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The Secrets She Keeps

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Everyone has an idea of what their perfect life is. For Agatha, it's Meghan Shaughnessy's.

These two women from vastly different backgrounds have one thing in common - a dangerous secret that could destroy everything they hold dear.

Both will risk everything to hide the truth, but their worlds are about to collide in a shocking act that cannot be undone.

The Secrets She Keeps is a compelling psychological thriller that delves deeply into the psyche of the human mind, by internationally bestselling author Michael Robotham.

436 pages, Paperback

First published July 11, 2017

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About the author

Michael Robotham

68 books5,675 followers
Two-times Gold Dagger winner (2015 and 2020), twice Edgar best novel finalist (2016 and 2020) and winner of the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger (2021), Michael Robotham was born in Australia in November 1960 and grew up in small country towns that had more dogs than people and more flies than dogs. He escaped became a cadet journalist on an afternoon newspaper in Sydney.

For the next fourteen years he worked for newspapers and magazines in Australia, Europe, Africa and America. As a senior feature writer for the UK’s Mail on Sunday he was among the first people to view the letters and diaries of Czar Nicholas II and his wife Empress Alexandra, unearthed in the Moscow State Archives in 1991. He also gained access to Stalin’s Hitler files, which had been missing for nearly fifty years until a cleaner stumbled upon a cardboard box that had been misplaced and misfiled.

In 1993 he quit journalism to become a ghostwriter, collaborating with politicians, pop stars, psychologists, adventurers and showbusiness personalities to write their autobiographies. Twelve of these non-fiction titles have been bestsellers with combined sales of more than 2 million copies.

His first novel 'THE SUSPECT', a psychological thriller, was chosen by the world’s largest consortium of book clubs as only the fifth “International Book of the Month”, making it the top recommendation to 28 million book club members in fifteen countries.

Since then, Michael's psychological thrillers have been translated into twenty-five languages and his Joe O'Loughlin series is are currently in development for TV by World Productions. A six-part TV series based upon his standalone novel THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS was aired on BBC1 in 2020, and a second series begins filming in 2021.

Michael lives in Sydney with his wife and a diminishing number of dependent daughters.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,676 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa.
647 reviews28.6k followers
May 6, 2020
Whoa . . . now this is how a thriller is done! It’s storylines like this that get my blood pumping and reignite my love for the creepy and twisted. It’s dynamic characters like this that manage to garner my unwavering attention. It’s secrets like this that keep my insides twisted in knots with anticipation of what’s to come. It’s writing like this that makes me want to toss everything else aside and devour the author’s backlist. In a saturated genre, this is a true standout—a wholly addicting thriller that had my eyes glued to the pages in incredulity and disbelief. A story that sat me down in a front row seat as the dark side of obsession and the lengths some of us will go to get what we want—damn the cost—was exposed. In the end, what separates justifiable from crazy?

At one time or another we’ve probably all looked at someone and thought, “Wow, he/she has a perfect life. If only I had . . . ” With social media making everyone accessible at the tap of an app and the tendency to overlook the obvious—that what we’re actually seeing is a person’s happiest moments or a highlight reel, as opposed to their cracks—isn’t that an easy trap to fall into? Without a little perspective aren’t assumptions inevitable; especially if your focus rests solely on what someone appears to have and you desire to?

Meghan and Agatha share one major commonality—they’re both pregnant. Orchestrated by one, more than the other, they strike up a sort of a quasi-friendship, but there couldn’t be two more different women. Sometimes we make people see what they want to though, don’t we?

What makes this story such a success in my eyes isn’t necessarily the idea behind it all—while utterly addicting in its delivery, it’s not exactly a new concept—it’s the character development that held my thoughts and feelings in a vice grip. Michael Robotham doesn’t give up all of his secrets at once or I should say Meghan and Agatha's. Instead, the author exposes the true nature of these women layer by shocking layer. It's being made privy to their most hidden thoughts and deepest secrets that provide the shock factor and works to bridge the reader/character connection I seek from any noteworthy read.

I have to admit, the thriller/suspense genre has been a bit of a disappointment for me as of late. In fact, with my average rating landing around 3-stars, you could say, I'm in somewhat of a slump. I'm resting the blame on books being over-hyped—namely, being compared to other breakout novels they didn't come close to living up to—and in some instances, unrealistic expectations on my part. The Secrets She Keeps bucked that trend. This is the only thriller of 2017 that has earned a 5-star rating from me. In my eyes, this book deserves all of the hype and attention it's been receiving, so make sure it's on your list.

*Thank you to Scribner and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review. I cannot say it enough, I thoroughly enjoyed this twisted tale of obsession and I desperately needed something noteworthy in this genre after all of the disappointments. It was my pleasure to provide an honest review.
Profile Image for Deanna .
664 reviews12.4k followers
July 4, 2018
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

4.5 stars!!

This is my first read from Michael Robotham. I loved it!

How far would you go to create the perfect family?

How many times have you looked at someone and thought "now there is someone who has it all?" Well I have. Plenty of times.

We may assume someone who is beautiful, rich, married with children must be happy. They must have the perfect life. But you know what they say about assuming....

The book alternates between Agatha and Meghan's point of view.

When Agatha looks at Meghan she sees someone with the perfect life. She has a gorgeous home, two beautiful children, and a loving husband. While Agatha is at home, pregnant and alone, wondering if her baby daddy, Hayden will ever return her calls. Hayden is a sailor who is away for seven months. Agatha tells us the silly boy "thinks" they broke up before he left, but she says he's just overreacting to her going through his phone and reading his emails. Now he's avoiding her.

But she'll find a way to make him reply to her.

Agatha is pregnant and works at a grocery store in an affluent area in London. Her favorite part of the day is when Meghan comes into the store.

