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A Secret Rage [Mass Market Paperback]

Charlaine Harris

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Book Description

Aug. 7 2007 Prime Crime Mysteries
Former New York City model Nickie Callahan is looking forward to the easy life when she moves to the sleepy college town of Knolls, Tennessee. But the women of Knolls are not safe. And as Nickie gets swept up in a string of brutally violent crimes, she must take matters of justice into her own hands.


Frequently Bought Together

A Secret Rage + Sweet and Deadly
Price For Both: CDN$ 18.98

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (Aug. 7 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425214532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425214534
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.6 x 1.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #234,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  56 reviews
197 of 198 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early fiction from Charlaine Harris Sept. 30 2007
By Stephanie Crawford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm a huge Charlaine Harris fan, I love her Sookie Stackhouse, Aurora Teagarden, Harper Connelly and Lily Bard series. This was her second published book, and if you read her first, "Sweet and Deadly" then you have a pretty good idea of the tone of this book. A former model, Nickie, returns to her small, Southern town to attend college and become roommate to her long-time best friend. Everything is going well until a serial rapist strikes incredibly close, and Nickie's world is turned upside down and almost every man she knows becomes a suspect.

A big reason why I love Harris's work is her humor, she injects true comedy into very real characters. I guess she had not found that voice yet, and there isn't any levity in this story. While it's a very short book, I was not aware of how heavily rape factored into the storyline and it was hard for me to read more than a little at a time. The book is still well-written and I did get drawn into the characters and their lives, but do not start this book expecting the "usual Harris", as this book is very dry and takes it's subject very seriously.

UPDATE: I read an interview with Charlaine Harris in a mystery novel magazine, and in it she reveals she is a rape survivor. After that tragedy she wrote "A Secret Rage", and suddenly the book made complete sense to me. It's a heartbreaking fact that many of us women (and men, actually) deal with the effects of sexual abuse in our lives- if not directly then with family members or friends being victims. Writing this book helped Mrs. Harris cope, and she published the book hoping to help other survivors. She says many readers wrote in and thanked her for writing this story, so on top of her literary skills I give her big kudos for writing this dark story and I'm glad it was re-printed in this edition.

P.S. I see there are some tags such as "paranormal romance", "vampire" and even "werewolves." I can only assume some misguided soul put that there because Harris has written about those subjects, but this book is NOT a romance (paranormal or otherwise) and contains NO vampires or any other such creatures.
88 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing, emotional, suspenseful [MILD SPOILERS] March 27 2003
By C. Hodges - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When a serial rapist strikes a small, Southern town, his victims band together to catch the predator before he strikes again. Along the way, the protagonist discovers an inner strength that only tragedy can bring about.
While the plot is not very complex, Ms. Harris brings the horrors of rape home to her readers by giving a gripping, first-person account of a rape and its aftermath. What may have been maudlin or overwrought is done with enough understated simplicity that the scene is simply chilling.
The novel is one of Ms. Harris's earlier, "stand-alone" works and is well worth reading if one is able to find a copy. Highly recommended.
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a secret rage Aug. 25 2007
By Francesca Sanders - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
**SPOILERS**

"A Secret Rage" is an older Charlaine Harris work, reminiscent of the Lily Bard series. The subject matter is dark & could be too disturbing for some readers; this book is definitely not a cozy. Harris manages to pull of the subject of rape very delicately, mainly because of her strong female lead in Nickie Callahan. We see a woman who had been raped but fights back. She refuses to feel sorry for herself, & she is true to her emotions following the rape.

Another high point of this book, for me, was the theme of the old South meeting with new ways. Harries also deals with racism in a way that rings true, though her book was published over 20 years ago. Somehow, Nickie manages to be a strong woman and a true southern belle, which is a great message for southern women then & today.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rage and rape Aug. 31 2007
By egreetham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was torn about this unusual novel, set in a small Southern college town. It had great strengths: a surprisingly strong heroine (a former New York model who returns to the South to finish her college degree), and other characters who grow and develop as a result of their experiences; beautifully established atmosphere; a fast moving, gripping plot; and a serious treatment of the subject of rape. The downside? These strengths seemed at times artificially attached to a pretty ordinary romance/thriller--the key clues and red herrings are practically announced; the timing of the heroine's affair is extremely questionable; and the heroine's belief that the criminal is a certain person, which leads her into the path of danger, is not at all convincing. The specific motivation of the attacker is not compelling.

Without giving anything away, this novel treats rape very realistically indeed. (This is not the book to read if you are in a Miss Jane Marple sort of mood.) The various reactions to these crimes, of both the victims and of their community, are explored, and lives are changed. The climactic scene of "A Secret Rage" is a knockout, and the last few paragraphs are downright eerie.

Worth reading for its frank treatment of a very difficult subject.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible book - should be required reading for all! Oct. 3 2010
By Barb M - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I actually listened to the Recorded Books version of this book. It's an old, 1984, stand-alone book that predates Harris' fame and her well-known series'. If I had read the "blurb" I doubt I would have even downloaded the book since my goal for audio books is primarily light entertainment; but once I got into it, I couldn't stop.

Nicky, the protagonist, a successful NY model and aspiring writer, moves back to her Tennessee home town to finish her college degree at about the same time a serial rapist has started terrorizing the town's women. The story is told superbly in first person; my very favorite narrator, Johanna Parker, brings Nicky and her friends to life and forces us to see (hear) the action up close and personal.

As someone else mentioned, this is a serious book with little or no humor. But it is gripping and amazingly well written (I tend to not expect much of a well-known author's 30 year old books that are dug out for public consumption after her name becomes enough to sell them).

Secret Rage has a totally different tone than the Sookie Stackhouse or Aurora Teagarden books - it has none of the "frivolous" feel to it that those sometimes do. Harris examines numerous stereotypes and the ways in which violence, particularly rape, changes all of those involved - victims, friends, family, bystanders, investigators.

I have to imagine it was as painful to write as it was to listen to, but it was definitely worthwhile. I can't believe how much this book moved me and wish it were required reading for both men and women! Get it - you won't be sorry.

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