Tracey S. Phillips | BEST KEPT SECRETS
Plot (via Goodreads):
Best friends tell each other everything.
Even their deepest, darkest secrets--pinky promise.
Morgan Jewell and Fay Ramsey are enjoying their last summer together before college. Fay is shy, with a controlling mother, and Morgan is the perfect, wild, loud-mouthed yang to Fay's ying. But when Fay is found dead, Morgan's entire world crumbles.
Years later, Morgan is still haunted by the abrupt end to her best friend's life. She knew Fay held a secret in those final days, but Morgan, now a homicide detective, has failed to make a picture out of the crooked puzzle pieces she left behind. Nothing makes sense. The leads have run dry. Until she's called to the scene of a murder: a woman whose body is left mangled, too similar to Fay's to ignore.
Could it be? Morgan vowed to do right by Fay. This is the case she's been waiting for to set her back on the killer's trail. But the closer she gets, the harder it forces her to confront the memories of herself and her best friend. What was her secret? What got her killed? Maybe Morgan didn't know her at all.
Good GOD. Best Kept Secrets was one hell of a ride; I am still reeling from this harrowing and gut-wrenching thriller with two great storylines that weave together seamlessly. There is something about having a story where our main character is dealing with a cold case murder and this story is a prime example of how much depth this can add to a plot. Being that Morgan Jewell is a detective who is at times unwound over the murder of her friend from the past and how she is relentless in finding the killer made me tear through the pages.
The present day case was brutal and mirrors the death of Fay brilliantly. I found myself looking for clues or trying to pick up on anything that Morgan wasn't seeing as I felt that I myself as the reader was just as invested in this as she was. I loved how Phillips was able to grasp my attention and yet tear me in two different directions at the same time. I was eager for more flashbacks of Morgan and Fay's friendship and loved reading about the two of them together even if it was emotionally challenging at times - Phillips just had this way of making me reminisce about some of my friendships at that current age and made me feel even more emotionally invested in the story. Yet, as much as I loved those scenes, I was also yearning to get back to the present case and follow Morgan in the more police procedural dominant scenes.
But, oh wait - it gets so much more interesting. Phillips also introduces another character so we are able to connect with her through her eyes as she searches for her long lost brother in a very V.C. Andrews-esque sub-plot that was intricate and devilish at the same time. I couldn't get through the pages fast enough; I was enjoying this one so much and didn't want it to end, but the questions I had just pummeled my imagination and left me begging to find out what was going on through all three major parts of this story. I didn't feel that much time was wasted or felt myself running into any parts that I felt were slow or tedious, it was just a brilliantly told police procedural, psychological thriller, and murder mystery all blended together into one chilling tale. My advice? Close the curtains and lock the doors because this read will send chills up your spine and terrify you in the most entertaining way.
Special thanks to Crooked Lane Books for this copy in exchange for my honest review.