Agatha knows A LOT about Meghan's life. She knows her schedule, husband and children's names, as well as what time Meghan picks up her daughter from school. She knows Meghan's mothers' group meets every Friday morning and even what each woman orders to drink. She's gotten a lot of this information by watching Meghan. But she also gotten a lot of additional information from Meghan's detailed posts on her mommy blog. She thinks Meghan makes motherhood and marriage look easy.

But Meghan's life is far from perfect. Her marriage has been very bumpy lately. Jack has been acting strangely, and the couple has been fighting more than ever (more than once I wanted to reach into the book and throttle Jack, when he made comments about her weight or belittled her blog). Meghan hopes that once the baby is born things will go back to normal, that they will be happy again.

But Meghan has secrets...and she's not the only one.

So many secrets.

Agatha finds out that Meghan is pregnant with baby number three and that they are both due around the same time. This gives her the push needed to strike up a conversation with Meghan. But Meghan doesn't know that this little conversation has solidified a friendship (in Agatha's mind). If Meghan only knew that a seemingly unimportant conversation with a woman stocking shelves at a grocery store will turn her life upside down in ways she never imagined.

"I've spoken to her properly now. We've made a connection. We're going to be friends, Meg and I, and I'll be just like her. I'll make a lovely home and keep my man happy. We'll do yoga classes and swap recipes and meet for coffee every Friday morning with our mothers' group"

If only Meghan hadn't gone to that store. If she'd done anything different that day. Maybe that would have changed everything.

This book got inside my head. So many twist and turns that literally had my mouth dropping open in surprise. I was so fully engrossed in the story that I didn't see the time passing. I had an early appointment the next morning and wanted to get to sleep early. But I couldn't stop reading!

We really have no idea what goes on in someone's life. How things that happened throughout their lives can affect everything. I was trying to put myself into the minds of these characters. All of the horrible things some had been through. Some parts were very difficult to read.

How do we know what someone's marriage or relationship is truly like. Just look at how happy everyone is on Facebook and other social media. So often we are just seeing just the parts they want us to see.

This was a gripping and powerful story full of thrills, twists, and mind games. And although occasionally things may have seemed implausible, I just went with it and enjoyed the story.

THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS is a clever and entertaining psychological suspense novel that I quickly devoured in just a few sittings.

I can honestly say this won't be my last read from Michael Robotham

Thank you NetGalley and Scribner Publishing for providing an advanced copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,601 reviews24.8k followers
June 1, 2017
This is an outstanding psychological thriller that had me completely unable to stop reading until I had finished. To say it is compelling is an understatement. It is a novel narrated through the perspective of two women expecting babies around the same time from different ends of the social and economic spectrum. Meghan is having her third 'oops' child, is married to the well known, good looking sports commentator, Jack, and runs a popular mums blog detailing her everyday life and personal thoughts. She has had a privileged lifestyle, and despite elements of her marriage feeling stale and occasionally fraught, loves her husband. Agatha is expecting her first child, is involved with a younger man, Hayden, who is a sailor in the Navy. She works in a supermarket, sees and relates to Meghan shopping there regularly, and thinks that Meghan has the perfect marriage, husband, and children.

The two women become friends at Agatha's persistent instigation. They connect over their coming births, looking forward to the lives they have planned. Only Jack is supremely ambitious and is not so keen on having an unplanned baby. Agatha's background has been traumatic, challenging and there is a dark schism between her and her mother, rooted in her dark history with her parents as committed Jehovah's Witnesses. Agatha is not above being manipulative when it comes to her relationship with Hayden in her efforts to ensure that it is as wonderful as it could be. However, Meghan and Agatha harbour lies and deeply buried secrets. Their lives collide on a path that places such deep strains on their lives that you wonder if they can survive.

This is a well plotted and twisted story with a narrative that is tense and gripping. I was particularly impressed with the complex and authentic characterisation of Meghan and Agatha, not to mention other characters such as Hayden and Dr Cyrus Haven. The storyline felt desperately realistic, and there are mentions of real life contemporary events that it echoes. The portrayal of the media really touches a nerve with its amoral drive for any angle for a exclusive story that it can get, without any thought to the people concerned and the lives they ruin. A terrific book that I highly recommend.
Profile Image for Julie .
4,027 reviews58.9k followers
August 21, 2017
The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham is a 2017 Scribner publication.

Whew! Now that was intense!!

Agatha, a store clerk, and Meghan, a stay at home mom/blogger with a seemingly idyllic life, two women who are vastly different in class and style, find a common ground when their lives casually intersect.

Meghan meets Agatha in the market she shops in, striking up a conversation over their pregnancies. However, what you see on the surface of their lives is not always the same as what lies beneath- and that’s putting it mildly!!

When this book first started getting a little buzz, I knew I wanted to check it out for myself. I also saw that it was compared to Ruth Ware’s novel and to…. Yep- one of “The Girl” books. So, I tried to tamp down on my enthusiasm just a bit, worried I would be disappointed.

Well, I wasn’t at all disappointed. This is a well constructed thriller, that not only kept the suspense level at a maximum peak, but was an intelligent, clever, and distinct novel. I admit, it did make me squirm a little at times, though. I had a terrible feeling of foreboding right off, and as I went deeper into the story, that feeling of dread became almost unbearable.

The characters are spectacularly flawed, morally questionable on several levels, and so you may or may not feel sympathy towards them, but there are innocent victims at stake, so I was very concerned for the welfare of some of these people.

"We need the darkness to appreciate the light, and the bumps along the road to stop us from falling asleep at the wheel.”

While there is the clear sense of danger coming, there are multi-layers of suspense. Both Meghan and Agatha have backed themselves into a corner which adds another rich layer of stress to the story, giving it an unrelentingly tense atmosphere!

The final showdown is absolutely breathtaking, and the ending is utterly chilling!

This book definitely lived up to the hype!! The writing is superb, with well drawn characters, and perfect pacing.

