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Secret Smile

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  3,547 Ratings  ·  247 Reviews

Secret Smile is a gripping psychological thriller from the Top Ten bestselling author, Nicci French
You have an affair. You finish it. You think it's over. You're dead wrong . . .
Miranda Cotton thinks she's put boyfriend Brendan out of her life for good. But two weeks later, he's intimately involved with her sister.
Soon what began as an embarrassment becomes threatening -

Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published by Penguin Books (first published 2003)
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Mar 29, 2009 Liz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Definitely not one of Nicci French's best books... most of the book you just feel outraged at how dumb the main character is and how badly she's handling situations. You almost don't want her to prevail in the end.
Jun 02, 2012 April rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book but after finishing it, I can't help but feel like there's something missing. The end is rather abrupt and rushed, like something else was originally supposed to happen, but at the last minute, it was changed. I don't know how I expected the story to end, but I just expected *more*.

The story itself (girl meets boy, girl dumps boy, boy turns out to be a psycho) is interesting, no doubt. Of course, it's been done so many times that it's hard to make the idea fresh or new, thoug
Miss Hartigan
May 25, 2011 Miss Hartigan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who's been or knows someone in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Recommended to Miss Hartigan by: I loved the BBC misineries so much, I just had to read it.
I read it in one sitting. I just couldn't put it down. It was like reading a manual on emotional/psychological abuse. The authors depicted it so clearly you could just go back and underline every instance yet see clearly why only the reader and Miranda are the only ones to notice. The characters are FRUSTRATINGLY realistic, I wanted them, specially Miranda, to do more, but it's always easy to blame the victim for their circumstances instead of concentrating on the psychopath who wormed his way i ...more
Dec 28, 2012 Joan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was basically a read-it-in-one-gulp book for me; so I can't give it less that 3 stars. Can't give it more than 3 stars, however, because it's a very formulaic first-period Nicci French, and it's not the best of that subgenre. I think that French's new series about Frieda Klein (which I guess we can call second-period NIcci French) is significantly better.
I REALLY want to give this five stars because I so loved it! I was immersed from beginning to end. Very suspenseful, very great writing! I enjoyed it thoroughly! I adore suspense and this is one of the very best I've read in a long time.
However, a few things really got to me. One, Miranda was an idiot during a large portion of the book. I was so angry with her so many times for being such a doormat! Since I want to think this book is perfect, I attributed her behavior to differences in culture.
Πάνος Τουρλής
Η Μιράντα χωρίζει τον Μπρένταν μόνο και μόνο για να τον ξανασυναντήσει λίγο καιρό αργότερα ως εραστή και μετέπειτα σύζυγο της αδελφής της. Η Κέρι είναι τόσο μα τόσο ευτυχισμένη και δε θέλει η αδερφή της να της χαλάσει την ευτυχία (ξανά). Από κει και πέρα τίποτε δε θα είναι πια ίδιο στη ζωή της πετυχημένης διακοσμήτριας εσωτερικών χώρων Μιράντα Κότον!

Το γνωστό συγγραφικό δίδυμο, τρία χρόνια πριν δημιουργήσει την ψυχολόγο Frieda Klein στη γνωστή συγκλονιστική σειρά μυστηρίου, έγραψε και αυτό το θρ
Hmm..really wanted to rate this book higher and love it more as I think the sexy husband and wife writing duo of Nicci French do an amazing job of building suspense, creating the tension and making you want to know what is going to happen next..however I felt the tension didnt meet the ending and ultimately when there should have been a brilliant novel I was kinda let down..Okay so the story follows hardenend smartass Miranda as she does what she wants, is a female painter that loves to be dirty ...more
Feb 16, 2015 Penny rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have never been so glad to finish a books as I am to finish this one, I hated this book. I have had Nicci French books recommended to me not only by goodreads but friends and other books sites. So when I was at the local library and saw this book and read the back I thought it sound good so of course I added it to my pile. As soon as I started this book there was already two things that started to annoy me, the first once was the chapters are so short that they made the story choppy and dysfun ...more
Kathryn Bain
The whole premise of this book was great. Girl meets guy, breaks it off, he then inflitrates her family and life. I couldn't wait for the suspense to start. Too bad it never did.

