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on 9 February 2006
I read Nicci French's `LAND OF THE LIVING' over two years ago and was so rapt by it that I read it in one day. Yet for reasons unknown it took me over two years to pick up another one of her books and again I was completely rapt by it! Nicci French knows how to write suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting more.
`SECRET SMILE' kept me completely frustrated as the heroine Miranda tries to no avail to convince friends, family and the authorities that her ex-semi-boyfriend Brendan, who has now re-insinuated himself into her life as her sisters new fiancé, is not the sweet and caring man that everyone believes him to be. Brendan has quite easily convinced everyone close to Miranda that they had a bad breakup and that she took it very hard, when in actuality after a brief courtship Miranda ended it with him. Now those closest to Miranda believe that she is the one that is obsessed and slowly turn against her. After a series of tragedies Miranda does succumb to an obsession of Brendan, however she is now obsessed with revenge and a determination not to let him hurt anyone else.
One thing that puzzled me about this book was how easily it was for Miranda's family and friends to turn against her and take the word of this virtual stranger over hers. On the other hand, it did not seem as though Miranda tried her hardest to convince anyone of her story for fear of them not believing her. No matter how plausible this stranger's story may be, if my daughter, sister or friend felt that they were in danger I would have to be inclined to at least look into it. For this reason and this reason only I give this book 4 instead of 5 stars because all other aspects including the twist at the end kept me riveted. Surely it will not be another two years before I pick up another one of this authors books!
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on 22 May 2017
I am a great fan of the Nicci French stories and read though Secret Smile greedily. I then read it again straight away.
As always, the plot grips your attention and you are reading well into the small hours.
The characters are believable and I felt anger and sympathy in all the right places.
Always a pleasure to find that the meek win and the guilty almost always get their comeuppance.
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on 3 March 2017
This book makes you realise that this situation could happen pretty chilling. Part of domestic control and violence, it's possible,
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on 1 May 2017
very good - enjoyed
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on 9 August 2017
Good
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on 22 March 2017
I was supposed to go shopping for a new outfit but I never made it because I couldn't put the book down, need I say more?
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on 15 August 2017
Very well written as ever , although characters maybe not quite as strong as other Nicci French novels .
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on 27 April 2017
great read
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VINE VOICEon 21 April 2004
This book started really well and showed signs of a very good read'Mirrie' is being stalked by an ex. lover who (when no one else can see)shows her signs of his obsession with her and it made me turn the pages tosee just how far he would go. However suddenly the book seems to turn 360degrees and it ends!! What happened, did the writers get bored and couldntthink of how to fininsh this because that is what it seems.A very poorending to what could have been a compelling story. A great shame!
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on 27 March 2004
Nicci French (husband and wife team) have found a niche for themselves in the psychological thriller. I belive one of the reasons for their success is the obvious attention to detail. They also manage to elicit empathy in the reader. However appalling the anti-hero is, we are interested in them. Brendan Block is a compelling character - and any woman who has had an experience with a sociopath will recognize with dread the tell-tale signs of obsession.
I also enjoyed Miranda's descent into depression and that powerless feeeling of not being credible in other's eyes.
Her friendship's with other women were, for me, the only low point of the novel. I find it hard to belive that an extremely close female friend would be unable to support another woman's anxiety about an 'ex'.
Saying that - I read this in one day - swept along by Miranda's personal 'Tempest' and her desperate efforts to make sense of her world that cracks under the weight of a strangers' insanity.
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