If you enjoy domestic and psychological thrillers, you do not want to miss this one!!

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,005 reviews36k followers
April 27, 2017
A baby has been kidnapped .....

Meghan is keeping a significant secret from her husband Jack.
They have two small children, Lucy and Lachlan. Meghan is pregnant -again- with their 'oops' pregnancy.
Meghan runs a 'mummy' blog. Jack works for a sports TV network. Their marriage has the 'packaging' looks as if "all-is-dandy". - Good looks, money, the right circle of friends!

Agatha, single, works in a grocery store stocking shelves. She's keeping a significant secret from her boyfriend Hayden, who is away at sea with the Royal Navy.

This is one of those page-turning psychological-perplexing stories that might have you wavering in thought --but never any hesitancy of eagerness to know how this story is going to conclude.

My overall thoughts were this: I WAS HOOKED --I NEVER WANTED TO STOP READING -- and there were definitely 'TROUBLE-IN -PARADISE' type situations .... where I was shaking my head wondering....."ok, how ya goin solve this problem?".... "and this problem"? ..... but when I finished the book.... I was mostly left with very subtle emotions. THERE WAS NOT HUGE TWIST.....WHICH WAS FINE WITH ME.....
.....instead I was left thinking about the scars people live with--suffering and loneliness -- destructive behaviors, trying to make sense of of lies, manipulations, motivations for distortions, the effects from inadequate parenting skills, and the sadness of shocking sudden loss.

This next excerpt was very sad to me...as I think there is truth in this quote. To 'some' degree --( even those with no history of mental illness), often people have a very critical inner voice of themselves.....which looks a little like Agatha's inner voice:
"The creature is blaming me--listing my mistakes, my stupidity. I'm useless. Pathetic. I have failed again. What did I expect? I am going to lose it all--my baby, my fiancé, my freedom... I have no right to happiness. Like wealth, or beauty, it is given to others, not to someone like me".

There are many *secrets* in "The Secrets She Keeps".....and many lies. There is also much 'depth' into the psyche of people. One last thing I thought about: if a person is able to lie easily - accept their own unhealthy behavior--just by reinforcement alone it seems to me that the person would be perpetuating their own suffering. So....
I felt a little sad for the characters ( WHICH WERE VERY WELL DEVELOPED) .
I don't consider this novel a 'chiller-rush'. I have a little 'more' respect for its psychological 'quest' than others with lightening - bolts and firecrackers!

Very well done....'authentic' ! Congrats to the author, Michael Robotham ( my first experience reading him - and not the last I hope)

Thank You to Scribner, Netgalley, and Michael Robotham
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Maureen .
1,380 reviews7,088 followers
May 17, 2017
Hands up if you have an absolutely perfect life? No, thought not. Life is a roller coaster of experiences, it CAN be perfect at times, and truly awful at others. Agatha however, perceives Meghan's life to be absolutely perfect - living in a beautiful house with the handsome TV sports presenter husband, two children - a girl and a boy, no financial worries, and a wide circle of stylish friends. Meghan is expecting her third child. Agatha is expecting too, and she longs to connect with Meghan, but they have completely opposing lives, with Agatha working in a local supermarket. It's from there that she watches Meghan when she's buying her groceries.

Eventually Agatha manages to engage Meghan in conversation, and they find that their babies are due around the same time. Meghan actually likes Agatha, and they become very friendly. However, little does Meghan know that this friendship will alter the course of her life in a most devastating manner. Though they're unaware of it, the main connection that these two women have is that they can both keep a secret!

This is a brilliant phsychological thriller in a marketplace that is flooded with this particular genre. The character development was superb, the plot was gripping, a real page turner, and perfectly paced. You're in for a great read should you choose to pick this one up.

*Thank you to Netgalley and Scribner for my ARC for which I have given an honest review*
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,067 reviews3,610 followers
June 30, 2017
Absolutely fantastic! 5 stars all the way!

From the first chapter I was hooked. Start to finish!

Meg and Jack have it all. Jack is a well-known sports broadcaster. Meg is a stay at home mom with 2 beautiful children, and is pregnant again. This is their 'oops' baby.

Agatha, a troubled woman with a sad disturbing past, works stocking shelves at the local market. She covets everything Meg has from her beautiful straight hair, her stylish maternity jeans to her seemingly perfect life. She watches Meg closely, wanting to be near her...wanting desperately to have what she has.

Told from alternating points of view of both Agatha and Meg. Characters were brilliantly authentic. I connected with both of them! Yes, and at times even Agatha (yikes!)

So many layers to this book. Nothing is as simple as it seems. Secrets, lies and hidden pasts. Nobody's life is perfect. What you see isn't always what it may appear to be. I don't want to say too much more and give anything away. I went into this one virtually blind and I suggest you do the same.

Frightening with just the right amount of creep factor! Was on the edge of my seat throughout.
Finished in 1 day! Absolutely loved it!! Brilliant! One of the best psychological thrillers I have read this year! Heading straight onto my favorites shelf. Can't recommend it enough!

Thank you to NetGalley, Scribner and Michael Robotham for an ARC to review.
Profile Image for Mary Beth .
381 reviews1,650 followers
August 4, 2017
Oh Wow! I absolutely loved this book. I was just going to say that I was hooked from the very beginning to the end but that would not of been a true statement. The beginning really fooled me. I thought it was going to be a whole different genre at first. I even had to go and check the genre. Did anyone else feel the same way in the beginning of the book or was it just me? I am so happy I didn't DNF it because I would of really been missing out. I found this to be a shocking dark twisty read. My jaw dropped numerous times while reading it. After the beginning it turned out to be a page turner. I couldn't put it down. I was so intrigued.
There was action throughout the book. I don't like it when all the action is at the end of the book.

