One Little Secret by Cate Holahan

What do you get when you have three yuppie couples, an expensive vacation house on a private beach and one secret they’ll do anything to keep? You get a rather predictable and even outlandish mystery called One Little Secret by Cate Holahan.

When the children are away, the adults play. After three couples’ children go off to summer camp, the parents all decide to take a trip to the Hamptons where they rent a house on the beach. Even thought they’re all neighbours, they really don’t know each other. On the first night, drama ensues — from arguing, secrets and then even murder.

The following morning, police are called to the beach where a body has been found, one of our vacationing neighbours. Detective Gabby Watkins is called to the scene who will have to unravel the private lives of a doctor, lawyer, an abusive husband, a workaholic and at least one person who’s having an affair. What she finds is that each of the vacationing adults has a secret — one someone might kill to keep quiet.

I guess you can describe this book as less of a thriller and more of a police procedural with a wee bit of a domestic drama thrown in. The story is told from multiple points of view and across three days — the day before, day of and day after the murder.

All the characters were very unlikeable and beyond irritating. I had the hardest time connecting with them, which deterred me from wanting to finish this book. But I cannot, not finish a book. So let’s add another couple of negatives to this pile — the pace is unbelievably slow and it is so wordy.

While this book definitely captured my attention, I mean, who doesn’t love a good whodunnit, I feel like I won’t remember this book. Even as the skeletons started tumbling out, and you realise these people are going to do anything to protect themselves, I knew exactly who did it relatively early on. Predictable and outlandish are the two words that stay with me when it comes to One Little Secret by Cate Holahan. I’d pass on this one if I were you!

Thank you to NetGalley, Crooked Lane Books and Cate Holahan for an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.



  1. This sounds like the same exact response I had to Holahan’s last book, Lies She Told. (I just had to look up that title twice in a row, it’s that forgettable!) Entertaining enough on the surface, but with details that bothered me and ultimately I don’t remember anything about it other than not being very impressed. Sorry to hear her latest release is more of the same. I hope you have better luck with your next read!

    Liked by 1 person

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