Title: The Secretary
Author: Renée Knight
Renée Knight follows up her international sensation Disclaimerwith this shivery tale of psychological suspense, featuring a character as disturbing and compelling as Mrs. Danvers in Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca.
From her first day as Personal Assistant to the celebrated Mina Appleton, Christine Butcher understands what is expected of her. Absolute loyalty. Absolute discretion. For twenty years, Christine has been a most devoted servant, a silent witness to everything in Mina’s life. So quiet, you would hardly know she is there.
Day after day, year after year, Christine has been there, invisible—watching, listening, absorbing all the secrets floating around her. Keeping them safe.
Christine is trusted. But those years of loyalty and discretion come with a high price. And eventually Christina will pay.
Yet, it would be a mistake to underestimate such a steadfast woman. Because as everyone is about to discover, there’s a dangerous line between obedience and obsession.
The Secretary is a brilliant blend of tension, suspense and courtroom drama. It’s a story which I read with an impending sense of doom… you know from early on that it all goes terribly wrong for secretary Christine, who takes a personal assistant job with the demanding but high profile Mina Appleton – to the detriment of her own personal relationships and, it seems, her peace of mind.
The story flicks between the past narrative, when we learn what happened in the lead up to the ‘present’ story, when Christine is dealing with the aftermath of a situation that does not seem to have ended well.
Renee Knight’s writing is so absorbing that, despite some of this novel moving at a slower pace with perhaps less ‘action’, it’s still utterly addictive. It doesn’t need to rely on crazy occurances; what happens with Mina is twisted but at the same time believable – a testament to Knight’s storytelling skills! The whole story is told with style – and what a great ending!
I haven’t read her other high-profile novel, Disclaimer, but I’ve heard brilliant things, and reading The Secretary only makes me want to read everything by her.
Many thanks to Transworld for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
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