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The Secret Hour

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  1,787 ratings  ·  109 reviews


Read by Linda Emond

Drawing on the locales and storylines her fans cherish, "The Secret Hour" introduces John O'Rourke, a brilliant defense attorney caring for his two children after the tragic death of his wife, and Kate Harris, who comes into John's life as she searches for the key to a haunting myst
Audio CD, Abridged, 0 pages
Published June 5th 2006 by Encore Publishing (first published January 1st 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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For what I thought would be a light read it was pretty heavy.

A serial killer caught and in prison. A bleeding-heart lawyer who wants his death sentence commuted to life because of mental illness. A cheating wife. A bestfriend's betrayal. A husband's betrayal. A sister's betrayal. A tragic accident. A disappearance. A copycat killer.

It's all here. It's very suspenseful and I found nothing 'light' about it. It was disturbing. So if your in the mood for a good mystery/suspense this would be the on
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Kelly Moran
pleasure read, not for official review.
I think what I like most about Luanne's books, are you never really know what to expect, except that they're good. She had a deft way of taking common emotions and expanding them into 300 plus pages, and yet you're never bored. This was one of her better ones.
Ellen Moore
This was a good book with several surprises revealed and a romance which developed along with an interesting legal thriller. The characters had depth and mostly were appealing. This story of an attorney's difficult case involving a brutal serial killer on death row which was creating problems for him and his family in the community where they lived was very interesting. The family members were also struggling as they coped with the recent death of the mother. I thought the book was well done, an ...more
Jean Gallant
I read this book as part of a readers advisory (legal thrillers) group. When searching for a legal thriller title I came across The Secret Hour by Luanne Rice. This author generally known for writing about ordinary people in crisis I was curious as to how she would cross over genres and write a legal thriller. The author did not disappoint. Keep with her usual writing style that her fans have come to know and love the author manages to cross over and write a faced paced thriller about a lawyer f ...more
Farshana Sihab
This book had it all, romance, mystery, betrayal, a serial killer and sibling love.But even with all that it didnt feel cluttered. The storytelling was smooth and at most places heart tugging. It's sad how children often end up paying for decisions taken by the parents. And if i must say so, Luanne Rice has done a wonderful job in writing about lawyers who have to represent the scum of the earth. Also loved how the author opens a whole plethora of emotions for a reader by suggesting that serial ...more
Just finished this one last night... Not my usual read, but I got caught up in the children's part of the story... Maggie and her older brother Teddy and how they were reacting to the changes in their world...

I don't usually read murder mysteries.. but this one did catch me right off with the first chapter. A brick through the window does tend to catch your attention... and a twisty ending tops it off nicely! I enjoyed this book and will look for more by Luanne Rice.
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"Beneath his careful and controlled demeanor, attorney John O’Rourke is a man whose life is in turmoil. Since the death of his wife, he has been juggling the rigors of a controversial capital murder case and the demands of raising two children. Eleven-year-old Maggie’s crooked bangs and rumpled clothes eloquently reproach John’s earnest but haphazard attempts at mothering. Teddy, John’s stalwart fourteen-year-old, has quietly assumed responsibilities far too weighty for his young shoulder
Nov 26, 2012 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary mysteries
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
Beneath his calm and controlled demeanor, attorney John O'Rourke is a man whose life is in turmoil. Since his wife's death, he has been juggling the rigors of a controversial capital murder case and the demands of raising two children. Eleven-year-old Maggie's crooked bangs and rumpled clothes eloquently reproach John's earnest but haphazard attempts at mothering. Teddy, John's stalwart fourteen-year-old, has quietly assumed responsibilities that are far too weighty for his young shoulders, as h ...more
Beneath his calm and controlled demeanor, attorney John O'Rourke is a man whose life is in turmoil. Since his wife's death, he has been juggling the rigors of a controversial capital murder case and the demands of raising two children. Eleven-year-old Maggie's crooked bangs and rumpled clothes eloquently reproach John's earnest but haphazard attempts at mothering. Teddy, John's stalwart fourteen-year-old, has quietly assumed responsibilities that are far too weighty for his young shoulders, as h ...more
Maria Miaoulis
OK, so of all the Luanne Rice books I've read, this is definitely one of my least favorites. The premise itself is intriguing: John O'Rourke is a defense lawyer trying to get his client - a murderer and sexual predator - off death row and sentenced to life in prison instead. John faces much opposition from the small town of people who knew and loved the girls that were viciously killed. On top of that, he is also a single dad struggling to raise his two children in the wake of his wife's death a ...more
Did not realize that this was a mystery psycho story. Good discussions on if murderers o death row deserve attorney rights. Could not believe that her sister Willa could have an affair with Kate's husband that would be more than a one night stand. Felt the kids thoughts were well written and added to the tension. Amazed how much the kids bonded with Kate immediately, liked the attorney's father and his role. Suspected some of the ending but still held surprises.
Oct 05, 2011 Ruthie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: luanne-rice
the first book in my luanne rice collection.. this book really opened my eyes to the beauty of ms. rice's words.. i bought my copy at a booksale for some light reading and it turned into something more.. as page-turner as any classic books i've read.. the mixture of genres in one book is unbelievably smooth and gradual.. by the cover, i thought it was a romance book, but i was wrong.. i love mystery books, and this is one mysterious book.. i can so relate with Teddy (although i'm a girl) because ...more
There is something to be said for those stories with their endings wrapped up neatly into little bows. I find them satisfying and comfortable and this is one comfortable story with an ending I finished with a satisfied ‘hmm’. Kate has lost her little sister Willa who she has raised since the death of their parents. She believes she might be the victim of a serial killer on the Eastern coast and travels there to meet the serial killer’s defense attorney. John is a widow with two young children fi ...more
A widowed defense attorney with two children and a woman in search of her missing sister collide when the attorney's client may be the man who killed Kate's sister--if she is indeed dead. This romantic suspense novel kept me reading. I love the way Rice creates a sense of the Carolina seacoast and its inhabitants. Well worth the read.
A romance/mystery book. At first I found it interesting with the whole "What happened" kind of thing and wanting to know more. The author kept repeating herself with the his/her individual story backgrounds which I found drawn out and monotonous. It took forever to get them together and then towards the end I just found it too cheezball!
I enjoyed reading this book and I must admit I was surprised several times which was a refreshing change to read something with mystery and romance that wasn't completely predictable throughout. I did find the middle section to be quite wordy almost as if the author was just filling the pages to make it longer or it would have been a four star book for me, it is still definitely worth reading.
(Mystery 2003) Combination romance/mystery. Kate Harris's sister has disappeared six months ago, and in Kate's search to find her, she finds John O'Rourke, widower and father of two children. Somewhat predictable up to a point, the ending is just enough off track to be interesting. A good, quick read.
Darlene Wilson
The Secret Hour is an unforgettable novel that explores the power of sisterly love, the gift of second chances--and the way magic can sometimes be the most real thing in the whole world. John, Teddy, Maggie -- John's dad and his housekeeper Maeve -- Kate and her sister Willa -- the magic of L Rice!
Romance AND suspense!!!