Two pregnant women become friends when they learn they are due only days apart. There friendship is very unlikely since they both are so different. Agatha works part-time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a rich London suburb. Meghan has two perfect children, a handsome husband, named Jack, a happy marriage, a popular group of friends, and she writes confessional posts on her popular parenting blog. Both of them are keeping secrets, which could change their lives forever.

How far would you go to create the perfect family? Agatha is fascinated with Meghan. She follows Meghan everywhere and watches her with her group of friends at a coffee shop. She follows Meghan when she picks up her kids from school. She watches them from the woods behind their home. She stalks Meghan but Meghan doesn't realize this. Megan's perfect life is going to change.

I absolutely love this author. I also love his Joe O'loughlin

I recommend this book to anyone who loves a really good psychological thriller.
Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12.2k followers
August 28, 2019
4.5 stars! There are no secrets here - I absolutely loved how this story was told and what a perfectly fitting title!

THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS by MICHAEL ROBOTHAM is a gripping fast-paced suspenseful character-driven psychological thriller that had me totally engaged, entertained, and interested throughout this whole book. This book was extremely hard to put down.  

MICHAEL ROBOTHAM delivers an engrossing and angst-ridden read here with absolutely wonderful character development and an extremely enthralling storyline. The story is told in alternating chapters from our two main characters points of view, Agatha & Meghan.  I equally enjoyed both of their stories and uncovering their secrets.

MICHAEL ROBOTHAM doesn’t share all of Meg's & Agatha's deepest secrets to us all at once, we get a character study into the true nature of these women as their secrets and motivations are revealed to us layer by layer.  This is what actually really stood out for me while I was reading this shocking story.

Although, I wouldn’t say that this novel was all that suspenseful for me it was the pacing, the writing, and the characters that I found so compelling.  Some aspects to this story might have been a little unrealistic but all in all I don’t think it really mattered too much and I was able to just accept it for the wonderful story that it was.

To sum it all up it was an interesting, unforgettable, and an enjoyable read with a satisfying ending. Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Little, Brown Book Group/Sphere and Michael Robotham for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

It was a pleasure reading this along with my wonderful Traveling Sisters Brenda, Lindsay, Mackey and Linda (The Sisters Mom).

Brenda and Lindsay’s review for this one and all of our Traveling Sisters Reviews can be found on Brenda's and my sister blog:
Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
793 reviews12.4k followers
June 3, 2017
4.5 stars

The Secrets She Keeps is a fast-paced, highly entertaining, psychological thriller that I could not put down!

Two pregnant women, Meg and Agatha, are harboring deep secrets. On the outside, Meg seems to be living the perfect life: handsome husband, two beautiful children, and a lovely house in a posh neighborhood. But what goes on behind closed doors is far from perfect. On the other hand, struggling Agatha is on the outside looking in. Desperate for love, she would do anything to have a family like Meg’s.
Meg and Agatha are bound together by obsession. When one of their newborns is kidnapped, it’s a fight to the end.

This book is jammed packed with tension and plenty of crazy. Told through the alternating POV’s of Agatha and Meg, Agatha’s character is what pulled me in; I loved being inside her mind. I guessed the main premise in the beginning, but I didn’t know how things were going to play out. Although the plot is a bit like a Lifetime movie, it’s very well put together, there’s some depth to the characters, and it’s well written.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,159 reviews36.8k followers
June 25, 2017
5+ Masterful Riveting Spellbinding Stars. - Full Review now posted closer to publication date.

Have you ever told a lie? One that becomes bigger and bigger the more you tell it? One that makes you keep secrets from those you love? Such that you want to believe your lies more than anything and almost forget what is a lie and what is the truth? I think we’ve all told little white lies but who has told big nasty lies that make you keep secrets from those you love? I think that’s pretty hard to admit to. Yet in “The Secrets She Keeps” by the brilliant Michael Robotham, its easier than it seems and Meghan and Agatha, both of the main characters in this book, are guilty of it to some degree.

Meghan is a happily married mother of two. She seemingly has it all. She is a successful writer of a mommy blog who once had a great career before having children with her husband Jack. Now, they are pregnant again with their “oops” baby. She couldn’t be more thrilled, though it takes Jack a while to warm up to the idea. Life seems idyllic, though things are never as they seem. Meghan’s family is all that matters to her and she will do whatever it takes to protect it, and herself, even when the house falls down around her.

Agatha has struggled all of her life, going through a myriad of trials and tribulations with little or no support from friends or family. She works part-time at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, while her on-again, off-again boyfriend Hayden is away at the Royal Army. After years of yearning to have a child, it has finally happened: she is pregnant. While working, she spies Meghan in town and tries to emulate her and then, once Meghan stops into the grocery store, Agatha befriends her, thus altering both of their lives, forever. Meghan is excited to have a normal down-to-earth friend. And Agatha? She finally has everything she wants. And she will go to great lengths to keep her secrets close to the vest or die trying.

“The Secrets She Keeps” is a superbly written psychological thriller from Michael Robotham. I was drawn in immediately. The storyline was gripping and the characters development was in depth and masterfully done. The novel is a brilliant character study of how two women, both pregnant, can have completely different psychological and socio-economic backgrounds and how that can affect how they act towards their families and their children and the extremes they will go to, to protect themselves and their needs. I have always been of the mindset that “lies do not become us”, yet in this novel, somehow “lies become them” as both Agatha and Meghan are masterful at it.

I would recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for a captivating and compelling mystery/suspense. Michael Robotham is a phenomenal writer. If you haven't read his books, you are seriously missing out. This is a standalone, but his series about Joseph O'Loughlin is perhaps one of the best I have read.

Thank you to NetGalley, Scribner and Michael Robotham for the opportunity to read and review this novel. It was my pleasure.

Final review published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 6.25.17.

* Will be published on Amazon on 7.11.17

Initial Review posted 5/23/17.

