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Dirty Little Secrets

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  2,154 ratings  ·  239 reviews
Death stalked the Vale.
In every corner, every whisper.
They just didn't know it yet.

Six neighbours, six secrets, six reasons to want Olive Collins dead.

In the exclusive gated community of Withered Vale, people's lives appear as perfect as their beautifully manicured lawns. Money, success, privilege - the residents have it all. Life is good.

There's just one problem.

Hardcover, 400 pages
Published January 24th 2019 by Quercus
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Jo Spain Definitely adult only! Themes including sexual content/addiction/extreme violence.…moreDefinitely adult only! Themes including sexual content/addiction/extreme violence. (less)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Jo Spain's latest standalone psychological thriller set in a privileged and wealthy gated community development on the outskirts of a village in Wicklow in Ireland. The police descend on this tiny neighbourhood after the body of Olive Collins, a retired woman in her mid-fifties, is discovered in a liquified state after lying undiscovered in her home for three months. 53 year old DI Frank Brazil is looking forward to retirement, tired after all he has seen, but he is dismayed when ...more
Feb 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Strong 3 Stars

I didn't hear anything about Jo Spain until Dirty Little Secrets appeared my horizon. Now I want to read more from her. It was an emotional roller coaster. In the beginning I struggled because the writing style was really hard for me. I met a lot of new words and I was frustrated. It was exhausting, but I continued and I noticed at around 50% I started to understand every little piece and then my problem was gone! What's the lesson? Never give up! Just kidding. So back to the
Louise Wilson
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Six neighbours, six secrets, six reasons to want Olive Collins dead. She had died three months ago, but no one in the gated community even noticed that she was missing. There is only seven houses in the gated community of Withered Vale. Olives house is smaller but she is right in the middle of them all. Olive used to own the only house there. Olive liked to find out other people's secrets. It's fair to say, not many of her neighbours will miss Olive. Detective Clive Frank Brazil and his partner ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: The police men and women hovering around my body right now don't know anything of my story yet. They don't know anything at all, really. They’ve spent the last twenty-four hours trying to rid the house of flies and maggots and pests they know are here but can't see - the mice and the rats. The knawing at my fingers and toes speak to their existence. It's amazing there's anything left of me.

It's the heat, you see. After an unusually cold spring and early summer, I was doing okay,
“It’s the only way when you live in a cut-off community like this. Smile, make small talk, but keep your hedges high and your door closed.”

Ah yes. Keep those hedges high, but there are always back doors, and it seems some neighbours made good use of them. This is not a closed-room mystery, but it’s a closed community with a gate and not a lot of residents.

The original resident was Olive, who lived in a small cottage on a nice piece of land. She was found dead, a good (or bad, if you were one
Think Lisa Jewell crossed with Liane Moriarty crossed with J.K. Rowling's – The Casual Vacancy.

Withered Vale, an exclusive, private, gated residential community. Seven, large, rich houses for the privileged few. Quiet and peaceful, until one of the neighbours spots a swarm of insects rising out of the chimney at no. 4. Police force entry, and discover the rotting corpse of the cottage’s sole occupant - mid-fifties Olive Collins. She's been dead for three months, yet none of her neighbours
My first novel by Jo Spain and what a treat! Compulsively readable - I was up late trying to finish it.

The main character, Olive is dead. Not newly dead but twelve weeks dead, recently discovered mouldering in her armchair. What sort of community doesn't notice a neighbour missing for twelve weeks?

Middle aged and a spinster, Olive lived in an exclusive gated community - one where everyone should have been close. When the land around her isolated house in rural Ireland was bought up and six
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My second book by Jo Spain turned out enjoyable. The idea of giving a voice to the victim alongside the other characters is quite intriguing. Yes, this is a murder story but also a story of secrets, some dirty, that are revealed in due course as in any good story. The atmospehere in a small community who live in a posh residential area is dense and gradually they learn a lot about themselves while confronted with the suspicious death of their neighbour.