That being said, I did keep reading to see how she would get him out of their lives. Too bad I found her family to be naive. It wouldn't take much to know this guy was a user. He never had a job the whole time they knew him. Come on people.

I did like how the ending worked out, though I would have liked it to have been
Aug 19, 2012 Manda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 11, 2012 Ella rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm thoroughly irritated with Miranda. Instead of investigating her creepy 2 week week ex, she seems to spend her time drinking and sleeping with men that she just met, while the creepy 2 week ex is whispering creepy vulgar things to her. It seems Miranda didn't think to google creepy 2 week ex or to hire a private investigator. Miranda's entire family seems stupid and naive. Apparently, her family members would rather take the words of a man they just met a month ago over their own daughter.

Patricia Vocat
Not a very deep, but really entertaining psycological thiller. A book that kept me on the edge of my seat, even though the whole premise is not credible and the ending was very obvious .

(Why not credible? MILD SPOILER: Since the main character has family and close friends, you'd think that at least one of them would believe her instead of somebody they just met.END)

I loathed and felt for Miranda the main character at the same time: She is like the typical herione in a horror movie where you are
Jan 16, 2014 Lisa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Why why why did I read this book?! The whole point of reading reviews is to ascertain whether books appeal to me or not and LOADS of people said the main character is annoying and stupid.
Well, the main character is REALLY ANNOYING!
Sorry Nicci, I feel bad giving a rubbish review but I hated this book - thank goodness it is short else I would never have made it.
Γιώτα Βασιλείου
Σίγουρα όχι το καλύτερο βιβλίο τους. Μόλις και μετά βίας μπόρεσα να το προχωρήσω κι αυτό γιατί άντεξα να διαβάσω μέχρι τη μέση περίπου, οπότε κι άρχισε να έχει ένα κάποιο νόημα η ανάγνωσή του.

Σίγουρα είχε γρήγορη ροη, συνεχείς ανατροπές και φυσιολογική κλιμάκωση, ωστόσο ήταν αναμενόμενη η εξέλιξη και το τέλος απότομο και χωρίς «ζουμί». Του έλλειπε η αγωνία, ο φόβος, η αμφιβολία, η αμφιταλάντευση, το αίμα, όλα αυτά δηλαδή που συνθέτουν το σωστό αστυνομικό. Πάντα μιλώντας με τα προσωπικά μου κριτ
L.E. Truscott
May 13, 2016 L.E. Truscott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so engrossing that I started reading it late one evening and then couldn’t stop. I finished it in one sitting as I kept thinking, “Just one more chapter,” and then not being able to stand not knowing what was going to happen next. By the time I was finished, six hours and 310 pages had gone by and so had most of the night, as well as any opportunity for sleep.

Secret Smile is the story of Miranda. She’s been dating Brendan for just over a week when she comes home from work to find h
Feb 20, 2011 Oria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last year, when I read Killing Me Softly by the same authors, I thought, now that’s an interesting book. It was fast paced but slow compared to this one, a bit creepy (ok, more than a bit) and left me with a lingering thought at the back of my mind that I should read at least another one of their written works. And so I did.

