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A Secret Rage

3.50  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,453 Ratings  ·  265 Reviews
Former New York City model Nickie Callahan is looking forward to the easy life when she moves to the sleepy college town of Knolls, Tennessee. But the women of Knolls are not safe. And as Nickie gets swept up in a string of brutally violent crimes, she must take matters of justice into her own hands.
Published March 26th 2010 by Recorded Books (first published January 1984)
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Jul 16, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charlaine Harris is the author of the hugely popular Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, the inspiration for HBO’s True Blood series. (Trust me, the books are better than the show!)

Before she was writing about psychics, werewolves, and vampires, though, she wrote “straight” mysteries, like the Aurora Teagarden series (called “cozies with teeth”) and the Lilly Bard series. But before even those…

Harris is a writer – and a rape survivor. How does a writer deal with major trauma? She writes about it. A Se
Kathy Davie
Aug 04, 2011 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
Disclaimer: There is nothing of a supernatural tone in A Secret Rage

The Story
A suspenseful tale of rape and anger. Old, young, embarrassed, misunderstood angers. A series of brutal rapes are committed against a number of women from older teen to thirtyish. Students, professors, and administrators. All associated with the college established by Mimi Houghton's family.

Poor Nickie Callahan has peaked in her modeling career and after one phone call with Mimi, she has chosen to go back to college. Go
Mar 18, 2011 Angie rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I really enjoyed this book, one of Charlaine Harris' earlier works (originally published in 1984 - pre-Sookie, I believe). It was a quick read (or "listen", in my case) - it felt almost like a short story, though there was decent character development for a full-length book.

I liked how Harris had the characters work together to narrow down the list of subjects; it helped heighten the sense of suspense. And in the end I was surprised at the identity of the attacker, so Harris did a good job maint
"But this pain had pinned me in the middle of the forehead, branding me with a sizzling V for victim. I discovered I wanted to know his face. I wanted to seize that face in my hands and rip it, cause pain, draw blood. I wanted to say, 'See! This is what you did to me!'... I wanted that face, and I swore to find it."

There were parts of this book I really loved, but there were also parts I loathed. It's left me with a head full of mixed feelings. I wanted to give it more than 3 stars because the
Mar 10, 2013 Sara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This had .the makings of a better book. While I found the basic plot okay, I felt like the story was barely fleshed out: too long for a short story, not long enough for a novel. Ms Harris keeps things moving along so this is a light read: I felt like I'd had a light snack and realized I craved a heartier meal.
Great writing and well-constructed suspenseful murder mystery by Charlaine Harris. In the small college town of Knolls, Tennesse, with all its southern manners and prejudices, a rapist has gone on the ramage. Instead of a frighteningly gory slasher story, A Secret Rage explores how rape changes a woman's feelings about herself and her position in her community. There is still building tension and horrible violence in the story but the details are described without sensationalism. The secret rage ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 18, 2011 Jonna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels, and have enjoyed the Harper Connelly mysteries as well, so I had high hopes for this little novel. "A Secret Rage" didn't quite live up to my expectations, yet was not all bad. Starting off slow, and building to a violent climax, this story is an easy read, with enough bumps in the road to keep the reader interested. Harris is an expert at writing a fight scene, as any reader of the Sookie books knows, and that talent does not go to wa ...more
MB (What she read)
Contrary to it's cover art, I wouldn't call this a 'cozy' mystery. The plot elements include some pretty difficult to read descriptions of rape and racism, (view spoiler) and a high body count. It's quite good, but I wanted to include this warning for those readers easily triggered. Be warned.

All characterizations could have been deepened. Definitely villain's motivations would have improved with more development.
Nov 08, 2009 Andrea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, 2009
I was warned about this book. It's really nothing like Harris' current writing style, but I also have to remember this was one of her firsts written in 84. So it's your typical run of the mill mystery, not to my favor. I will have to say that for the time she touched on a very taboo topic, she also let us in on how rape-- violent rape to boot-- affetcts not only the person but everyone incvolved. That insight was ahead of the times. If you're a Harris fan and can borrow the book, it's worth the ...more
Mar 16, 2015 Kyrie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
First, there is nothing supernatural in this book. It's not Sookie Stackhouse in any way shape or form.

