We All Have Our Secrets by Jane Corry

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We All Have Our Secrets by Jane Corry

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Two women who meet in the home of the man each believes to be their father are faced with dealing with his death and their suspicions about each other. A great read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: June 2022
Publisher: Penguin
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0241989029

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Harold Gentle advertised for live-in help as he was failing to cope at Willowmead House on his own. His advert was fairly specific: he was a retired lawyer needing help but he also spoke of the ability to cook a good steak, enjoy decent wine and be free from any food fads. The first person who came to the house was Francoise, a French woman in her early twenties, who fit the bill perfectly. She got the job but Francoise didn't know about the advert: she was there for a completely different reason. Emily Gentle is Harold's daughter and she came to Willowmead House because she was running away from a problem in London. Emily's a midwife and her last shift had seen her lacking concentration and a complaint had been made.

On her way back to the hospital Emily had an accident when a fox ran in front of her bike. She chose not to have her head injury attended to (she really didn't want to go near the hospital) but fled to Cornwall where she felt safe. Well, she had felt safe until she got to Willowmead and a strange woman opened her father's door and asked who she was. It wasn't the best of starts and it was going to get worse. Emily felt guilty for having neglected her father and it was difficult to avoid the conclusion that Harold was not above playing the two women off against each other.

Harold's not told anyone the truth about his health but neither of the women have been open about why they are in Cornwall. Emily had come to Willowmead in the hope that her father could help with the charge she is facing at work but somehow the opportunity to talk to him alone never arises. Francoise came to Cornwall because she believes that Harold is her father. She's adamant that it isn't money she wants (though she does accept a substantial cheque from Harold) but acknowledgement and recognition. You can imagine what Emily thinks about that.

The plotting is superb: it's a book to read once to find out what really happened and then to read again to find out how the author did it. Essentially, we have three main characters: Emily, Francoise and Harold and, as you read, you'll change your mind time and time again about all three. Both women know that the other is lying - but they're honest enough to admit to themselves that they are too.

Don't start reading this book until you can put plenty of time aside to finish it because it isn't one that you're going to be able to put down until you know what happened. And the ending is completely satisfying: this is a real pleasure of a read. I'd like to thank the publishers for letting Bookbag have a review copy.

I came to Jane Corry via her book I Made a Mistake. You'll enjoy that one too.

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Buy We All Have Our Secrets by Jane Corry at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy We All Have Our Secrets by Jane Corry at Amazon.com.

We All Have Our Secrets by Jane Corry Check prices, read reviews or buy from Foyles. Foyles currently charges £2.99 (first class £3.99) for orders under £25, over which delivery is free. You may also click and collect from a Foyles bookshop at no charge.

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