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EVERY SECRET THING [Paperback]

EMMA COLE
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 1 2007
Kate Murray is deeply troubled. In front of her lies a dead man, a stranger who only minutes before had spoken to her - about a mystery, a long-forgotten murder and, most worryingly, her grandmother. His story was old, he had told her, but still deserving of justice. Soon Kate is caught up in a dangerous whirlwind of events that takes her back into her grandmother's mysterious war-time past and across the Atlantic as she tries to retrace the dead man's footsteps. Finding out the truth is not so simple, however, as only a few people are still alive who know the story...and Kate soon realises that her questions are putting their lives in danger. Stalked by an unknown and sinister enemy, she must use her tough journalistic instinct to find the answers from the past in order to have a future.

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Review

'An entertaining read with lively characterisation, an attractively unassuming Second World War spy and neat plotting' Susanna Yager, Sunday Telegraph 'A nice example of the 'woman in peril' sub-category of crime fiction... An enjoyable...hide-and-seek thriller' Jessica Mann, Literary Review

About the Author

EMMA COLE is the thriller-writing alias of Canadian novelist Susanna Kearsley. A former museum curator, she brings her own passion for research and travel to bear in her books, weaving history with modern-day intrigue in a way that, in the words of one reviewer, 'tells the story of the past and illuminates the present'. As Susanna Kearsley, she has written several novels of suspense, including Mariana, which won the prestigious Catherine Cookson Literary Prize.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful read! Feb. 17 2009
Format:Paperback
I have always loved Susanna Kearsley books; now I also love her Emma Cole books! As always, I was swept into her world, the characters becoming so real, making me feel I have found a home, like being in Granny's kitchen! Not that the book is all happy and light (all her books have some edge) but they leave me feeling buffetted. Very well written (which makes all the difference) and also well thought out! Excellent book! Rated a thriller, but I am not usually into thrillers. This has edge without being scary!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars boring May 31 2010
Format:Paperback
i found this book boring for some reason-i could put it down anytime-i love the author's other books where she goes by a differnet name-they were excellent-this had all the exciting places in England and Portugal but no ambience
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Susanna Kearsley as Emma Cole Nov. 23 2006
By Linda E. Shields - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you enjoy Susanna Kearsley's books then you will not want to miss her newest. Although written by Kearsley "Every Secret Thing" has been published under the name Emma Cole as, unlike her other novels, there is no supernatural presence. Other than that, this book is in the same style as her other novels, a "historical" mystey, this one relating to WWII, combined with a modern thriller that takes you from England to North America and then to Portugal. Readers of Kearsley's other novels will enjoy the cameo appearance of a character from one of her earlier books and, as always, her prose is beautifully written - a joy to read and re-read.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For fans of Mary Stewart Dec 20 2009
By HannahR - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am so incredibly happy that I have found a current author who I am unabashedly in love with their writing style. I have to confess that most of my favorite authors are either long dead, or too old to write any more books. DuMaurier, Stewart, M.M. Kaye all fit this description, and sadly (to my point of view), Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels is too busy writing about Amelia Peabody and her minute-by-minute adventures to hold much alure for me with her current literary offerings. I love these writers, but let's face it, there will never be another new release from the first three, and I'm resigned to never reading another spookie/suspense by Michaels again....

...which brings me to Susanna Kearsley (here named Emma Cole) in her book, Every Secret Thing. If I didn't know any better, I'd think she was Dame Stewart's grand-daughter, and quite possibly DuMaurier's great-niece (with a bit of Kaye's second-cousin twice removed thrown in for good measure). Kearsley has quite deftly managed to incorporate the flair of Stewart's writing genius and infuse it with her own brand of poignant characterizations and turn of phrase. Every Secret Thing is Kearsley's/Cole's peon to all the best that Stewart offered in her romantic suspense novels, and she pulls it off fantastically. I found myself devouring page after page of this book featuring 2 intersecting storylines involving World War II espionage, the search for justice in an unknown and unsolved murder 60 years previously, and the acknowledgement by a young woman of the worth, the courage, and the sacrifices of people grown elderly, and therefore "invisible".

Kate Murray is a successful Canadian journalist covering a murder trial in London when an old man strikes up a coversation with her and cryptically informs her of another murder in which justice was denied. Before leaving Kate, who really wasn't paying much attention to the old man's ramblings, he asks after her grandmother, and then leaves her and is immediately run down and killed by a hit-and-run driver. Kate's subsequent search for the story behind this man, Andrew Deacon, lead her on a suspensful search for answers that covers several countries, and on a personal discovery of her beloved grandmother's past life.

Kearsley/Cole excelled in bringing so much of the descriptive narrative that Mary Stewart was reknown for in her novels. What Kearsely/Cole does even better then Stewart, IMO, is to bring a level of bittersweet poignancy to what could have been just a well written suspense novel. I found myself actually weeping at the end of Every Secret Thing, which isn't the norm with me. But Kearsley/Cole rendered the character of Andrew Deacon so lovingly and so deftly that it was hard not to feel that his sacrifice and his loss was as lovely a thing as the most romantic fiction I've read. I can only equate my feelings for Andrew to that which I felt for Rick, in the classic 1940's movie, Casablanca. Here's looking at you, kid, indeed.

