Friday, January 18, 2013

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

TITLE: The Secret Keeper
AUTHOR: Kate Morton
SOURCE: Purchased

Goodreads / Author's Website

You know, I have to admit, I'm a little lukewarm on The Secret Keeper, Kate Morton's latest historical mystery. Maybe I'm just getting a little tired with all the historical fiction I read or maybe I've just read too many of Morton's books recently, but this one just didn't do it for me. 

Laurel Nicholson is a famous London actress who has been haunted by a tragedy she witnessed as a teenager. Her mother killed a man and she never knew why. Now as her mother's on her deathbed Laurel tries to solve the mystery, diving into the archives examining what exactly happened in her mother's World War Two past to drive her to such a deed. 

The premise was super interesting. The mystery definitely kept me enthralled. Seriously, so many twists and turns. But I don't know. The plot is just so similar to the other Kate Morton books I've read, old woman keeps a secret, mysterious past, the next generation must discover the secret. On the one hand, yes it works, on the other, it would be nice to read something a little bit different. That combined with the fact that I've read a lot of books set in WW2 recently put me off a little. 

So what did I like about it? Well the mystery definitely kept the pages turning for me. I really wanted to know what had happened in Dorothy Nicholson's past to lead her to murder a man one summer's afternoon. Some of the secondary characters were fantastic. Jimmy, the young love interest during the war, was so lovable. Like he was so incredibly sweet with his ailing father, with Dorothy, with everybody really. Brave and upstanding, he's the type of fictional character you just wish was real. I cared about what happened to him. I was invested in this character.

The other characters, not so much. Even though Dorothy was the protagonist, I never really warmed to her as a character. I cared about what happened to her because of the love her children had for her, but the character herself, eh. That was a major drawback. 

I love that Morton's novels are well researched. That's really important to me when reading historical fiction, but I just didn't fall in love with this story. I enjoyed it while I read it, but it's not a book that has me wanting to reread it right away. I think I'll just take it as a sign that it's time to add some variety into my reading. 

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