Author: Jennifer Hillier
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Published: April 21, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 6-16, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
Four hundred and eighty seconds. That’s how long it took for someone to steal Marin Machado’s four-year-old son.
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. Up until the day 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. The only thing keeping her going is the unlikely chance that one day Sebastian reappears. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding him, she discovers that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman.
Kenzie Li is an artist and grad student—Instagram famous—and up to her eyeballs in debt. She knows Derek is married. She also knows he’s rich, and dating him comes with perks: help with bills, trips away, expensive gifts. He isn’t her first rich boyfriend, but she finds herself hoping he’ll be the last. She’s falling for him—and that was never part of the plan.
Discovery of the affair 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. But as she sets a plan in motion, another revelation surfaces. Derek’s lover might know what happened to their son. And so might Derek.
This was a thriller that had promise but did not deliver. I hate to say this because you don’t ever want to blame the parent (especially if you do not have kids like me) but it was all Marin’s fault: She was in an extremely busy area with her young son and texting. Not only texting, but it wasn’t really important! She took her eyes off of her son at the height of Christmas shopping season! So basically I did not have empathy for Marin while listening to the audiobook.
Then, the direction the novel goes did not bring anything new to the thriller genre for me. It wasn’t really a thriller either; it was an average suspense novel. The direction it goes in is a bit far-fetched, but then when we ultimately find out whom the ‘villian’ is it isn’t surprising and neither is their motive.
This one just did not deliver, but I would give Hillier another chance to see if one of her other novels works for me. She may be another author that ‘isn’t for me’. The one saving grace for me with Little Secrets was the narrator Kirsten Potter. To me she has a voice similar to Diane Sawyer, and I was first introduced to her narration with The Couple Next Door. As with The Couple Next Door I felt like I was listening to an episode of a news show such as Prime Time Live. Potter was the reason I finished Little Secrets.