This book is recommended for any fan of Mary Stewart, to fans of WWII literature, to fans of old-fashioned suspense, and to fans who love a good love-lost story. You won't be disappointed.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Updated Damsel-In-Distress June 21 2008
By Diana F. Von Behren - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Whether or not she writes as Susanna Kearsley or Emma Cole, this Canadian author recounts a well-crafted tale that combines suspense and romance in a true raconteur's style that out of all the many contenders vying for the best approximation to a Mary Stewart for the 21st century, she clearly has positioned herself in the number one slot. Cole/Kearsley accomplishes this minor miracle not just by cloning Stewart's style--she has Stewart's same gift for description and the ability to make place an actual character that impacts her plot--but by updating Stewart's beloved formula that those of us who awaited each and every Stewart offering with bated breath--and were never disappointed--came to depend upon when it came to wanting suspense literature interjected with intelligence and subtle not bodice-ripping romance.

Fashioned from the same mold as Stewart's heroines, Kearsley/Cole's capable yet likeable modern day women cope with whatever life throws at them in a positive, no-nonsense albeit feminine way. In `Every Secret Thing," Cole utilizes a next generation of Stewart's familiar first person voice. Like Stewart's post WWII independent woman, Cole's character is pleased with herself and her accomplishments. However, in terms of personal strength with regard to self-identity, Kearsley/Cole's women bask in a newly found financial stability greater than that of the waitresses, secretaries, teachers and clerks of Stewart's day.

Here, protagonist, Kate Murray, is a journalist. That she has a relatively good life is self-evident; her inbred optimism is reflected in how she handles herself. However, like the typical Stewart heroine, she stumbles upon a sensitive situation of which she cannot help but become involved. In this case, like Stewart's first incomparable thriller, Madam, Will You Talk? the plotline involves a murder from the past that impacts people adversely in the present. As with Stewart, the ethical principle rules supreme.

In "Every Secret Thing" Kearsley/Cole almost reverses the Stewart formula. Whereas Stewart's work, all now period pieces that are indicative of a brave new world shining with hope and moving forward after the onslaught of the Second World War, this novel revolves around looking backwards at what we of today take for granted. On a larger level, it is a tribute to that `greatest generation's' ability to do what they had to do for the greater good with much pluckiness, personal sacrifice and little, if no, bemoaning of what could have, should have, and would have been. Kearsley/Cole nuances these small acts of unselfishness with the before and after insights of her younger protagonist - a young woman less than 30 years of age who at first has little tolerance for the elderly but grows to understand that people like her seemingly benign grandmother enabled her to have the wherewithal to explore her options while presenting her with the societal climate in which to live out her ambitions.

While the plotline lacks the clockwork smoothness of some of Kearsley/Cole's other works, it nevertheless keeps the reader wanting to turn the page. The modern story eclipses in the face of the older narrative--one involving espionage and murder in the exciting and sometimes exotic venues of New York, Lisbon, London and Washington DC. The heroine fails to enjoy any real romantic entanglements of her own, although the author does suggest one and as "Every Secret Thing" begins a series starring this protagonist there obviously will be more involvements or a continuation of the one started to come. Although the real beauty revealed in this story resides only in the memories of the older generation, the evocative yearning emoted by the two key characters elevates the reader to that special place of dreams and sentiment that once experienced cannot be duplicated. Kearsley/Cole manages this with a master's stroke and we want more. The love she depicts sparkles with that mélange of the bittersweet and precious. Quite simply she does a marvelous job and makes "Every Little Thing" one not to be missed by fans of this literary genre.

Bottom line? As the first installment of Emma Cole/Susanna Kearsley's Kate Murray series, "Every Secret Thing" offers the classic romantic suspense reader just what they desire in terms of that winning formula of likeable main character, desperate situation and exotic locale as instituted by master of the game, Mary Stewart. While Kearsley's usual tale involves a touch of the supernatural, Cole's story delves into the past and involves a murder, all of which are firmly banked in solid if not ruthless reality. Deduct a star for a chronological hodgepodge of a plotline and add one for the intensely sweet secondary story of real love in overwhelmingly perilous times. Recommended highly to all those who love intelligent romantic suspense and are not offended by sometimes incongruous happenstance and poetry-spewing characters.
Diana Faillace Von Behren
"reneofc"
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New beginning for an old favorite Feb. 16 2011
By Barbrak1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have always loved Susanna Kearsley's books, so when someone suggested this new one that she has penned under a new name I had to try it.

This book grabbed my attention from the first page! This story line moves at such a good pace. Even thoughshe goes back and forth in time it is for such a short time and at such a wonderful pace, I felt like I was there with her grandmother.

I am not sorry that I took a chance not knowing for sure and I so hope she plans more books under this new name.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars mystery with a strong historical element Dec 25 2009
By Bella Rosa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Every Secret Thing is a mystery with a strong historical element. There is a very poignant love story (a couple of them, actually) but not for the heroine.

The book begins when an elderly gentleman approaches journalist Kate Murray and suggests he's got a story she'd be interested in. Kate's busy, she's sitting outside the courthouse drafting the story she'll submit once there's a verdict in a very important trial, so she hardly notices the man until he asks her to give his regards to her grandmother. This captures Kate's attention and she looks up in time to see him run down by a speeding car.

Kate's quest to find out what the story was begins somewhat idly but become more urgent as a pretty hefty body count begins to mount, making it obvious that someone doesn't want her to know. I learned lots of interesting info about British Security Coordination in the US before we entered the war, and Camp X (I never even knew there WAS a Camp X - who'd suspect Canadians of training spies?). And I absolutely fell in love with Andrew Deacon. There were several twists I did not see coming. Very fun read. I'm looking forward to Kate's next adventure.
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