Second, it's really kind of a mixed bag. The writing is sometimes great, sometimes pretty bad. Obviously it was good enough because I finished the book.

I had to check the copyright date, because the south I live in is not the south of this book. Yes, it's a different area, and no I'm not one of the elite old families in a small town. The southerners I know are not racist, sexist, gun toting Ya
Jan 23, 2016 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I'm not certain that I have not read this book before, I really enjoyed it. It just seemed really familiar.
Michelle Palmer
This is the only stand alone Charlaine Harris book that I have ever read. It was an early book for her, published in 1984.

Although I enjoyed the book, I didn't identify with the characters as much as I had with other books by the same author. Harris' worldbuilding is, as always, phenomenal. The small college town is so perfectly described that although I have never even been to a small college town I could picture Houghton perfectly.

The characters were mostly people who were attached to the co
I found this book, aside from being a compelling mystery, to be a horrifying insight into rape. Despite this, the satisfying ending, that does not often happen in reality, mitigated the misery of the story itself. It did address a lot of the misconceptions about rape and the after effects both individual and societal. I feel it's imporatant that people recognize and understand these problems.
Aug 19, 2015 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: march-2015
Another really well written book by Charlaine Harris. I think the subject matter was a particularly difficult one to read about yet she managed to describe it vividly which I think if it'd been me writing it I'd have found difficult to do it as well as she did. The element of "whodunnit" was well constructed through it and left me guessing which I enjoyed, and the way she built the characters both before and after their experiences was excellent - some of the relationships were poignant and incr ...more
Kristi Lamont
I hadn't realized how much I'd missed Charlaine Harris' voice until my pusher (aka Mother) added this little book to the stack of others she sent back with me at the end of my last visit with her. The woman is just wicked funny. Ms Harris, I mean; although Mother is no slouch in the sly humor department her own self. That Ms Harris was able to be funny while dealing with incredibly serious material is a credit to her as a writer, all the more so because this book was written what seems like fair ...more
Cathy DuPont
Never a disappointment, Charlaine Harris comes through again. This stand alone was a quick, easy read on a serious subject, rape. My favorite local bookseller said she thinks Harris doesn't get enough credit for her work, and I agree. I think she's great and have enjoyed her entire series except Snookie Stackhouse. Just not into the vampires.
Jan 19, 2014 Marianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Secret Rage is the second novel by American author, Charlaine Harris. High profile model, Nickie Callahan moves from New York City to small-town Tennessee when her popularity begins to wane. She decides to live with her twice-divorced good friend Mimi Houston in Knolls and complete her college education at Houston College, aiming to become a writer. But it seems that Knolls is no safer than New York, as first a young student and then a college professor are raped. Everyone is on high alert, an ...more
Lisa Williamson
After becoming a huge fan of Ms Harris' paranormal novels I really had to read everything I could find.

This novel is a simple Gothic told in her style. It has little bit of southernisms that you expect from this multitalented author. The characters are crisp and intelligent and strong. The dark theme of rape and its effect on the women who suffer it is handled cleanly and well. Being set in the deep south like most of her novels this tale shows us the different ways that subcultures within our o
Aug 12, 2015 Pamela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I truly loved the Sookie Stackhouse series it's one of my favorites and I've read it several times. When I saw this book by Charlaine Harris I figured it would be a good read. I have to say I'm disappointed. The protagonist Nickie is for a lack of a better word unrelatable and I thought at times irritating. The book has a good plot but would have been better with a different maim character and the ending is too quick. Almost like she just decided to stop writing. All in all I think this book is ...more
Dec 03, 2015 Anita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I liked the Harper Connelly series and wanted something quick to listen to as an audiobook. A secret rage happened to be in my library so i thought i'd check it out. It's not as good as Harris' other books but an enjoyable read nonetheless. I think the narration by Joanna Parker really makes this better than it should be, as there is a lot of 'filler' in the plot for such a small book. I figured out quite early on who the attacker was when they were introduced from the writing, but if you're loo ...more
Jenni V.
First, a note to the marketing/publicity crew. I specifically looked for this book at the library because I like the author but when I got home and looked more closely, the blurb on the cover was a strange choice to draw in readers. The quote "Recommended for public libraries" isn't a glowing review, especially when it wasn't even for this book (it was for the author's book From Dead to Worse). It made me laugh and luckily for me, the read was better than that blurb indicated.
If you are a perso
Shahd Mt.
Jun 26, 2011 Shahd Mt. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Nickie Callahan can handle herself. But after a successful- but brief- career as a model in New York city, she's looking forward to letting down her guard in the sleepy college town of Knolls, Tennessee. Living with her best friend, she plans on carving out a new future for herself by studying to be a writer. But the women of Knolls are not safe. And as Nickie gets swept up in a string of brutally violent crimes, she must take matters of justice into her own hands...

