Wednesday 15 November 2023

My Best Friend's Secret by Danielle Ramsay
Release Date: 10th November 2023
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Genres: Mystery / Crime / Thriller

Five women; pretty, privileged, perfect, and ultimately protected… but not for long…

 It was ‘their’ dark secret. For twenty-two-years ‘they’ kept it buried. Time hasn’t healed my wounds. Instead, they’ve festered. Their actions went unpunished. Until now…

Shamed, scarred, and shunned, I watched, waited and plotted how to shatter ‘their’ enviable lives. Now, finally, they will suffer as I did in ‘their’ cruel hands that fateful night.

Time’s up. I am here for you, Dr Claudia Harper. But first, you’ll witness your childhood friends, one by one, beg for mercy.
And I’ve saved the best ‘til last, so watch your back; I’m closer than you think. I’m here to expose your best friend’s secret. The one you’ve all kept hidden...until now.

A tale of betrayal, dark, twisted lies and long-awaited retribution. Perfect for the fans of Claire McGowan, Shalini Boland and S. E. Lynes

It's quite difficult to review this book without giving too much away as the blurb itself doesn't really hint at too much so I don't want to give any spoilers. Suffice to say, Claudia Harper's life is in a tailspin. Gutted by a recent bereavement and feeling like her marriage is on the rocks, who can she trust if not her own husband and then her friends. 

As the story progresses it seems that there are not many people in her life she can trust, even herself. Fuelled by doubt, Claudia herself makes some questionable decisions and in a way contributes to her own downfall. For this reason I did at times find her a difficult character to warm to. While I can understand her reasoning for doing some of the things she does and totally get that her life appears to be in tatters, I did feel that she tried to take the moral high ground on a few occasions when really she didn't have the right to do so. That being said, the story itself is really interesting and the plot has lots of twists and turns to keep the reader invested in the story.

I liked the background story of a group of friends first meeting when they were 11 years old and remaining friends right into adulthood. This happened to me. I am 53 years old and still have the same friendship group from school when we were 11 years old so I loved this element of the story. Friendships are important and the plot emphasises this and the supportive element of such friendships. Our friends often become the family we never had and when those relationships break down the affect is catastrophic. For Claudia this is a real fear. She is plagued with doubt and fears of betrayal from the most important women in her life and doesn't know where to turn to for support. However, there is more at play in this story and someone is out to get Claudia, infiltrating her life in the most devious and unexpected ways. The terrifying thing for me in this story is how easy this person was able to do so.

This book is a story of how the fabric of Claudia's relationships and marriage can survive the interference of a person hell-bent on destroying her life. Only her friends know why but the secret is theirs to keep and Claudia is kept in the dark. A good book and one worth reading if you like a psychological thriller with lots of twists and turns. The over-riding message is that your secrets will find you out, no matter how well you think you've buried them and the consequences are tragic!



Danielle Ramsay is a Scot living in a small seaside town in the North-East of England. Always a storyteller, it was only after completing a First Class (Hons) Degree in Media Production that she then went on to follow an academic career in literature. She was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger in 2009 and 2010, and appointed a New Writing North Read Regional author in 2011.


She is the author of five DI Jack Brady crime novels and The Last Cut, a dark thriller with DS Harri (Harriet) Jacobs. Danielle fills her days with horse-riding, running and murder by proxy.  She is also the proud Patron of the charity SomeOne Cares, which counsels survivors of domestic violence, rape and child abuse.


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