Published by Berkley on Dec. 8, 2016
Genres: Romantic suspense
Source: the library
Also by this author: Copper Beach, Dream Eyes, River Road, Eye of the Beholder, Lost and Found, Sharp Edges, When All the Girls Have Gone
Madeline and Daphne were once as close as sisters—until a secret tore them apart. Now it might take them to their graves.
They knew his name, the man who tried to brutally attack twelve-year-old Madeline in her grandmother's hotel. They thought they knew his fate. He wouldn't be bothering them anymore...ever. Still their lives would never be the same.
Madeline has returned to Washington after her grandmother's mysterious death. And at the old, abandoned hotel—a place she never wanted to see again—a dying man’s last words convey a warning: the secrets she and Daphne believed buried forever have been discovered.
Now, after almost two decades, Madeline and Daphne will be reunited in friendship and in fear. Unable to trust the local police, Madeline summons Jack Rayner, the hotel chain’s new security expert. Despite the secrets and mysteries that surround him, Jack is the only one she trusts...and wants.
Jack is no good at relationships but he does possess a specific skill set that includes a profoundly intimate understanding of warped and dangerous minds. With the assistance of Jack's brother, Abe, a high-tech magician, the four of them will form an uneasy alliance against a killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth....
Krentz has another winner in Secret Sisters. I couldn’t stop turning the pages, and read the entire book in a single sitting. Skillful use of misdirection and excellent pacing kept kept me speculating over what was going on and who was (and wasn’t) involved, right up until the very end.
The main romantic relationship was a little more thinly developed than in some of Krentz’s other books, but I liked Maddie very much, and Jack almost as well. Both have secrets and “issues” holding them back from intimacy; Maddie has to reveal hers a lot sooner than Jack does, but we get hints through his memories and nightmares. Both Jack and Maddie are also typical Krentz main characters; Maddie is take-charge, independent, and keeps people (especially men) at a distance (with good reason) while remaining inwardly somewhat vulnerable; and Jack is intense, self-contained, and extremely protective — in other words, an alpha male. They’re well-matched, both intellectually and emotionally.
A secondary relationship develops between Maddie’s childhood friend Daphne and Jack’s brother Abe (that’s not a spoiler; anyone who doesn’t see it coming from the blurb hasn’t read Krentz before), and I wished they had gotten more page time. But I really enjoyed the friendship between Maddie and Daphne — one of those lifelong sisters-in-spirit relationships that only a few of us are lucky enough to experience in reality. The cameraderie and concern between brothers Jack and Abe rang very true as well.
Krentz gives us a plethora of potential villains in Secret Sisters. Said villains may or may not include the Websters, a wealthy, powerful family with a great deal of influence on Cooper Island, where Maddie’s grandmother’s old hotel is located. In fact, there’s quite a lot of deliciously complicated manipulation and villainy going on, both in the past and in the present, which makes it all the more difficult for the reader to solve the mystery. Several startling incidents and unexpected twists keep things lively until the last few pages, making this one of the most intriguing Krentz novels I’ve read since the close of the Arcane Society series.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- The Backlist Reader (TBR) Challenge 2016