*Many thanks to Jo Spain, Quercus Books
Mandy White
I absolutely loved The Confession by Jo Spain last year and was thrilled to be given an opportunity to read Dirty Little Secrets. And I loved it just as much - absolutely brilliant story that I read in 2 sittings - I could not put it down. Very cleverly written, with just enough back story revealed to keep the tension and the need to keep turning the pages. I loved how we hear the story from the point of view of all the neighbours, including the dead one. And that ending - wow!! This is a book ...more
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this novel much more than the previous offering from the same author.
Olive Collins who is in her mid fifties is discovered dead in her cottage home, a six house development in Withered Vale. Her body has been decomposing for three months, none of the neighbouring residents bothering to knock her door to find out how she is. The Detectives Frank and Emma discover that Olive died from a heart-attack but their suspicions are raised when they also discover that her gas boiler has been
Liz Barnsley
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my gosh I ADORED this, I read it in one huge gulp of a sitting, devouring each new reveal then stopping briefly now and then to peer out of the window at my neighbours houses because after this gawd knows what’s going on over there…
Anyway, Dirty Little Secrets is a fully character driven psychological thriller which basically takes apart one exclusive, gated community that isn’t really a community at all until the death of Olive makes them start to realise that keeping to themselves isn’t
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven’t read any Jo Spain novels before, but I am delighted I have discovered her books. This mystery is set in a gated community of luxurious homes. However, despite all the wealth, and security, one of those living there – Olive Collins – is found dead in her cottage; her body undiscovered for three months. Detective Frank Brazil and his partner, Detective Emma Child, are sent to investigate and it soon seems that Olive’s death was suspicious.

As the detectives begin to question the
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘Withered Vale’
Gated, Exclusive
6 Neighbours, Many Many Secrets
1 Neighbour Dead
For Weeks
In Her Armchair
No One Knew
No One Cared
Poor Olive Collins......she didn’t deserve that.....did she??

Dirty little secrets, and they abound, almost jumping from house to house and neighbour to neighbour in this wonderfully dark whodunit
‘Trust none of them’ is my advice, they all have reason to want Olive dead...she misses nothing and knows all, she knows way way too much....
Its soooo good I want to
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't the smell that alerted the privileged residents of the gated community of Withered Vale to the fact that something was amiss at number four.It was the black,menacing,humming mass of bluebottles rising out of Olive Collin's chimney.

The neighbours insist that they are shocked when it transpires that Olive's body has been rotting in her home for three months. And yet none of them had thought to check up on her when she vanished from sight.

When Detective Frank Brazil and his young
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Thank you Netgalley and Quercus for the ARC.

Bam! and we're off! This book starts with the most imaginative prologue I've read in a long time.
Unfortunately it's mainly downhill after that.
We're stuck in a small wealthy gated community in the Irish countryside. When one of the residents is found dead in her home, the other six pretty soon become suspects in the mystery. Is she murdered or was it truly an accident?
The chapters jump from one house to the next and all of the residents appear to
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Welcome to the gated community of Withered Vale; where the grass is green, life is good and everyone is happy. Or are they? When Olive Collin’s body is discovered at number four, cracks begin to show and Withered Vale will not quite be the same ever again.

What an absolutely delightful surprise this one was. Think along the lines of Big Little Lies but deliciously darker. There’s a whole cast of not particularly likeable characters, not even Olive and she’s dead. It’s a bit weird when you can’t
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dirty Little Secret, bestselling writer Jo Spain's new standalone psychological thriller, is hardly an original concept; after all, it's based on the secrets of a small, affluent gated community in and around the area of Wicklow, Ireland. When elderly Olive Collins's decomposing body is found the police are at a loss as to who would want her dead; a lonely, innocent old lady causing no harm to anyone or was she? Things are not as they seem, and the police soon realise Olive was rather spiky and ...more
Roman Clodia
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my favourite kind of brain-off reading since Spain keeps things on the realistic - if exaggerated - side: there are no psychopaths with Oscar-worthy acting skills, for example, as in so many domestic noir-style thrillers. Instead, this is like Desperate Housewives in Ireland as we infiltrate a tiny group of families living in a gated community. When Olive is found dead, secrets are uncovered and cracks appear in relationships. We hear from the dead Olive as well as having sections ...more
The Cats’ Mother
This is the second book I’ve read by this author and I will definitely be looking out for more. It’s a stand-alone domestic suspense novel with a fascinating cast of characters, like an Irish Liane Moriarty. The plot pulled me in straight away and I had no idea where it was going until the final reveal.

