One Little Secret

One Little Secret

Everyone has a secret. For some, it's worth dying to protect. For others, it's worth killing.The glass beach house was supposed to be the getaway that Susan needed. Eager to help her transplanted family set down roots in their new town - and desperate for some kid-free conversation - she invites her new neighbors to join in on a week-long sublet with her and her workaholic...

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Title:One Little Secret
Author:Cate Holahan
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Edition Language:English

One Little Secret Reviews

  • James

    One Little Secret is the second novel written by Cate Holahan that I've read. Part mystery and thriller, it tells the story of six neighbors (three couples) who rent a house on the eastern shores of Long Island for part of the summer. As each chapter unfolds in third person perspective, we learn of the drama transpiring in their individual and combined households.

    This book was a very easy read. I devoured it in two chunks over a twenty-four hour period, finding myself unwilling to put it down ex

    One Little Secret is the second novel written by Cate Holahan that I've read. Part mystery and thriller, it tells the story of six neighbors (three couples) who rent a house on the eastern shores of Long Island for part of the summer. As each chapter unfolds in third person perspective, we learn of the drama transpiring in their individual and combined households.

    This book was a very easy read. I devoured it in two chunks over a twenty-four hour period, finding myself unwilling to put it down except for meals and priorities that I couldn't skip out on. The characters are vivid, realistic but with a slight caricature-like tendency, and will clearly show their motivation for each move they make. Holahan has weaved clever tension beyond just the normal marital problems of infidelity and monotonous boredom. At times, I thought these people were all horrible, yet at others, I saw moments of intimacy and pain that provoked sentimental feelings for them.

    Given where they rented a summer home, it's obvious they came from money, though some try to indicate they do not. Doctors, lawyers, tech start-ups, and sports reporters earn a lot in this world, so be prepared for a high amount of affluence and the drama that comes with it. From the start in the prologue where someone is being pushed under water, you know there is a secret worth protecting, but which of the six is the victim and which is the murderer is the game you've signed on to play when you picked up this book. Love it!

    By 15% in, all the major clues are dropped. We know the victim's hair color or body type, then one by one the author described the six people so that it became obvious who died. The detective from the Suffolk County police force is also a key focus, as she's called to scene of this crime and another one which has a connection we've yet to realize. It's also personal for the detective given her young daughter was innocently sucked into a party gone wrong, and that party was attended by one of the six house guests.

    My favorite aspect of the book is how the story alternates across three days--day before, day of, and day after. There are flashbacks, and information dropped about the past, but the critical elements are what's not being said in conversations and which neighbor has a connection we don't understand to someone else. I adore that suspense, especially trying to guess not only who but what happened.

    Overall, I waffled between a 4 and 4.5 stars, but settled on the higher rating. There were a few items that needed a better closure or clarity, so I couldn't give it a perfect rating. The ending was apropos, but I felt like the detective lingered in the story and made too many mistakes. I didn't always believe she was smart enough to solve the puzzle and felt like a distraction to the story. It was minor, but enough that I noticed it. Also, we didn't get enough time with the victim to understand exactly who (s)he was as a person and parent. I felt bad for the death, but one or two more scenes to show the vibrant life and charisma once held would've made it pop even more.

    Holahan's writing style is engaging and has a stellar fluidity that makes you believe you're standing in the rental house or on the beach as everything occurs around you. I look forward to her next book as it will be at the top of my reading list.

  • Mandy White

    One Little Secret by Cate Holahan is a book that will suck you in from the start. I read this one quite quickly, needing to know how it was all going to play out. Nobody is who they seem in the beginning and the twists keep coming. A great, fast paced read for anybody who likes a good whodunnit.

    3 couples, a weeks holiday with no children in a beach house in the Hamptons. A chance to relax and get to know new people - what could go wrong? Murder - that is what! Copious amounts of alcohol has all

    One Little Secret by Cate Holahan is a book that will suck you in from the start. I read this one quite quickly, needing to know how it was all going to play out. Nobody is who they seem in the beginning and the twists keep coming. A great, fast paced read for anybody who likes a good whodunnit.