Robotham's latest packed one heck of a punch and the Secret was a STUNNER!!
I can't recommend this one highly enough!

Full Review to follow closer to publication date.
Profile Image for Mischenko.
1,014 reviews97 followers
July 6, 2020
I picked this up on Audible some time ago and finally got around to reading it this week. I’m so glad I started it because this book literally had me captivated from start to finish.

The novel is told from two different points of view: Meghan and Agatha. Both of these ladies are expecting babies around the same time, but the two come from very different backgrounds and situations. Meghan, from the outside, appears to have the ideal life–the flawless husband, two beautiful children, and another one on the way. She’s a stay-at-home mom who authors an online blog in which she writes product reviews and articles about raising kids. She’s fashionable and impeccable. Agatha is also expecting a baby around the same time as Meghan. She works at the local grocery store where she keeps tabs on Meghan and the family. Agatha was raised in a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses and has a rough past with not much of a relationship with her mother. Her boyfriend is away in the Royal Navy and doesn’t seem to be interested in the fact that there’s a baby on the way. Agatha seems to have a huge interest in Meghan and watches her from time to time to the point where she knows her every move. She’s envious and would love nothing more than to be friends with Meghan. Why is Agatha so interested in her? What sort of secrets is she keeping from her past and why?

From the beginning, this book kept my interest and after the first major twist I had to find out how the story would end. I felt like Meghan and Agatha’s stories were believable even with all the drama. It’s a reminder of how easy it is to look at someone’s life and think they have it all, but do they really? This is the type of thriller I love to read–one that I can’t put down or stop listening too until the end. With that said, I wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about the direction the book was taking or the ending, but it ended up turning out to be an awesome read and the narrator did a great job toggling the different voices throughout the story. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.

Profile Image for Debbie.
441 reviews2,783 followers
August 9, 2017
POW, right in the kisser! Wait. There's not one iota of violence in this tense thriller. The POW is just a WOW!

Agatha is a psycho, and oh is she a good one—so creepy and twisted! Her plan is clever and her prey, who is an acquaintance, is clueless. I love well-drawn psychopaths, just love them (as long as they’re on a page and not on my street). I get all busy trying to understand how their sicko mind works, and in this case I loved all the ingenious justifications that she came up with for the horror she wreaked. Agatha is not exactly cold-blooded, it’s more that her past (and no doubt her genes) have made her mental and she can’t stop what she’s doing.

The chapters alternate between Agatha and her prey of sorts, Meg. It’s first-person narration, which I happen to love because I feel like the characters are talking to ME, and I usually don’t feel the least bit detached. I feel privileged that the characters are letting me in on their well-guarded secrets. Naturally I was more enamored with Agatha because she was so smart and unpredictable. And then I would feel all weird that my fascination with her made her chapters more fun to read. Meg was sort of bland and predictable, so I was slightly less thrilled to get to her chapters. I did like her, though, and she was super well-drawn. And she has her own secret and the anguish that comes with it. Also, she does a really cool and unexpected thing at the end which will keep her secret hidden forever.

All is not as it appears.

A book usually gets an extra star if the twist is a doozy, and that's the case here. What's funny about a twist is that there's this disbelief as you're reading along. Wait. Wait just a minute. Did I read this right? I’m thrown for a loop. So I reread. When I realize that yep, I did read it right, I can barely sit still. I marvel at the ingenuity of the writer for coming up with the twist, and I marvel at its timing and its delivery. Long live the skillful twist. It just makes everything fun.

There are no profound ideas to mull over, no ah-ha moments of the literary kind. But there are plenty of ah-ha moments of the plot kind, which left me in awe. I didn't miss the literary because I was so wrapped up in the story. I was eternally surprised at what complicated and clever thing the psycho would come up with next. She is confident and thorough, but of course she runs into situations that she isn’t expecting, which messes up her plan. This just increases the tension. This book is pure suspense and I couldn’t put it down.

How far will someone go to feed their delusions? How does a family cope with loss, and how can they stay hopeful? These are questions that I hardly had time to worry about. Guilt, blame, and suffering on Meg’s side; madness and calculation on Agatha’s side.

One minor complaint (which, thankfully, doesn’t entail dragging the huge Complaint Board out of the shed): The voices of Agatha and Meg aren’t distinct enough. But because there is such a clear difference between the bad guy’s and the good guy’s actions, it never got confusing.

Thrillers aren’t my favorite genre, and I am totally stingy when it comes to giving them 5 stars. But I didn’t hesitate at all doling out the full 5 stars here. I definitely will be checking out Robotham’s other books. An excellent storyteller who really knows how to ratchet up the tension.

Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.
Profile Image for Linda.
1,227 reviews1,276 followers
June 17, 2017
"You can't always get what you want....." The Rolling Stones would absolutely agree.

Pregnancy brings with it tons of uncertainty, highs and lows, and the burden of knowing that you're not always in control. Not even the little details that you've planned and certainly not the big details that you've anguished over.

Just ask Meghan and Agatha. Both women are expecting.......expecting exactly what? Days are filled with the tapping sound of the unknown and the soul-searching deep desire for perfection. Elusive perfection.......

But one day their paths cross as Meghan rushes into the grocery store where Agatha works. Oh, they have so much in common. Parallel universes in the making. Two women with expanding waist sizes and bulging shadows reflecting on sidewalks. And there seems to be excessive cravings going on here. Yes, you'll be sure to notice.

Meghan and her husband Jack have two young children, Lucy and Lachlan. There's plenty of secrets hiding in the cabinets of this household. Neither Meghan nor Jack have been quite honest with one another. Their lives seem to give off a veneer much like the furniture in every room. But that's all about to change.

Agatha carries the burden of unfulfilled relationships. She's trying to make a new life with her boyfriend, Hayden, who is a sailor in the Royal Navy. Somehow she keeps waiting for her ship to come in. And there's some monumental waves brewing on the horizon.

