» » The Last Secret: A Novel

Download The Last Secret: A Novel epub

by Renee Raudman,Mary McGarry Morris

Mary McGarry Morris has been hailed by the New York Times as "one of the most skillful writers at work in America today." In The Last Secret, she tells the riveting story of Nora Hammond, a woman blessed with the perfect life: a charming husband, two bright teenage children, a successful career in the family's newspaper business, and an esteemed role in the charity work of her New England town. But Nora's comfortable existence threatens to unravel when she learns of her husband's longtime affair-and when the specter of a sordid incident from her youth returns with terrifying force.Confronted by shame and betrayal, Nora suddenly feels dangerously alone. With no one to turn to, she becomes easy prey to a ghost from her past-the cunning, relentless Eddie Hawkins.A tautly told tale of psychological tension and chilling moral complexity, The Last Secret accelerates to a shattering conclusion as it explores the irreparable consequences of one family's crimes of the heart. The Last Secret burnishes Morris's reputation as one of our most prodigiously gifted writers.
Download The Last Secret: A Novel epub
ISBN: 1400162157
ISBN13: 978-1400162154
Category: Mystery
Subcategory: Thrillers & Suspense
Author: Renee Raudman,Mary McGarry Morris
Language: English
Publisher: Tantor Audio; MP3 - Unabridged CD edition (June 16, 2009)
ePUB size: 1183 kb
FB2 size: 1173 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 801
Other Formats: lrf lit rtf mbr

There were too many obvious things about "secrets" here. Apparently the main character is the only person in town, and I truly mean "only," who didn't know that her husband was a sleeze. She's also the only person who can't do math, because when someone says they had an affair for 4 years, and there is a 3 year old involved... Lastly, there isn't one likable character in the whole book.

The dust jacket says there is "psychological tension and chilling moral complexity." Nope. A bunch of people (mainly two) make stupid mistakes that hurt their families, and one mentally unstable jerk from the past resurfaces.
There are some books and authors that I'd like to have with me on a desert island. Mary McGarry Morris is one of those writers. I have always been drawn to her books, their dark and brooding nature with the sentience of doom and fatality omnipresent. I can almost smell the darkness when I read her novels, feel the desperation of the dissolute and the outsider. I have read all but two of her books and those two I'm saving for a very special time and place - - a desert island kind of moment. She's THAT good a writer.

The Last Secret is powerful and unflinching. It builds up slowly but the tension and angst keep coming. The characters are disgruntled, desperate, despairing, fragile, with huge currents roiling through their being as they try to keep their inner and outer storms at bay. Some characters are loathsome, despicable and pathetic. These are juxtaposed with others who try to stay strong, keep one foot in front of the other, and maintain independence at all costs. What Ms. Morris is so excellent at portraying is that while people try to fool themselves into believing that they have certain attributes better, worse, or more unique than others, most people are actually quite alike in that they harbor these components: the good, the bad and the evil.

When she was seventeen years old, Nora ran off with a troubled young man named Eddie Hawkins. During the week she was with him she drank a lot, got into situations that were outside her comfort range and behaved in ways that she thought were completely outside her moral compass. At one point Eddie asks her to come on to an older man and encourage him to follow her outside a bar so that Eddie can rob him. The older man follows her and something dreadful happens. Nora is never sure of the exact details but she has a recurrent nightmare that the man has his face bashed in by a tire iron and that she is the one who commits the crime. What she also remembers, is that after the 'incident' she is covered with blood and that she hitches a ride with a semi driver who manages to get her away from the scene of the crime and encourages her to call her mother. She calls her mother and returns home, bringing with her a lifetime of guilt and nightmares.

Skip forward twenty-five years. Nora is now happily married (so the thinks) to a man named Ken and she has two teen-aged children, Drew and Chloe. She has married into old money and works on the family-owned newspaper in New England. From the outside, everyone is happy and the family looks perfect but, as Nora believes, "Happiness so often trails a long shadow". She soon finds out that Ken has been having a 'relationship' for the past four years with one of her best friends. Nora's world is shattered. Her family is torn apart and in the process other, and often darker, secrets come to light. "Behind every truth lurks a darker truth. Behind the simplest reality, betrayal."

Nora is philanthropic and she is deeply involved with the volunteer board for Sojourn House, a home for battered women. Sojourn House has received national attention and Nora is being photographed by Newsweek magazine for her work there. Eddie Hawkins, sociopathic and narcissistic, sees Nora's picture in the magazine and recognizes her from their week together twenty-five years earlier. He travels across the country to Nora's hometown and sets himself up there in a cheap hotel. He contacts Nora who does not know what he wants but she has a stomach-turning, gut-wrenching uneasiness about seeing him. Her gut reaction is that he has sought her out to blackmail her for the role she had in what she thinks may have been a murder twenty-five years previously. She is a victim of perceived blackmail. Eddie Hawkins arrives just as her marriage and life are falling apart. Though fragile, angry and unsure on the inside, Nora comes across as independent, strong and almost cold on the outside. This is a common theme in Ms. Morris's books - - the outside harbors the seeds of the inside, and vice verse.

As Nora is dealing with one family secret and betrayal after another, the book proceeds to get darker and darker, with a deeply ingenious plot and wonderfully deep and crisp characterizations. I felt like I could reach out and touch the characters, they came so alive. Characterization is one of Ms. Morris's greatest gifts (and she has many). She examines the inner and outer worlds of her protagonists and leaves no stone left unturned. That, along with a breath holding plot, make this one of the best books I've read this year. I finished the book in two days, hardly coming up for air. My only disappointment was that I didn't want it to end. I wanted to continue to be a fly on the wall watching, and watching, and watching some more.
black coffe
Most books that I begin I do finish reading. The Last Secret was not one of them. None of the characters were likeable, and most of the situations were not believable. The story dragged on and on very unpleasantly with no relief of humor or anything to redeem anyone in the book. The flow of the novel was difficult, going back and forth between the present and the past. I would need to reread sections to tell if something was happening in the past or was part of the present moment. I finally became disgusted with the whole thing and skimmed through to the end to see if there was at least a worthwhile resolution. There wasn't. Don't waste your time! I wish I hadn't. It got one star because you have to give it one.
I am now a devoted fan of Mary McGarry Morris and wish she had yet another
book available. I ended up buying them all, the last one Fiona Range
I finished last week. Interesting plots and characters in all.
A quick twisted psychological story. Could have had more detail but overall read held your interest for final outcome which was abrupt.
I couldn't put this down. The rich writing and Nora's view of the world captured me when the book opened on her 17-year-old self and never let go. If you like psychological suspense, I highly recommend it.
Very forgettable, I don't even remember what the plot was now. I had been looking forward to it, but was let down.
Author writes in a way that fully, effortlessly drew me in to the characters. Liked it slot. Will be recommending.