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The Darkest Secret Audiobook

The Darkest Secret

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Publisher's Summary

Apologies for the general email, but I desperately need your help. My goddaughter, Coco Jackson, disappeared from her family's holiday home in Bournemouth on the night of Sunday/Monday, August 29/30, the bank holiday weekend just gone. Coco is three years old.

When identical twin Coco goes missing during a family celebration, there is a media frenzy. Her parents are rich and influential, as are the friends they were with at their holiday home by the sea. But what really happened to Coco?

Over two intense weekends - the first when Coco goes missing and the second 15 years later, at the funeral of her father - the darkest of secrets will gradually be revealed....

Taut, emotive and utterly compelling, a pause-resisting, 'ripped from the headlines' novel that you will want to talk about with everyone you know.

©2015 Alex Marwood (P)2015 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (69 )
5 star
 (30)
4 star
 (27)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.1 (62 )
5 star
 (29)
4 star
 (16)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.2 (63 )
5 star
 (30)
4 star
 (19)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Kris 02/02/2016
    Kris 02/02/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Completely Predictable"
    What would have made The Darkest Secret better?

    The promised secret was revealed late in the story and the ending felt rushed and unfinished. The focus was more on what the secret was and didn't really deal with what happens after it was discovered. Even the predictable 'twist' only revealed in the epilogue was left so late that you wondered if you had predicted the plot wrongly, until at the last paragraphs releasing you were right all along.


    Has The Darkest Secret put you off other books in this genre?

    No.


    What does Imogen Church bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The tone and inflections of the characters make it easier to understand the mindsets of the various points of view.


    What character would you cut from The Darkest Secret?

    Heather, India, or the other extra children. They are surplus to the plot.


    Any additional comments?

    It is disappointing that characters not involved in the original secret do not get to learn the full truth of it. It would have been worth exploring the psychological implications, especially given one of the pivotal story tellers seems obsessed with psychological conditions. A plot thread where that character explores justice / revenge could have been interesting. Also, there is a death which is touched on but never fully delved into. Given the cause of the death of '#3', it seems like an opportunity missed to not have '#4' explicitly implicated...?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mae 22/07/2016
    Mae 22/07/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent plot"

    The storyline is very good with characters that you feel many different emotions towards - empathy, sorrow, disgust and even liking at times! The voices used by the narrator were a little annoying, especially the voice used for Sean. However, overall the experience was enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    stacey 22/03/2016
    stacey 22/03/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A sequel to tie up the loose ends?"

    I enjoyed the story, but the ending was rushed and left too much unanswered. Disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy 13/03/2016
    Tracy 13/03/2016 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Compellingly complex"

    Couldn't put it down........a story to be read without interruption. Twists and turns that are unexpected

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liz 03/03/2016
    Liz 03/03/2016 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Riveting storyline"

    Engrossing storyline with twists and turns throughout. Excellent character development. Couldn't stop listening ! Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justine 29/02/2016
    Justine 29/02/2016 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great drama"

    This book is told from a few points of view and moves back and forth in time. Interesting development of characters. Lots of twists. Great book, very easy listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • P. Coleman
    London
    14/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Haunting"

    Unputdownable thriller that I couldn't leave alone. Some of the basic set up is borrowed from a real case but that made it even more engrossing. Haven't raced through anything this fast since the Girl on the Train, would have been done in a day if I wasn't at work! Excellent story and narrator, I eagerly await the next story from either.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • lisasarcy
    11/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The narrator makes this."

    Good, solid family secrets type novel about a missing child, if a little bit predictable. Borrows heavily from some of the better known real life missing children cases. Pretty engaging though.

    The narrator is excellent, especially when performing the dialogue of the children. I've had several books ruined by narrators over playing children, but in this one the performance was spot on.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Kathy
    Cornwall
    14/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Read"
    Where does The Darkest Secret rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top 20 - I have about 500.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Kept me guessing until close to the end.


    Have you listened to any of Imogen Church’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No - too dark for that


    Any additional comments?

    It is an awful subject and most of the characters were vile people and they didn't get what they deserved but it kept me enthralled until the end and I will read more by the author.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • rhonda thomason
    16/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "another brilliant book by Alex Marwood"

    loved it from start to finish it's really easy to listen to and a fantastic story. Imogen Church does a fantastic job as always at bringing the characters to life.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ann
    Newcastle, England
    9/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good story, but ultimately disappointing!"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend it to a crime fiction enthusiast. Its a good story, but a flawed book.


    If you’ve listened to books by Alex Marwood before, how does this one compare?

    Not as good as her first two. Wicked Girls in particular, is excellent.


    Any additional comments?

    I had high expectations of this novel, especially as it was recommended to me by another author whose work I love. The story itself is very engaging. I gained the impression that it is inspired partly by the case of Marilynn McCann (just as Marwood's excellent debut novel Wicked Girls was, I feel sure, inspired by the case of Jamie Bulger). I loved the story until the twist at the end which read like too quick a change of direction, with little substance. I think it would have been better to stick with what we had already been given to believe and follow it through (trying to make a point within giving spoilers here!), but I guess this may be a matter of personal taste. The ending left me a bit flat and disappointed due to this. What brought my star rating down from a four to a three though is the shoddy dialogue in places (surprising since Wicked Girls was so excellent and The Killer Next Door, very good too). It read like the early draft of a good book in places. For example, consecutive sentences beginning, He said . . . She said . . . He said . . . She said . . .! And a sentence that read "I wonder if I should come out, she wonders"! Seriously?

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Pauline B
    30/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "worth everyone of the 5 stars."

    a gripping family dilemma unfolds , twists and lies to the very end. a great narrator . i loved that the mystery was detective free .

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs W.
    17/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Spellbound!!"

    This is a "virtual" page turner, ended up listening when I should have been working!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stevei
    27/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "a good story good characters and very well read"

    thought I had worked it out early on but I was so wrong really enjoyed it .listen to all three books by this author well worth getting

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • S.White
    28/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "the darkest secret"

    not liking her"male" voice. the narrator. the story is brilliant and well written with twists and turns all the way.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • SilentSinger
    London
    26/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Darkest Secret"

    This is the third novel I have read by author Alex Marwood, herself a former Fleet Street journalist. The plot of this book centres around the dysfunctional Jackson family, who are rocked by the 'disappearance' back in 2004 of patriarch, Sean's toddler twin daughter, Coco. When Sean is found dead in a hotel room many years later, one of the twins from his first marriage, Milla, re-aquaints herself with her younger half-sister, Coco's twin, Ruby, who is living with her mother, Sean's second wife, Claire in rural obscurity.

    It's a confusing story featuring a myriad of stepmothers, half-sisters, twins and an array of awful moneyed selfish individuals. Once I'd worked out who was who, it was much easier to understand. One of the main issues I encountered was that it was difficult to empathise or have any sympathy with anyone. There is also the hints at the Madelaine McCann case.

    The Narrator, Imogen Church was excellent throughout. She seems to have cornered the market in thrillers of this oeuvre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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