Dirty Little Secrets
I have to admit, at first the idea of a novel where an older woman dies alone and no-one cares struck me as so, so sad. Especially given the sector we work in. But novels often written about what actually happens in ‘real life’ (and often takes these situations as a starting point and really puts a spin on it)…so with that in mind I opened this book and began to read.
Olive Collins lived in The Vale; a gated community where everyone always felt safe. But Olive died, or was she murdered. And no one noticed. In a community where everyone is supposed to ‘care’ about everyone else, a community where you’re safe, a community that’s always seen itself as a bit better than those ‘other neighbourhoods.
The cast of characters in this novel are cliché and somewhat over drawn – think “Desperate Housewives” – but that sort of adds to the charm (and helps move it a step away from the horror of real life situations). The investigating police offers are the typical ‘old and tired’ nearly retiring (but ‘wise’) senior officer and the ‘young and keen’ (but inevitably brash) rookie, and then there’s the occupants of the 6 other houses…
A very quick easy read and one you don’t have to take too seriously. Written in the style of Lianne Moriarty, there’s a few authors out there writing in this style now and Spain is one of the few doing it well. If you read this and like it then I strongly suggest you try some of Moriarty’s work to appreciate this genre at it’s best.
The ending of this book (where so many authors come unstuck) was actually pretty satisfying so with that in mind I’d recommend it to those looking for a light holiday read (surprising given the premise)!
About the Author
Jo Spain is a full-time writer and screenwriter. Her first novel, With Our Blessing, was one of seven books shortlisted in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and her first psychological thriller, The Confession, was a number one bestseller in Ireland. Jo co-wrote the ground-breaking television series Taken Down, which first broadcast in Ireland in 2018. She’s now working on multiple European television projects. Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children.