    3 couples, a weeks holiday with no children in a beach house in the Hamptons. A chance to relax and get to know new people - what could go wrong? Murder - that is what! Copious amounts of alcohol has all the secrets being spilled - work stress, martial tensions, kids - you name it. In the morning a woman is dead on their private beach - who wanted their secrets kept secret that badly? Enter Detective Gabby Watkins - an investigator who is like a dog with a bone and determined to get to the bottom of it.

    Thanks to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for my advanced copy of this book to read. All opinions are my own and are in no way biased.

  • Brandy

    “Marriage was like a poker game in that the stakes increased the longer each player sat at the table. After a dozen years with the same person, the pot became so large that’s no one could walk away over anything less than a monumental display of cheating. All other grievances had to be shrugged off.”

    Love and marriage, love and marriage, they go together like a horse and carriage or perhaps more like a long walk of a short pier as we learn in this tale.

    A kid-free vacation (every parents dream v

    “Marriage was like a poker game in that the stakes increased the longer each player sat at the table. After a dozen years with the same person, the pot became so large that’s no one could walk away over anything less than a monumental display of cheating. All other grievances had to be shrugged off.”

    Love and marriage, love and marriage, they go together like a horse and carriage or perhaps more like a long walk of a short pier as we learn in this tale.

    A kid-free vacation (every parents dream vacation, am I right?😂) turns into a murderous adventure then the inevitable mayhem ensues in, One Little Secret.

    This is a solid, well written read as expected by the very talented Holahan. Yet, it’s sadly not my favorite read of her books so far but still deserving of 4 stars.❤️

  • Stacey Camp

    **4 Stars**

    In Cate Holahan's

    three couples who are neighbors decide to rent out a gorgeous beach house for a getaway. By the end of the trip, one person is dead and the remaining "friends" are all murder suspects.

    The book reads like a modern twist on an Agatha Christie novel; though the book's title suggests only one person has a secret, it appears as though every person on the trip is hiding something that could easily incriminate them. There are affairs - including ones betw

    **4 Stars**

    In Cate Holahan's

    three couples who are neighbors decide to rent out a gorgeous beach house for a getaway. By the end of the trip, one person is dead and the remaining "friends" are all murder suspects.

    The book reads like a modern twist on an Agatha Christie novel; though the book's title suggests only one person has a secret, it appears as though every person on the trip is hiding something that could easily incriminate them. There are affairs - including ones between not just one but possibly TWO couples on the trip; there are financial issues between the couples; and, finally, there is a pending lawsuit involving two couples on the trip.  Yes, this is absolute recipe for disaster, to say the least.

    Why any of these couples would willingly go on vacation with each other is beyond me, but it sure makes for a suspenseful read.

    Readers should be aware that there is domestic violence in this book, and the author has dealt with it in the most delicate, critical way possible. It's clear she has researched the psychology and manipulation involved in domestic violence. In this case, the women who is being abused is successful, smart, and has a fantastic career; her husband, the abuser, also has a successful career as a physician. He uses his career and training to mask the violence he is inflicting on his wife; his training grants him the knowledge of how to 1) conceal the bruises/physical trauma he causes, and 2) provide medications to his wife so that she can cope with the pain of abuse.

    The ending of this book was satisfying, if not emotional. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy suspense, thrillers, and crime novels.

    I was really excited to get a copy of Holahan's book because I really enjoyed her last book,

    which I reviewed. If you haven't read that book, I highly recommend it (I gave it 5/5 stars!). Thank you to NetGalley, Cate Holahan, and Crooked Lane Books for an advanced reader copy of

    For more of my book reviews visit me here:

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  • Holly  B

    Three couples rent a pricey  house on a private beach. Sounds like a wonderful way to relax and enjoy a neighborly vacay, 

    when all the doors shut, secrets and darkness abound.

