- Paperback: 468 pages
- Publisher: Allison & Busby; New edition edition (Aug. 1 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0749081597
- ISBN-13: 978-0749081591
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 20 x 3.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 299 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #689,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
EVERY SECRET THING Paperback – Aug 1 2007
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'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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When she writes using her real name, Kearsley releases novels with a modern-day heroine who has flashbacks to an earlier incarnation. (For example, in THE WINTER SEA, the heroine remembers an earlier life during the 1600s.) When writing as Emma Cole, she has no paranormal element to her stories. Just a straightforward mystery. There is, however, an historical aspect, in that the mystery our modern-day heroine here has to solve took place during the time of WWII.
In this book, young Canadian journalist Kate is in England to cover a story. She is approached by an older gentleman who, it seems, knows her grandmother and also wishes to share a mystery in his past. He asks her to visit him later on in the day at his hotel room but when he leaves, he is, unfortunately, killed by a hit-and-run driver.
This is all Kate has to go on. She's running blind, having no idea what the mystery is, but her curiosity is piqued. She goes back to Canada, talks with her grandmother about this gentleman, Andrew Deacon, and the past they had in common in intelligence service during WWII. However, that same evening, attempts made upon her and her grandmother's lives leave the grandmother dead and Kate running for her life.
It's a fascinating unraveling of the facts, taking place in England, Canada, Portugal and Washington, D.C., with a great cast of characters, old and young. The mystery in the past has the added poignancy of a bittersweet romance. And, as many reviewers often say of Kearsley/Cole, she is the closest thing to a modern-day Mary Stewart one can find and her books are extremely satisfying to read. Good character development, excellent descriptive passages and well-paced action.
...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.
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.
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.