Little secrets

Jennifer Hillier

Book - 2020

"All it takes to unravel a life is one little secret... Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They're admired in their community and are a loving family - until their world falls apart the day their son Sebastian is taken. A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding Sebastian, she learns that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman. This discovery sparks Marin back to life. She's lost her son; she's not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy ...with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix. Permanently."--Provided by publisher.

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Psychological fiction
Suspense fiction
Thrillers (Fiction)
New York : Minotaur Books 2020.
Main Author
Jennifer Hillier (author)
First U.S. edition
Physical Description
340 pages ; 25 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Sixteen months after Marin Machado's son, Sebastian, was kidnapped from Pike Place Market in Seattle, she finally hears from the private detective she hired. But instead of delivering news about Sebastian, Vanessa Castro (introduced in Wonderland, 2016) drops a bomb: Marin's husband, Derek, is cheating on her with an art student named McKenzie Li. Suddenly, Marin's obsession with hunting for signs of Sebastian on the dark web shifts to devouring McKenzie's social-media posts. Glimpses of Derek and his generous gifts fuel Marin's rage, and she vents to her best friend, Sal, who suggests she take action and meet with a fixer he knows. But instead of eliminating the threat to her marriage, Marin's meeting with Sal's fixer begins the unraveling of hers and Derek's deepest secrets, along with the horrible truth about Sebastian's abduction. Hillier cleverly masks a villain with dueling sympathies, pitting Marin's mounting despair against "professional girlfriend" McKenzie's calculated manipulations and Sal's decades of unrequited love. Hillier, known for crafting creepy psych thrillers (Jar of Hearts, 2018), offers a compelling take on the domestic thriller.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Celebrity hairstylist Marin Machado, the heroine of this diabolically plotted psychological thriller of lust, obsession, greed, and betrayal from Thriller Award--winner Hillier (Jar of Hearts), believes she's hit bottom during the 16 months since her four-year-old son was snatched while they were Christmas shopping at a Seattle farmers' market--something for which she can't stop blaming herself, nor can her entrepreneur husband of almost 20 years, Derek. But that's before the PI Marin hired after the case went cold shares her chance but devastating discovery that Derek's having an affair with a much younger woman, catapulting Marin into an even darker circle of hell. Following the initial shock of the revelation, the furious Marin feels empowered, almost exhilarated. But her rage also threatens to propel this sympathetic protagonist into a rash, potentially catastrophic decision, encouraged by her best friend and onetime boyfriend, an ex-con, who has his own devious agenda. Though a few of the twists down the frenetic home stretch seem forced, until then Hillier sustains a captivating double helix of duplicity. Hillier remains an author to watch. 75,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Victoria Skurnick, Levine Greenberg. (Apr.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Hillier follows up Jar of Hearts, a much-best-booked ITW Thriller Award winner, with an eye popper featuring a mother whose four-year-old son has vanished. When a yearlong search by the FBI yields nothing, Marin Machado hires a private eye, who fails to find little Sebastian but does learn that Marin's husband is having an affair with gorgeous young Instagram sensation Kenzie Li. What's worse, there are intimations that Kenzie--and even Marin's husband--might know what happened to Sebastian.

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

The day Marin's 4-year-old son, Sebastian, was kidnapped was the day her life stopped. But things can always get worse. Lured away from Seattle's Pike Place Market by someone dressed in a Santa Claus suit offering the expensive lollipop Marin had stalled on buying, Sebastian was easily taken. Since that day, 16 months ago, Marin's life has fallen apart. She fantasizes about suicide, and now her best friend, Sal, texts "You alive?" every day. Barely able to make it to the upscale beauty salon she founded, Marin now simply cuts hair, admittedly for celebrity clients, but she's turned over most of the business to her right-hand woman, Sadie. Her husband, Derek, still won't talk about the tragedy. The police have given up looking. But Marin hasn't. She's hired a private investigator to search under every rock. But instead of finding evidence of Sebastian's whereabouts--or even evidence of his continued existence--the PI finds evidence that Derek is having an affair, which lights a fire under Marin: The kidnapper may be elusive, but Kenzie, Derek's mistress, is very real and a perfect target for Marin's rage. Hillier deftly metamorphoses Marin's suffocating guilt over her son's disappearance into a searingly hot anger at Kenzie, an anger that turns reckless. Once Kenzie comes on the scene, however, Hillier deepens the tale from one of simple vengeance into a psychological thriller by shifting perspectives between Marin and Kenzie, revealing not only the two women's secrets, but also skeletons in the closets of a few more characters. The tensions ratchet up as nefarious motives and twisted allegiances come to light. A delightfully twisty psychological thriller perfect for fans of You and Gone Girl. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.