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Secret Smile

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  2,518 ratings  ·  176 reviews
Miranda's sister, Kerri, has a new boyfriend. He's a raven-haired, handsome charmer who seems to dote on Kerri. But Brendan isn't the man he says he is. Miranda should know, because she broke off her own affair with him just a few weeks ago when she found him reading her diary. Now Brendan claims that it was he who ended their short-lived relationship-and everyone believes ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2003)
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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.
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 26, 2011 Miss Hartigan rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vivi 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
Jill Hutchinson
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
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
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
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
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.

I had read "Killing Me Softly" and "Beneath the Skin" by Nicci French several years ago , and really enjoyed both. They know how to draw you into a story and I've finished every book of theirs within a day.
This book had all the elements I like in a page turner: suspense , interesting characters, and a fast pace. If I had any complaints it would be that the ending feels tacked on and not as true to the protagonist. I also thought Miranda should have stood up to her family and friends more, mid bo
Sabrina Grounds
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
I saw this book and was intrigued by the 'stalker' story line having both enjoyed 'The Book of You' by Claire Kendall and 'Into the Darkest Corner' by Elizabeth Haynes. I had also heard positive things about the author--actually a husband & wife writing team. The plot--Miranda meets Brendan while ice skating with friends. They date for a couple of weeks until she finds him reading her diary, having let himself into her apartment with a spare key. She kicks him to the curb then finds out late ...more
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.
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
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.
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.
The Nicci French couple can always create stories with an opressive and anguished atmosphere. We are left with a not-so-good feeling.

This time we have a woman, Miranda, that after breaking up with a guy she went out with for 8 or 9 times, sees that she can't get rid of him. He starts going out with her sister and telling a whole bunch of lies about her and their relationship to everyone. I couldn't help a feeling that she should have being stronger and tried to put a stop at that before being to
Farah Hamandi
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 .
Michèlle De la haije
If you like to read psychological thrillers you really should read this book. I was so excited that two nights ago i read until 3 in the morning and i couldn't and didn't want to stop reading. The book is about Miranda, a single woman who happens to meet a strange man, named Brendan. She gets involved with him and they start an relationship. One day Miranda finds Brendan reading in her diary and she ends the relationship. Ten days later Brendan is introduced by Miranda's sister as her new boyfri ...more
Wendy Koedoot
Op een feestje maakt Miranda Cotton kennis met de charmante Brendan Block. In een opwelling neemt ze hem mee naar huis, waar de twee een hartstochtelijke nacht beleven. Al gauw lijkt zich tussen Miranda en Brendan iets moois te ontwikkelen. Maar dan, tien dagen na die eerste nacht, treft Miranda haar nieuwe vriend zomaar onverwacht in haar huis aan. Erger nog, Brandon heeft een oud dagboek gevonden waarin hij heeft gelezen dat Miranda op haar achttiende naar bed is geweest met de vriend van haar ...more
Megan Jones
Secret Smile is your standard Nicci French formula, a strong woman who comes to harm or suspects harm at the hands of a man and no-one believes her. This one has the added mix of the reader knowing what is going on all along which leads to mounting frustration as no-one believes her when you know they should. The character of Brendan is very creepy indeed and is your stereotypical bad guy. Secret Smile is not the best Nicci French book I have read and it has taken me longer to read it than it ha ...more
Aug 14, 2007 Rose rated it 5 of 5 stars
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!
Kai Huong
Ending was a little bit sloppy.
I'd read several Nicci Frenches years earlier and liked them at that point of my life. I may have read Secret Smile then as well, I can't remember anymore.

The book starts in a promising fashion - the "bad guy" is creepy and there is tension and a sense of dread of what will happen next, because you know it's not going to be anything good. Unfortunately the tension just stays there for ages and the story doesn't reach a satisfying climax at any point.

In the beginning I was able to relate to the m
Nicci French's novels are unusual in that they are not only extremely clever, psychologically shrewd thrillers, but they are also strong, atmospheric stories about contemporary women's lives. In my opinion this book is basically every girls worst ex boyfriend who won't go away.
Miranda tries to no avail to convince friends, family and the authorities that her ex-semi-boyfriend Brendan, who has now re-insinuated himself into her life as her sisters new fiancé, is not the sweet and c
I read Nicci French's `LAND OF THE LIVING' over two years ago and was so rapt by it that I read it in one day. Yet for reasons unknown it took me over two years to pick up another one of her books and again I was completely rapt by it! Nicci French knows how to write suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting more.

`SECRET SMILE' kept me completely frustrated as the heroine Miranda tries to no avail to convince friends, family and the authorities that her ex-semi-boyfriend B
Ik ben een fan van de boeken van Nicci French. Toch vind ik niet al hun boeken even goed. Dit boek vond ik een van de mindere. Ik vond het spannend en heb het in sneltreinvaart gelezen. Ik wou voortdurend weten hoe het verder ging en hoe het zou aflopen. Het is ook vlot geschreven. Maar ik vond het dikwijls ongeloofwaardig. Waarom vertelde Miranda niet van in het begin hoe de relatie met Brandon was verlopen en waarom zij (en niet hij) het had uitgemaakt? Waarom geloofde niemand haar ooit? Waaro ...more
Ian Mapp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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  • Nieuwe Buren
  • Alles te verliezen
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  • Cruise
  • Winter House,The
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  • Deadly Virtues
  • Transgressions
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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...
Blue Monday (Frieda Klein, #1) Killing Me Softly Tuesday's Gone (Frieda Klein, #2) Beneath the Skin The Red Room

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