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
Rating:
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

    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.

  • Carole

    One Little Secret by Cate Holahan is a mystery that literally takes place in a glass house where there are plenty of stones being thrown. Three couples leave the city to spend a child-free week together at a beach house. The six friends, while relaxing and over-enjoying drinks, begin to reveal secrets which include adultery, spousal abuse, lawsuits, etc. By the next morning, one of them is found dead on the beach and the remaining five are pointing fingers at each other. Gabby Watkins is the

    One Little Secret by Cate Holahan is a mystery that literally takes place in a glass house where there are plenty of stones being thrown. Three couples leave the city to spend a child-free week together at a beach house. The six friends, while relaxing and over-enjoying drinks, begin to reveal secrets which include adultery, spousal abuse, lawsuits, etc. By the next morning, one of them is found dead on the beach and the remaining five are pointing fingers at each other. Gabby Watkins is the detective assigned to the case. She soon finds that any of them had a reason to commit this murder. One by one are interviewed and later released. Who is the killer? And why was the victim murdered? I recommend this novel to readers who like to be kept guessing until the end. Nothing is as it seems. This is my first Cate Holahan mystery but I look forward to reading all of her books. Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • 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 eye.

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Julie (JuJu)

    Alcohol and secrets never go well together. This is a domestic thriller about three couples that share a beach rental in the Hamptons. Initially, it was difficult to track the individuals and which spouse they belonged to . Once I was able to keep the characters/couples straight, the story became easier to follow.

    Tension built as the suspects were slowly narrowed, but I didn’t feel drawn to any character. I enjoyed the writing, so I’m chalking this “ok-but-not-great” read up to domestic thriller

    Alcohol and secrets never go well together. This is a domestic thriller about three couples that share a beach rental in the Hamptons. Initially, it was difficult to track the individuals and which spouse they belonged to 😝. Once I was able to keep the characters/couples straight, the story became easier to follow.

    Tension built as the suspects were slowly narrowed, but I didn’t feel drawn to any character. I enjoyed the writing, so I’m chalking this “ok-but-not-great” read up to domestic thriller overload.

    Ben / Rachel - Ben is a stay-at-home father and Rachel is the breadwinner. A ruthless lawyer that is painted as an ambulance chaser.

    Louis / Jenny - They went to medical school together. Louis became an ER doctor, while Jenny’s career took a more successful turn.

    Nadal / Susan - Nadal’s firm designed a tech company, “Doc2Go”. A workaholic, who passed on his parental duties to his wife. Susan is raising their twin boys after giving up her career.

    This well-needed mini vacation sounded heavenly. Just what the doctor ordered...the beach, sun, good food, great booze and, most of all, no kids. But tension builds as secrets surface and we find out someone is willing to do anything to keep their secret buried. The suspects are slowly narrowed and we find out who the killer is....or do we?

    My approval didn’t come until after the publication date, so my review is late, but I was excited to get a copy of this one. My first book by this author was enough to add her previous work to my TBR list!

    Thank you to NetGalley, Crooked Lane Books and Cate Holahan for this ARC, in exchange for my honest review.

    3 ⭐️’s

    July 9th 2019 by Crooked Lane Books

    313

  • 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

    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.

    For more reviews please visit

  • Susanne  Strong

    3 Stars

    “Tripping Billies” Dave Matthews Band

    Three couples, neighbors, vacation together in the Hamptons, renting a house on a private beach. The plan sounds like a good one but the house leaves something to be desired. What becomes readily

    3 Stars

    “Tripping Billies” Dave Matthews Band

    Three couples, neighbors, vacation together in the Hamptons, renting a house on a private beach. The plan sounds like a good one but the house leaves something to be desired. What becomes readily apparent is that there are lots of secrets being kept amongst this close knit group (or not so close knit group .. as the case maybe).

    Good thing there’s alcohol and lots of it!

    One thing leads to another and someone ends up dead. Funny that never happens when I throw a party! (Am I right or am I right?).

    “One Little Secret” is a slow paced character driven mystery/suspense that left a little something to be desired even though this novel included little clues left behind waiting for me to figure them out.. lol! If only.

    This was a buddy read with Kaceey.

    Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and to Cate Holahan for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

    Published on Goodreads on 8.3.19.

  • Kaceey

    A little vacation time at the beach with the new neighbors. All the essential goodies…BBQ, drinks sunshine and ocean water. So what could possibly go wrong...right!?

    A great time for both kids and parents. Three couples drop their kids off for summer camp. Let the kids go enjoy their freedom from their parents, while the grown-ups enjoy their own version of carefree time!

    As the three couples settle into the exclusive beach house, tensions already are rising! Is it the heat? The long drive?

    A little vacation time at the beach with the new neighbors. All the essential goodies…BBQ, drinks sunshine and ocean water. So what could possibly go wrong...right!?

    A great time for both kids and parents. Three couples drop their kids off for summer camp. Let the kids go enjoy their freedom from their parents, while the grown-ups enjoy their own version of carefree time!

    As the three couples settle into the exclusive beach house, tensions already are rising! Is it the heat? The long drive? Or are there secrets about to be exposed!

    I have to admit I did get a bit confused between the couples, perhaps a scorecard would have come in handy! But to be fair, this book did keep me guessing all the way through and was pleasantly surprised by the ending!

    This was the second book I’ve read by Cate Holahan and will definitely be on the lookout for her next!

    A buddy read with Susanne!🌸

    Thank you to NetGalley, Crooked Lane Books and Cate Holahan for an ARC to read and review.

  • BernLuvsBooks (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)

    The premise definitely captured my attention - couples getting to know each other and one ends up dead. I love a good whodunnit when it seems like everyone has something to lose or secrets to protect. That's when ALL the skeletons start tumbling out the closet and I am so there for it.

    The story is told from various POVs and alternated between

    The premise definitely captured my attention - couples getting to know each other and one ends up dead. I love a good whodunnit when it seems like everyone has something to lose or secrets to protect. That's when ALL the skeletons start tumbling out the closet and I am so there for it.

    The story is told from various POVs and alternated between the day before, the day of and the day after revealing itself in little tidbits at a time.

    I didn't really feel connected with the couples which lowered my overall rating a bit but this turned out to be an entertaining whodunnit with an explosive ending. I probably won't remember the book in much detail over time but I definitely enjoyed it while reading.

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