014
Loved this book! Looking forward to reading more about Darby! Excellent thriller would definitely recommend this to a friends and family
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on 30 October 2013
This is a gripping tale and one of these books you can't put down,I couldn't wait to get to it's conclusion
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