The Darkest Secret [review]

Before I start the review, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas. My birthday is actually on New Year’s Day so this time of year is always eventful!
The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood

When three-year-old identical twin Coco goes missing during a family celebration, there is a media frenzy. Her parents are rich and influential, as are the friends they were with at their holiday home by the sea.
But what really happened to Coco during her father’s 50th birthday weekend?
Set across two weekends – the first when Coco goes missing and the second, at the funeral of Coco’s father, where at last, the darkest of secrets will be revealed…

The Darkest Secret

[My Review]
I was so excited to read The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood because I read and reviewed The Wicked Girls and loved it (read my review of it here). Therefore I entered this with high expectations!
This novel is a hugely enjoyable, intense story about many things, including families, relationships and responsibility. The characters are wonderfully crafted, and Alex Marwood is really skilled at developing three dimensional, convincing people that you want to read more about- even though a lot of them were utterly despisable people!
It’s interesting that the reader is presented with the story from various points of view; this way we learn more about Claire’s feelings. Although at the beginning of the novel I really disliked her, I actually felt really sorry for her as the novel went on which I was very surprised about!
Sean and many of his friends are bloody horrible! As I read on I really felt like I got to know the characters well (though I did get a little confused sometimes with remembering who exactly was who,a nd who was related to who! I think that’s partly because so many people were linked, in so many ways, to others!) It’s surprisingly, and utterly, engrossing to read about these abominable people and their shallow, indulgent lifestyles, and I feel that this novel is more about the how and why rather than what actually happened (though this does provide a mysterious undercurrent to the story). I think because of this I felt that The Darkest Secret was a little less gripping than the brilliant The Wicked Girls, but I still hugely enjoyed reading it! This novel also had more of a dry humour to it, which I loved.
The novel flits between two different timescales; one is set in 2004, right before and during the disappearance of Coco, and another focuses on the ‘present day’, when Milly (or Mila as she likes to be known) agrees to take Ruby, Coco’s twin, to their father’s funeral. Slowly, everything that happened that weekend unravels and the half sisters discover just how many lies were woven.
I would really recommend this novel. It’s  an intriguing, atmopsheric and engrossing story which I became really immersed in!
[Rating: 4/5]
Many thanks to the publisher for a copy of this novel in return for an honest review


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