This was my first book by Michael Robotham. Robotham really knows how to churn up the anxiety and turn up the volume on the eerie factor full blast. Those of us who imbibe in mystery/thrillers and psychological thrillers may sniff out "the secret" from the onset. But what drives this story in a turbo blast is the constant risk taking by one of the characters. You know that the bottom is going to drop out eventually, but you don't exactly know when. The ending may falter a bit, but the ride is fast and furious. A perfect summer read. Gonna check out more Robotham reads for sure.

I received a copy of The Secrets She Keeps through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Simon & Schuster and to Michael Robotham for the opportunity.
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,019 reviews15.7k followers
March 23, 2018
5 BIG Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Now this was a psychological thriller!!!
So well written, the layers kept coming off.... at just the perfect pace..... The story is told from alternating perspectives...... this is very common now, but I have to say it is probably my favorite writing style... I just love to get in the heads of these characters.....

Megan and Agatha befriend each other finding commonality in the fact that they are both pregnant and due just about the same time..... from the outside it appears as though Megan has the perfect life... but everyone in this book is keeping some secrets.... I love when an author can make even the most despicable of characters sympathetic.... throughout this book I didn't know who I was cheering for....

I definitely recommend this to anybody who is a fan of a good psychological thriller.... plenty of twists and turns, and plenty of twisted characters.....

Narration:Lucy Price-Lewis did an excellent job, she really has a fantastic voice and added so much to the story💚
Profile Image for Carolyn.
2,173 reviews615 followers
June 24, 2018
Oh Mr Robotham, you had me worried at the beginning of this novel. Michael Robotham writing from the viewpoints of two pregnant women? I thought you had changed genres to write a suburban family drama (maybe in the style of Liane Moriarty?) rather than the psychological thrillers we have come to know and love. But of course I was wrong and the novel very soon evolved into a twisted story of longing and obsession.

The two women, Meghan, mother of two and popular mommy blogger married to a TV sports broadcaster and Agatha, who works in Meghan's local supermarket and is pregnant after a fling with a sailor, are both expecting their babies around the same time. They bond over this and get to know each other. Both of them are keeping secrets and telling lies to themselves and their partners and as the births of their babies approach, their worlds collide and threaten to destroy them and their families.

An excellent psychological thriller, written in the alternating voices of the two women, which works really well in giving us insights into their characters and feelings and deceptions. Mr Robotham, you are a first class story teller and writer and in future I will never doubt your ability to spin a good yarn on anything that you choose to write about.

With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Little, Brown Book Group for a copy of the book to read and review
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,135 followers
July 17, 2017
4.5 Stars. Oh the voice of the creature inside.....

Two women with child....both have secrets....some buried much deeper than others.

Author, Michael Robotham alternates between Meghan...who has it all, and Agatha...who wants it all...chapter by engrossing chapter as he unleashes the truth behind lives filled with lies, secrets, more lies and shocking Oh No! moments.

THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS delves deep into haunting private thoughts, devastating past tragedies and a new horror for one mother you may see coming, but does not deter from this page-turner of a read.

So many of my Goodread's friends praise the writing style and storytelling abilities of Mr. Robotham and now I know why. Am looking forward to reading more.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Scribner for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Holly  B (Short break!).
812 reviews1,865 followers
April 11, 2018

This is a super suspenseful psychological thriller set in London. Two women are pregnant. Two women who have lives that couldn't be more opposite. Pregnant Meghan has perfect hair, perfect teeth, and the perfect marriage! Pregnant Agatha ,on the other hand, has no husband , no children and stocks shelves in a grocery store while dreaming of a life like that of Meghan. Agatha has no wealth or beauty.

Lies,lies,lies....they have such a way of weaving an intricate web of deceit! The truth is so much easier to remember, but too late for that.

One day Meghan's husband Jack ,who is out of town, calls and asks her to retrieve a business card from one of his pockets. While searching through pockets, she comes across a folded sheet of paper. It has a mobile phone number and someone has pressed a lipstick kiss next to it.

Agatha wants so very much to be like Meghan. She tells herself "This is a one time operation. I cannot turn back now." Agatha has set her plan into motion.

Michael Robotham has written one of the most unforgettable novels I've ever read! My thoughts are about what drives us? Is it ambition? motivation? jealousy? fate? our past? Yes, our past matters.
Now on my favorites for 2017 list!
Thank you to the author, scribner, and netgalley for the arc! PUBLICATION DATE 7/11/2017
August 23, 2017
4.5 stars! This was a highly addictive, fast paced and character driven read.

I loved the way this story was told! The author, Michael Robotham, did a fantastic job with the two female narrators, Meg and Agatha. Character development was definitely a 5 star experience in this gripping novel! I was completely engrossed in Meg and Agatha’s lives, hanging on their every thought and word to see what would happen next. I felt as though I was actually right inside their minds, feeling their feelings, and weighing out decisions with them.

The storyline revolves around one of my worst nightmare’s as a parent. This made for a heart-pounding, anxiety driven, nail-biting reading experience. Even though the plot was a terrifying nightmarish situation for me, I couldn’t put the book down – I had to know what would happen next. I was thinking about this book even when I wasn’t reading it. Robotham does an exceptional job slowly revealing the pieces of this shocking story - he kept me hanging on every word. The title of the book, “The Secrets She Keeps” is perfectly fitting for this novel!

There were a few aspects of this story that seemed far-fetched to me which took away slightly from my rating. However, I was able to accept it and move forward to continue enjoying this addictive story.