Olive Collins, a meddling middle-aged spinster living in an exclusive gated community, has been found dead, but what shocks her neighbours the most is that no one missed her for three months. As
Karen ⊰✿
Olive Collins lives out of town in a small house in a place called Withered Vale. One day, the land is sold to developers ; and although she can keep her house, she doesn't own the land, and so she becomes part of a small gated street with massive expensive homes.
Flash forward and Olive is found dead. Her rotting body has been in her home for around three months and none of the neighbours in this small street noticed she was missing.
One by one we follow life through rotating POVs of the
Trish at Between My Lines
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on Between My Lines

Want to know why I was so excited to read Dirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain? Well it’s because I have come to depend on this author to deliver an exciting thriller, that will have flying through the pages, to discover well hidden secrets. And once again she hit the bullseye for me.

My Thoughts onDirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain:

I absolutely devoured this deliciously dark, gossipy insight in to a closed gate community. When one neighbour turns up dead, it seems
Tracy Fenton
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dirty Little Secrets is Jo Spain’s latest psychological thriller and as I loved her previous book The Confession I was very excited to start this one.

OMG I absolutely LOVED this book and devoured it in a day – I even woke up at 3.30am thinking about the book and finished it at 4.30am because I couldn’t wait to find out more.

In a secured, affluent gated community are 7 houses with seven neighbours all with HUGE secrets. When one of the neighbours, Olive Collins is found dead inside her house,
Rachel Gilbey
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an impressive book. At no point did I guess the outcome. At not point did I particularly like any of the characters either, as they were all slightly on the despicable side.

Despite that I couldn't stop reading this, and I did have some sympathy for a few of the neighbours as various aspects of their lives emerged.

There are 7 households in Withered Vale - Olive's and her 6 neighbours. Of those at some point or another she has upset every last person in the Vale, and no one even notices she
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-author, audio
4.5 stars

I really, really enjoyed this murder mystery in a domestic setting in current day Ireland.

No spoilers but I would recommend for all thriller/mystery lovers out there.

Told in multiple POV's with excellent attention detail, Jo Spain is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and I will be prioritising all her books from now on!
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Now here’s how you write a bestseller! Told from multiple perspectives, we hear from everyone in this this gated community, and how they did not harm Olive, but things get complicated when everyone has secrets to hide – but is one of the secrets murder? Spain also gave Olive a perspective in this novel, and it worked fantastically, a ‘commentary from beyond’ if you like, but it wasn’t done in a cheesy ghost story way, but in a way that strengthened the mystery.

This novel really is a page turner
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the grand old tradition of Golden Age murder mysteries we are presented with a group of suspects living in close proximity to each other who all have a motive and opportunity to do the dastardly deed. Neighbourliness is in short supply in the gated community as the police investigate a resident’s death. If you can get past the gruesome details of the body’s discovery without fainting with horror, an intriguing narrative lies in wait for you to do your own detective work, as nasty surprises ...more
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recipe for a novel:

Take several well constructed characters (one of which looks like Idris Elba phaaawww) mix with a couple of portions of illicit sex, chuck in a few other dirty little secrets, a soupçon of mystery, discord and revenge, add a dash of humour and season with acerbity et voila:

Another successful book by Jo Spain!

Withered Vale in Wicklow, Ireland provided many a jaw dropping moment with Olive at the centre of this book wreaking havoc on one way or another in the up market gated
This is such a gripping read! And it is indeed packed full of Dirty Little Secrets. We're introduced to a whole host of fascinating characters, whether they're the residents of Withered Vale (what a fantastic name) or the police investigating them, and their stories are deeply involving. As for Olive.... Review to follow closer to publication on For Winter Nights.
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'In the exclusive gated community of Withered Vale, people's lives appear as perfect as their beautifully manicured lawns. Money, success, privilege - the residents have it all. If is good. There is just one problem. Olive Collins's dead body has been rotting inside number four for the last three months but nobody thought to check on her when she vanished.'

'Six neighbours, six secrets, six reasons to want Olive Collins dead'.

So clearly this was a police procedural and a who done it, which I
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Jo Spain is the author of the Inspector Tom Reynolds series. Her first book, top ten bestseller With Our Blessing, was a finalist in the 2015 Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller. The Confession her first standalone thriller, was a number one bestseller and translated all over the world.
Jo is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, a former political advisor in the Irish parliament and former
“I’ve known her all my life. Like most of my friends. I’ve never realised how paralysing that can be. You can’t change when people have always known you. If you do something different, they think you’re either having a breakdown or you fancy yourself as something special. You’re in a box and you’re supposed to stay there. And you know what the awful thing is? You made that box for yourself when you were a teenager. You didn’t even know it was a box. I’m starting to appreciate why so many people emigrate. New life, fresh start.” 1 likes
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