I have found a new author for my list of 'favorites'! This book has it all...romance, suspense, grief...
The main chararcters are a grieving sister, and the defender of the man she believes killed her baby sister. They meet when she tries to get answers from him. Their is immediately an attraction and a distancing for professional reasons. We learn that each has grief in their past relationships and some things in common. Throw in two loveable kids who are grieving their m
I enjoyed this book. It is the story of two people who were both hurt, by the ones they loved the most, learning to trust and love again. A little bit of romance, and a mystery to boot is the kind of book I like to read. 3 stars ...more
Feb 05, 2009 Sueij rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sueij by: Mom
Someone else might really like this one, but it definitely wasn't my style.

The first half felt like a lightly-written "Law and Order" episode (though I don't actually watch the show, so I suppose more rightly I should say it felt like I think a "L & O" episode would be like). The second half was more of a thriller with some side romance, including moments of "is the 11 year old going to be attacked/killed/damaged for life." I won't say what happens, in case you do like thrillers. But I've n
I feel like I need a bit more closure to this book, but otherwise a great read. Certainly not a "light" read, though.
Kathy G.
This was a real page turner. I had never read a Luanne Rice book before, and I really enjoyed this book. It had twists and turns and surprises and a love story. Great stuff.

John O'Rourke is a defense attorney, defending this mass murderer who has abused and killed women. Kate Harris comes into his life because her sister has been missing for six months and she thinks his client might have been responsible for her disappearance. They find that there are similar sad experiences in their lives that
I was reminded that you should not judge a book by its title or cover. I assumed that it was a romance book (someone had given it to me) A friend says assumption is the mother of all foul ups and he is right. The book is a mystery. It is the story of a woman who has a sister who has been missing for 6 months. There has been a serial killer in the area where her sister disappeared. The story involves the attorney who is defending the serial killer and don't we all just love to hate defense attorn ...more
This was kind of trashy. A lawyer and his 2 children who are dealing with the loss of his wife and their mother are defending a convicted killer. A woman shows up at their doorstep after a rock is thrown thru their window. And here it begins. The lawyer is a weak man who of course falls in love with this woman. She is looking for her sister who disappeared and needs his help. There are some parts of the story that are unbelievable to me. If you took the romance out of this one, it might have bee ...more
It was an ok reading. The author must have been in a rush to write a book quickly.
R*beth*h Hart
Got a great deal on a couple books from this author so I decided to check them out. They make me miss New England a bit though! I really enjoy that I can follow along when they are traveling along the coast line HWY 95, Route 1, & the 156 spent many days traveling those roads myself. This was my favorite so far of her stories, to be so close to the answers for so long and walk right past is sadly how things go so often. As in a good book though the miraculous happy ending brings a smile to y ...more
thought It was so good im reading it again
Karen Knapp
Suspensful legal romantic thriller set on the East Coast. Fast paced and a little obvious but I enjoyed it.
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Luanne Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-one novels including THE LEMON ORCHARD. Five of her books have been made into movies and mini-series, many have been New York Times bestsellers and two of her pieces have been featured in off-Broadway theatre productions. She divides her time between New York City and the Connecticut shoreline.
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