    These three couples have a lot going on in their lives and when they crack open the bottle of rose, someone gets a bit loose lipped. She said what???

    When one of the wives is found dead on the beach, everyone begins to panic and give each other the side e

    Three couples rent a pricey  house on a private beach. Sounds like a wonderful way to relax and enjoy a neighborly vacay, 

    when all the doors shut, secrets and darkness abound.

    These three couples have a lot going on in their lives and when they crack open the bottle of rose, someone gets a bit loose lipped. She said what???

    When one of the wives is found dead on the beach, everyone begins to panic and give each other the side eye.

    This domestic thriller has an air of toxic friendships, hidden agendas and a who-dunnit that could have turned several directions. The author does a great job bringing the characters to life and many were unlikeable and even annoying.  The end was quite explosive and surprising.

    This one verged on becoming too wordy, but was able to capture my attention with the locked room mystery and investigation.  I would definitely pick up more from this author.

    Published July 9,2019

    Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

  • Nicole (Read Eat Sleep Repeat)

    After having read and enjoyed Cate Holahan’s previous book, Lies She Told, I was excited to get my hands on a copy of One Little Secret. And it did not disappoint!

    Told across three days (day before, day of, and day after), this story alternates its timelines and main character each section follows to build suspense with every chapter. The plot didn’t stop twisting, keeping me guessing for quite some time until about three quarters of the way through, at which point I had a solid idea of how the

    After having read and enjoyed Cate Holahan’s previous book, Lies She Told, I was excited to get my hands on a copy of One Little Secret. And it did not disappoint!

    Told across three days (day before, day of, and day after), this story alternates its timelines and main character each section follows to build suspense with every chapter. The plot didn’t stop twisting, keeping me guessing for quite some time until about three quarters of the way through, at which point I had a solid idea of how the rest was going to play out. Every character in this story had a secret (some bigger than others) and it was intriguing to watch them being uncovered, especially as many were woven together.

    Holahan’s writing style works well with this thriller, flowing easily and using short sentences to great effect in building tension. That, in addition to the short chapters, made this fast paced and easy to binge read. It also had a certain cinematic quality and I could easily see this being adapted into a movie.

    Decidedly entertaining and full of suspense, One Little Secret is a strong thriller. I will definitely be on the lookout for more of Holahan’s work in the future! Recommended.

    *Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Jen

    tells the story of 3 neighbor couples that decide to go in together on a Hamptons beach rental for a week of “get to know you” style relaxation. On the surface, all three couples appear to have happy, healthy marriages. Of course, if everything was sunshine and unicorns, we wouldn’t have a story, now would we.

    The book is told in a multi-POV format and from the beginning, all three marriages show signs of major cracking. Issues of domestic violence,

    tells the story of 3 neighbor couples that decide to go in together on a Hamptons beach rental for a week of “get to know you” style relaxation. On the surface, all three couples appear to have happy, healthy marriages. Of course, if everything was sunshine and unicorns, we wouldn’t have a story, now would we.

    The book is told in a multi-POV format and from the beginning, all three marriages show signs of major cracking. Issues of domestic violence, career ambitions and cheating all play prominent roles and by the time one of our vacationing neighbors meets their maker, it’s clear any of the remaining five characters could easily be the killer. My favorite part of any mystery is trying to figure out whodunit and I’m happy to say this one kept me guessing until the end.

    Without giving anything away, I will say once I started this book, I had an extremely difficult time putting it down. The characters are realistic, evocative and had me taking sides almost immediately. I don’t always appreciate being in so many different characters heads, but this time it absolutely made the book for me. I especially appreciate getting the detective’s point of view and how her own story played into the mystery.

    is my first Cate Holahan book and I couldn’t have picked a better story to start with. Though I finished over a week ago, this cast of characters, with all of their secrets and deceptions, have managed to stick with me. It also makes me rethink any future travel plans I may have with my neighbors.

  • Linda Strong

    Three couples rent a vacation residence for the week their children are attending camp. Although the couples are all neighbors, they really don't know each other very well.

