Review: Her Last Secret – Barbara Copperthwaite

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. 

SYNOPSIS: There are some secrets you can never tell.

The last thing to go through Dominique Thomas’s head was the image of her teenage daughter’s face and her heart lifted. Then the shot rang out.

They were the perfect family. Successful businessman Ben Thomas and his wife Dominique live an enviable life, along with their beautiful children; teenager Ruby and quirky younger daughter, Mouse.

But on Christmas Day the police are called to their London home, only to discover a horrific scene; the entire family lying lifeless, victims of an unknown assailant.

But when Ruby’s diary is discovered, revealing her rage at the world around her, police are forced to look closer to home for the key to this tragedy.

Each family member harboured their own dark truths – but has keeping their secrets pushed Ruby to the edge of sanity? Or are there darker forces at work? – via Goodreads

Okay, so this one was something that I went back and forth on. I was interested, but I was also frustrated with the pacing of it, as well as the slew of characters and the rate the reveals were put forth. Not because it was agony to wait for the next reveal, but because there was a bit of drag between things. That being said, Her Last Secret is not a bad read.

There are an array of characters, and you are introduced to each one and their struggles, and get a clear look at how communication could have made such a difference here. Ruby suffers extreme bullying at the hands of her school peers and only has her boyfriend Harry to prop her up, and resents her parents for not seeing there is something wrong. Dom is dealing with Ben cheating on her, and is so fixated on that and wrapped up in it and keeping her family going she is missing everything. Ben is a cheating dweeb who is so wrapped up in stroking his ego by having a mistress and proving to the world he is so important. The only person who might not know exactly what is going on but is more aware of the distance and issues between people is Amber, the youngest.

All the characters have their own secrets, and all of these come together to paint a bigger picture at the end of the day, and it is an interesting one. The book flips between the lead up to Christmas day and the events of Christmas day. This works, but sometimes you totally forget that there is a flip back to Christmas day, so when it happens it is rather jarring.

Her Last Breath is a decent read and has a pretty good story to it. You can see the innocence of youth, the desperation and powerless of it, too, as well as the issues that come up when you are an adult. I like that it deals with a lot of themes, and it handles them well. While the writing sometimes frustrated me in terms of laying things out, I was certainly engaged. The final third of the book definitely barrels along and finally ties everything together and it does smoothly. I thought this was worth the read.

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