This is the second time I r
May 22, 2012 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This quick "who done it" read deals with a very serious topic and is not for the faint of heart. It is a light 200-or-so page read and is a great mystery if you can make it through a rape scene. It is set in one of Charlaine Harris's typical southern, small towns (which I always love) and takes place in the mid 1980's. Gender issues and racial issues were different during this time period and it is interesting to be in this setting. After the rapes begin to occur, not all people react the same a ...more
Dec 12, 2012 Doris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This standalone novel by an author famous for vampire novels is a powerful, fascinating, yet shocking portrayal of one woman, a strong, powerful, successful woman, and how she deals with rape. Nickie Callahan was a successful model in New York, when at the old age of 27, she was informed that she was too old and her career was over. A fateful phone call while she is reviewing her options brings her to little Knolls, Tennessee, and a deep south experience which only someone who lived it can portr ...more
Sep 20, 2010 Kolleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mystery
A Secret Rage is a story about Nickie, a New York model who is getting to old for the camera. She gathers her things and moves in with her best friend Mimi down South, hoping to get back to a simpler way of life. Upon moving in, Mimi informs her of a serial rapist in town who has not been caught, destroying Nickie's dreams of getting back to a safe and easy life.

Soon after moving back, Nickie herself is raped and beaten in the middle of the night. As her rage builds up against her attacker, she
Nov 12, 2010 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In her secret novel, Harris introduces readers to a small college town in Tennessee called Knolls. Protagonists Nickie Callahan has come back home to roost as she is moving on from a successful modeling career in New York City. The town is a natural choice since it means being reunited with life long friends Mimi and Cully, two siblings whose family founded the local college.

Upon her arrival, Nickie moves in with Mimi in the former home of Mimi's grandmother. They quickly fall into a routine tha
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
A Secret Rage made for an uneasy listening experience, not just because of the graphic rape and its aftermath, but the misguided anti-racism and the shaky writing, had I been reading, may have resulted in a DNF.

Narrator Johanna Parker made Nickie's fear and horror so convincing I struggled to remain calm and continue listening. The rapes and the effect it has on its victims and the Southern community were well done, though you really can't definitively tell someone's skin colour from their voic
Mike Finn
Jun 23, 2013 Mike Finn rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, audio-book
"Brave, unflinching, confrontation of rape"

Charlaine Harris wrote " A Secret Rage" back in the mid-80's, long before she became famous for her mysteries and her vampire series.

It can be read as a short, well-constructed mystery that keeps the reader guessing while giving an insight into life in a small college town in the South, but it is much more than that.

At its core, " A Secret Rage" is a hard hitting, unflinching look at what rape is, what it does to the people it is inflicted on and to the
Jan 03, 2015 Jeannette rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Charlaine Harris has been a published novelist for over twenty-five years. A native of the Mississippi Delta, she grew up in the middle of a cotton field. Now she lives in southern Arkansas with her husband, her three children, three dogs, and a duck. The duck stays outside.

Though her early output consisted largely of ghost stories, by the time she hit college (Rhodes, in Memphis) Charlaine was wr
More about Charlaine Harris...

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