A big thank you to NetGalley, Scribner and Michael Robotham for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

To find this review along with our full Traveling Sister Read Review, please visit Brenda and Norma’s fabulous blog at:


It was a pleasure to read this along with my wonderful sisters Norma, Brenda, Linda (sisters mom) and Mackey!
Profile Image for Crumb.
189 reviews526 followers
September 6, 2017
Incredible. I could gush over this non-stop but I will let the rest of the review speak for itself. This was my first introduction - and will not be my last - into Michael Robotham novels.

Meet Agatha: Mid-thirties, wants to settle down, and more than anything in the entire world.. wants.. no.. needs.. a baby.

Meet Meghan: Wife to Jack, mother to two beautiful children, Lucy and Lachlan, with another one on the way. She has a picture-perfect life. She has a life that Agatha has always dreamed of. A life Agatha will do anything to get.

This book blew me out of the water. It was engaging, dramatic, and scandalous. It might have been a little unrealistic, but I feel that the best of stories are. Suspending a reader's belief is an author's job and Michael Robotham did an excellent job at that. This book was incredibly fast-paced and plot-driven. I would recommend this to fans of Harlan Coben or Sharon Bolton.
Profile Image for Kerrin .
293 reviews230 followers
December 28, 2021
The Secrets She Keeps is a 2017 thriller written by Michael Robotham. I remembered seeing positive reviews from a number of my Goodreads friends, so when the Audible went on sale recently, I purchased it. I didn’t re-read the reviews, so I mostly went into the story blind. I’m so glad I did.

Agatha is a pregnant grocery store clerk. Through the store windows, she spies upon Meghan, a mommy blogger with a seemingly perfect life, who is pregnant with her third child. One day they meet at a yoga class. Their due dates are just a few days apart and both are expecting little boys. Meg invites Agatha to coffee, then over to her house so she can give her some baby clothes. They enjoy each other’s company and exchange phone numbers.

Both Agatha and Meg are keeping terrible secrets, which are slowly revealed as the story progresses. Agatha had a horrible childhood that has left emotional scars. Meg’s relationship with her handsome sports announcer husband is not-so-perfect after all. After the birth of Meg’s son, something horrific happens that permanently changes the course of both Agatha and Meg’s lives.

4.5-stars rounded up for this suspenseful and riveting thriller.
August 23, 2017
Traveling Sister Group Read with Norma, Lindsay, Mackey and Linda (The Sister’s Mom)

The Secrets She Keeps is a well paced character driven suspense thriller that is skillfully written that drew me into the secrets and lies kept by two very different women Meghan and Agatha. I really enjoyed delving deep into their minds especially Agatha and I really enjoyed both their stories.

The Secrets She Keeps started out a bit slow for me at first and then picked up speed till I became engrossed in the lives and minds of Meghan and Agatha and I could feel their desperation to keep their secrets and lies. At times it felt like I was watching a car wreck and I knew what was going to happen but still hoping for a different outcome.

Michael Robotham does a fantastic job creating rich, interesting and compelling characters and slowly, skillfully revealing the secrets and lies Meghan and Agatha keep. He did a great job shocking me with their webs of deceit and delusions yet still leaving me feeling a little compassion for their situations.

I did make the mistake of looking and trying to figure out some big twists that never came for me and the end did leave me wanting a bit more but after discussing this one with my sisters I ended up feeling very satisfied with the ending. I highly recommend.

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Little, Brown Book Group/Sphere and Michael Robotham for a copy to read and review.

Norma and Lindsay’s review for this one and all of our Traveling Sisters Reviews can be found on Norma’s and my sister blog:
Profile Image for Melisa.
324 reviews515 followers
June 14, 2017
It's been a long time since I've had such a deep, visceral response to a book.

This story triggered something within me which gave me some massive anxiety - it took me six long days to finish it because I had to keep putting it down. But really, we're all reading because we want to feel something, right? And boy oh boy, did I ever feel all the emotions with this one.

The story is told in alternating chapters from the two main characters, Agatha and Meg. At first, I believed that this was a detriment to the story because there were no hidden secrets due to both character's pov's being portrayed, however the way it unfolded made this format really work.

Such a twisted tale, you won't know whether to feel sorry for the characters or fear them. (Personally, I felt a little of both, heavy on the fear.)

I very much recommend this to fans of thrillers!

Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for j e w e l s.
309 reviews2,370 followers
October 12, 2017
See all my twisty reviews and more at https://booksbejeweled.com

Let's just put it out there: this is no Gillian Flynn or Paula Hawkins psychological thriller. Never mind the claims invariably to head the jacket reviews, there are not really any plot twists or shocks. SORRY.

HOWEVER this is one heck of a page turning, light character study and a fairly short book. I read it so fast, my husband couldn't believe it when I said I was done. I think 4 hours of reading an entire novel is truly a record for me.

The main characters, Meghan and Agatha, are VERY relatable and the dialogue is written so realistically, you will find yourself hooked almost from the first page. I love when dialogue reads so naturally fast, don't you?

If you, like millions of readers, including myself, adored The Girl on the Train, you will pick up on the same atmospheric feel with The Secrets She Keeps. I love that British vibe! There is a lot of train riding, a little obsessive spying done by Agatha, and teapots and biscuits are frequently mentioned throughout the book.

The interesting part of this story is truly the character of Agatha. She is a deliciously unreliable narrator on her chapters (the chapters go back and forth between Meghan and Agatha), you are never quite sure who is telling us the truth. I wavered between sympathy and disgust for Agatha. I do so wish there were more layers to the characters and the plot, that would definitely earn more praise from me.