    Throw in an abundance of alcohol into the mix and the differences among them are glaring. There's a doctor, a lawyer, a housewife, an abusive husband, a workaholic, and at least one person who's having an affair.

    The next morning, a dead body is seen on the private beach. It will be Detective Gabby Watkins who will have to comb

    Three couples rent a vacation residence for the week their children are attending camp. Although the couples are all neighbors, they really don't know each other very well.

    Throw in an abundance of alcohol into the mix and the differences among them are glaring. There's a doctor, a lawyer, a housewife, an abusive husband, a workaholic, and at least one person who's having an affair.

    The next morning, a dead body is seen on the private beach. It will be Detective Gabby Watkins who will have to comb through everyone's private lives to find the killer. What she finds is that each and every one of the people sharing the house have a secret ... one someone might kill to keep quiet.

    CON: The one and only thing I found unsatisfactory is an instance where the abusive husband, in a fit of anger, calls his wife by another woman's name. There is no character in the book that has this name. I would have liked to see some kind of explanation .. but nothing more was forthcoming.

    Otherwise, this is a well written, intense, psychological thriller. There's a cast of six who may or not be what they want the others to see. Many secrets are to be discovered. This was a riveting read .... not soon to be forgotten.

    Many thanks to the author / Crooked Lane Books / Netgalley for this intriguing novel. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

  • j e w e l s

    Three couples rent a fabulous beach house for a get-to-know-each-other kind of vacation. After driving up to the house for the first time, they find it to be not as gorgeous as the online photos led them to believe. Hey, no problem, they make the best of it and get on with the eating, drinking and relaxing. It's going to be an amazing week!

    What the three couples didn't sign up for is MURDER. Yep, we've got a classic locked room murder mystery to solve!

    Three couples rent a fabulous beach house for a get-to-know-each-other kind of vacation. After driving up to the house for the first time, they find it to be not as gorgeous as the online photos led them to believe. Hey, no problem, they make the best of it and get on with the eating, drinking and relaxing. It's going to be an amazing week!

    What the three couples didn't sign up for is MURDER. Yep, we've got a classic locked room murder mystery to solve!

    Who is responsible? Which character can be trusted? This is a case for the local detective and YOU, the reader. A legit whodunnit!

    I loved

    's previous novel

    . To me, that is a far superior psyche thriller to this one. All the characters in

    are unlikeable and superbly irritating! The pace is slow and wordy, definitely not a terrible story, but not one I will remember either.

  • Carrie

    One Little Secret by Cate Holahan is a thriller that is a bit like taking a police procedural and fusing it into a domestic drama. The story in this one is told from multiple points of view and from different time frames of the day before, day of and day after a murder has occurred.

    Detective Gabby Watkins is one of the only females in her profession so she tends to get assigned the more sensitive cases such as when a rape occurs. Just as Gabby is dealing with a victim that says she was raped Gab

    One Little Secret by Cate Holahan is a thriller that is a bit like taking a police procedural and fusing it into a domestic drama. The story in this one is told from multiple points of view and from different time frames of the day before, day of and day after a murder has occurred.

    Detective Gabby Watkins is one of the only females in her profession so she tends to get assigned the more sensitive cases such as when a rape occurs. Just as Gabby is dealing with a victim that says she was raped Gabby also gets a call that a female body was found and finds herself investigating both cases.

    Susan and her husband were planning a getaway to a beautiful glass beach house. Susan thought the time away would also be a perfect way to get to know some of their neighbors better so Susan invited along two other couples. The three couples however all have their own secrets and marital problems and by the end of the night one of the six is the murder victim the police find.

    I’m always a huge fan of some good old fashion domestic drama when neighbors are hiding things from one another so One Little Secret by Cate Holahan should have been right up my alley. However, with this one I swear I had the hardest time connecting to any of the couples and kept having to remind myself who was who along the way. Others seem to have really enjoyed this one but to me the lack of connection made it a bit so-so in the end.

    I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

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