The Secret by Katharine Johnson
Katharine Johnson is one of my favourite authors. I read her book The Silence earlier this year so when I heard she had a new book out, The Secret, I was keen to read it. I did read it – in one sitting! This is such a thrilling book.
The Secret is set in the village of Santa Zita in Italy and covers the period from the struggles encountered by the population during World War II right up to the revitalisation of the village in the present day. I often find novels that move back and forward through time irritating. Not so with The Secret. I knew exactly what was going on because the author weaves a seamless tale clearly indicating when the characters and time frame changes.
Several of the characters appeared in The Silence which was set in the same village. However, this is a stand alone novel and you do not need to have read the previous book in order to enjoy it. The characters in the village are complex and credible. I loved the way the story was written to include a wide variety of individuals whose paths crossed in different ways throughout the story.
Indeed, it seemed almost everyone in Santa Zita had a secret and the author shares them with the reader discreetly and gradually throughout The Secret with effortless skill. It is a truly gripping novel.
I do not intend to leave any spoilers here, suffice to say this excellent pschycological thriller will suit both book groups and individuals looking to enjoy new, talented authors. I thoroughly enjoyed The Secret and highly recommend it.
Katharine Johnson is a British freelance writer and editor and has worked for a variety of magazines. She has a passion for crime novels, old houses and all things italian (except tiramisu). She grew up in Bristol and has lived in Italy. She currently lives in Berkshire with her husband, three children and madcap spaniel. When not writing she plays netball badly and is a room guide in a stately home. She is currently writing her third novel.