Six neighbours, six secrets, six reasons to want Olive Collins dead.
In the exclusive gated community of Withered Vale, people’s lives appear as perfect as their beautifully manicured lawns. Money, success, privilege – the residents have it all. Life is good.
There’s just one problem.
Olive Collins’ dead body has been rotting inside number four for the last three months. Her neighbours say they’re shocked at the discovery but nobody thought to check on her when she vanished from sight.
The police start to ask questions and the seemingly flawless facade begins to crack. Because, when it comes to Olive’s neighbours, it seems each of them has something to hide, something to lose and everything to gain from her death.
Show me a book with the word secret in the title and I want to read it. I love secrets! I love their unravelling, I love trying to find the way to the truth, which in this case took me the entire book, ha! ?
Dirty Little Secrets is intriguing right from the get-go, and it only gets more intriguing as the story moves forward. Now, the reader knows right away that Olive has not just dropped dead, that she was killed. We know, because she herself tells us in the opening chapter. The police however, find a corpse that has been lying around for way too long, blackened, decomposed. What they also find is DNA all over the place, but not on the tape used to block all the air vents in the house. Can’t be a coincidence, right? While we wait for the police to come to the right conclusion, we are also wondering how a person can be dead for nigh on three months without anyone noticing. There are only a few houses in Withered Vale, how come no one noticed Olive had gone MIA, how come no one cared enough? As the police investigate and talk to Olive’s neighbours it becomes clear that she was no one’s favourite person, and as we find out more about Olive through her neighbours on the one hand and through her own words on the other, we learn why that might be. Olive was not the easiest person to have in the community: she was a mean, meddling, judgmental, conniving, self-righteous little busybody with very few redeeming qualities, all in all a woman with a rather despicable character whom I came to loathe, and I can easily see how her neighbours would be glad to be rid of her.
The more secrets are revealed, the more there seem to be. People don’t go and live in a secluded fenced off neighbourhood for nothing, do they. It takes the entire book to unravel everything there is to unravel. This is one of those books where you think: oh just one more chapter, just a few more minutes. If work hadn’t got in the way I would have finished this in a day, that’s how utterly addictive it is. I kept suspecting one neighbour and then another, and then going back to the first, and then to yet another. Towards the end of the novel I became a little worried that the finale would let me down, because the book was so brilliant, so in crescendo, that I feared the conclusion could never live up to my expectations. But you guys!! I couldn’t come up with a more satisfying ending if I tried, NO ONE could come up with a more satisfying ending, it’s absolute perfection!
Dirty Little Secrets is everything a psychological thriller should be and more! Very highly recommended
Dirty Little Secrets is out now!!
Massive thanks to Quercus Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read an eARC for free in exchange for an honest and unbiassed review