In Secret Smile, there’s a feeling of deja-vu, like Adam Tallis (one of the two main characters from Killing Me Softly) has been resurrected and given another chance at mess
Jill Hutchinson
Apr 09, 2014 Jill Hutchinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I like Nicci French's (a husband and wife writing team) books as they always are just a little off-kilter in plot and character development. In this rather unnerving story, I wanted to kick the main protagonist, Miranda, right in the mouth for being so stupid. She has a short but unsatisfying relationship with Brendan but breaks it off when she catches him reading her diary. So he takes up with her sister, Kerry, and convinces her and the parents that he broke off with Miranda and that she is sh ...more
Sabrina Grounds
Dec 27, 2012 Sabrina Grounds rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thriller
This was my second Nicci French book which I enjoyed almost as much as the first. It made for a really good "holiday read" as it grabbed my attention pretty much from the outset. I did find it a little annoying that no-one was prepared to believe Miranda's side of the story, not one person from her family, still I guess this is what a stalker can really be like. It did seem a little unlikely that even Detective Rob Pryor was taken in by him. Anyway, I particularly liked the twist in the final fe ...more
Lia Panagiotidou
Ένα αρκετά καλογραμμένο θρίλερ, το πρώτο βιβλίο που διάβασα από το συγγραφικό ζευγάρι που "κρύβεται" πίσω από το καλλιτεχνικό ψευδώνυμο "Nicci French". Σε μια σκοτεινή ατμόσφαιρα, γεμάτο σασπένς, μας μιλάει για τη ζωή της Μιράντα Κότον, μίας διακοσμήτριας εσωτερικών χώρων, που όλα στη ζωή της είναι τακτοποιημένα και δεν θέλει να την ταράξει τίποτα. Μέχρι που διακόπτει τη σχέση της με τον Μπρένταν, από εκεί και έπειτα αρχίζουν όλα και μπερδεύονται με ολέθριες συνέπειες, τόσο γι αυτήν όσο και
Apr 28, 2009 Jules rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of you have seen the film, so did I. Still, the book surprised me. The ending is a little different and some characters where simply cancelled in the film. Never mind, I just wanted to point out how brilliant Nicci French is (are). Even though I knew what was happening I couldn't put the book down. I broke out in tears when Troy died and I hated Mr Brendon Block all over again. The book really thrilled me. It's a great read, all of you should have a try, even if you already saw the film.
Farah Hamandi
Nov 29, 2011 Farah Hamandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
mmm i think that this is one of the great books i have read the story it self is amazing , the character of miranda and how suspicious she is , i think that another girl would change her mind specially that nobody believe her even her family and friends. Brenden, he is so clever that he push away all the question marks around him .... in short amazing .
Kai Huong
Ending was a little bit sloppy.
Oct 26, 2016 Sid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
This will forever be one of my favourite thrillers, damn.
Aug 14, 2007 Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Absolutely!
Shelves: thriller

My idea of a horror story are on the psychological level. This is an edge of your seat, smartly written novel of one being tormented by a past lover. Good summer reading!
Jun 22, 2017 Rose rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So. The first 100 pages or so were good. But then it got a bit slow. It also came to an abrupt ending. I LOATHED Brendan. I also don't understand how everyone was so blind around him, that nobody saw what he did to Miranda in front of their noses. Are u for real? Nicci French are absolutely not bad writers but this book was not as thrilling as their books usually are. Especially with the Frieda Klein series. It's one of my favorite series! Too bad it didn't empress me.
Iain Bulpett
As psychological thrillers go, not bad for an early attempt. The ending was abrupt & could almost have been rushed to meet a deadline. As a lead through the destructiveness of obsession in love, slightly clumsy, yet hope prevails for the victim, Miranda. The outcome seems clunky & contrived. I personally could not recommend this book, unless a devoted Nicci French fan & damn the storyline!
Jan 19, 2017 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Saw the movie first with David Tennant as Brendan Block, very difficult to concoct your own images of the characters and surroundings - I recommend reading this fantastic book first.
Emmy H. Nathasia
May 22, 2017 Emmy H. Nathasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The plot is good, but the ending is, abrupt.
Jun 24, 2017 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Read

This is a pretty good suspense, page turner. The end surprised me a bit! Looking forward to some other reads by the same author.
Oct 26, 2016 Brenda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frustrating dumb principal character!!!
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Note: (Nicci Gerrard and Sean French also write separately.)

Nicci Gerrard was born in June 1958 in Worcestershire. After graduating with a first class honours degree in English Literature from Oxford University, she began her first job, working with emotionally disturbed children in Sheffield. In that same year she married journalist Colin Hughes.

In the early eighties she taught English Literature
More about Nicci French...

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“And how do you undo damage that’s been built into the foundations? With houses, it’s easier to pull the whole thing down and start again. You can’t do that with people.” 1 likes
“it was like glass sandpaper being rubbed on my skin.” 1 likes
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