All in all, this is a fun, fast read; the perfect book to carry down to the pool or park. Even if you are frequently interrupted or distracted by your kids, you will have no trouble jumping right back into the plot.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and give an honest review!
Profile Image for Gary.
2,614 reviews369 followers
May 13, 2017
You know when you start one of those books that you know straight away you are going to like , well this was one of those for me. I really enjoy Michael Robotham books anyway but the instant I started reading this I had a good feeling and read at every opportunity. This stand alone novel is written in a similar style as 'The Girl on the Train' and yes I know we have had a few too many like that but this is written so well. Great characters, well paced and the constant build up of suspense is a little too much to take at times but so good.
This psychological thriller features on an unlikely friendship between two pregnant women, Agatha is pregnant and works part-time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a London suburb and Meghan a classy woman who appears to have everything and leads an elegant lifestyle that dazzles Agatha.
Meghan has two children, a handsome husband, a happy marriage, a stylish group of friends, and writes on her popular parenting blog, posts that Agatha reads with devotion each night as she waits for her absent boyfriend, the father of her baby, to maybe return her calls. Meghan is a customer at the shop Agatha works at and when Meghan comes to the shop, Agatha makes the effort to speak to her, thrilled that they now have the ordeal of childbearing in common. Little does Meghan know that the mundane exchange she has with a grocery store employee during a hurried afternoon shopping trip is about to change the course of her life forever.

This is an excellent psychological thriller, a real page turner that will have you reading faster and faster as the suspense builds. Excellent author with a new book that will certainly please.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Scribner for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,574 reviews5,904 followers
July 3, 2017
I debated on giving this one five stars, then I realized I give no craps..I enjoyed the heck out of this book. There are a few tropes that just rope me in and feed my little fat girl soul. Like road trips, grumpy characters and this one.....

I love me some single white femaling in a book. Not in real life though. I would punch a heifer.

This one was all kinds of juicy. You have perfect life Meg, she has handsome husband and two cute kids. Now she is pregnant with baby number three. She gets to stay at home with the kiddies and work on her mommy blog.
Then you have Agatha, she works at the grocery store near Megs home and she is also pregnant. Her life is not all peachy keen though. Her boyfriend is gone since he is in the navy (He broke up with her before leaving but that's a detail that Agatha ain't worrying over.)

Meg spoke to Agatha one day at the grocery and now Agatha just knows that they are besties. She knows all about Meg, her friends, what her house looks like. All the stuff that best girlfriends do.

I can't give all the details..because that would be spoilery and I would get punched or something for that.
I can say that my face went through all kinds of stuff while reading this book.

AND there is some secret super secrets that the characters in this book are keeping.

Go read this so you know what to do if that grocery girl starts being all friendly instead of bagging your bleach in with the hamburger meat.

Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.
Profile Image for Zoeytron.
1,036 reviews671 followers
May 24, 2017
Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.

Two pregnant ladies - one whose baby is unplanned, the other whose baby is planned down to the tiniest detail. Their paths were bound to cross, the common bond discovered.

It's probably happened to all of us at one time or another. You make an offhand comment, pay a compliment, or maybe flash a quick smile to a complete stranger. Could be someone waiting in line at the post office, or perhaps a waitress, or maybe a grocery clerk. It doesn't matter, all of a sudden you are her best friend in the world. She latches onto you, showing too much interest in your life, a life that is everything she wishes hers could be. You have no idea.

Everyone has a secret, this novel illustrates perfectly just how far one will go to protect that secret. The blame game is played, who has been damaged the most here? Who has made the biggest sacrifice? I suspect this book will go to town when it is released. The pacing is terrific, the characters well developed. The sequence in the hospital is right up there with some of the best I've read.
Profile Image for Kendall.
638 reviews640 followers
November 27, 2017
Have you ever looked at someone and wished that YOU had their perfect life? Well... I certainly have and to answer that question... the grass isn't always greener on the other side. That's for DANG sure!

Whoa.. this was a pretty intense and addicting read. I am pretty impressed with Michael Robotham. I kept seeing raving reviews for this book and well.. the reviews are definitely not wrong!

The Secrets She Keeps is a fast paced character driven novel that completely satisfies your taste buds for that PERFECT psychological read. Now, that takes A LOT for me to say but I am pleasantly surprised how well Robotham delivered this little gem to his readers.

The story is told alternating viewpoints of our two main characters Agatha and Meghan. I'm honestly not sure which point of view I enjoyed more... ok.. lets' be honest I was addicted to both damn characters haha.

Robotham slowly delivers the secrets that both women are keeping layer by layer. The characterization is beautifully mastered between two pregnant women that come from completely different class backgrounds. Meghan and Agatha form a strange but unique friendship I guess you could say? Agatha slowly becomes obsessed with Meghan's life and her family......

Overall, I would give this 4.5 ish...... I felt some of the storyline was a bit unbelievable and I knew what was happening before the story unfolded BUT I still enjoyed this novel A LOT.

I am looking forward to what I see next from Robotham :).
Profile Image for Arah-Lynda.
337 reviews524 followers
February 6, 2018
The creature within has stirred.

Nobody can deny the restorative powers of a good bowl of hot soup. Whatever gripe or ailments you may have, all feel better after a few spoonfuls of this comforting and delicious bowl of heal thyself fare. We all of us have our own flavour preferences but it doesn’t really matter as long as you are getting yours.

Colour Michael Robotham’s book a bowl of the good stuff. Every spoonful reinforces your need to keep reading. No magic here, this is simply damn good storytelling, with positively amazing characterization and excruciatingly intense pacing. I love the intimate way in which Robotham chose to tell this story.

Like good hot soup this book also has restorative powers. It is in fact the first book that I have finished since mid November of last year. I have been in a reading slump the likes of which heretofore was a near unknown affliction to me. During this time trust me I have picked up several different books, some by tired and true authors, but nothing, nothing, caught on.

Enter The Secrets She Keeps. It broke the back of this horrendous slump and sent me scurrying back to my bookshelves. How could I possibly award it any less than five full stars.

My thanks are two fold:

Thanks to Zoeytron and all the excellent reviews posted by friends and followers on goodreads that led me to this book.

And thanks to my daughter Jamie for loaning me her copy (even before she read it) and her patience in awaiting its return. :)
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