Ben Harper’s life changed for ever the day his older brother, Nick was murdered by two classmates. It was a crime that shocked the nation and catapulted Ben’s hometown, Haddley, into the spotlight.
Twenty years on, Ben is one of the best investigative journalists in the country and settled back in his close-knit hometown. But then a fresh murder case shines new light on his brother’s death and throws suspicion on those closest to him.
Ben is about to discover that in Haddley no one is as they seem. Everyone has something to hide.
I was introduced to Twelve Secrets when Tandem Collective invited me to attend a ‘pop up’ mystery room in a shopping centre – finding clues to solve the mystery, on paperback publication day. I was sent a copy of the book and immediately knew this one would be right up my street! Thank you to Tandem Collective and the Publisher.
At 439 pages this book was fairly long for a crime mystery book, initially I found it a bit slow to get started and there were a lot of characters. A number of threads ran in conjunction and to begin with I was unclear who was who, where they fitted in and what was happening. But the writing was engaging and I was intrigued to know what had occurred – Ben’s brother was murdered twenty years prior, his mum died 10 years previously, Ben works as a journalist and his boss is keen for him to write a piece about his mother and the tragedy that hit his family, Ben is reluctant…
As the story unfolded I became increasingly invested, establishing who was who and how they all fitted into the puzzle. The book was well written, with a strong and well developed plot – the village like fictional community in Greater London took shape as I became familiar with its residents. Ben was the central character and his part of the story was told in the first person narrative. Other chapters were told from the perspectives of other key characters in the third person. This made Ben’s chapters distinctive which I liked. The relevance of other characters and storylines wasn’t immediately obvious and I enjoyed this intrigue and was pleased with my attempts to work it out – I wasn’t spot on with everything and there were a few twists thrown in towards the end, but the story was told authentically which is always important to me. The characters were were well developed and given this is the first in a series that felt important.
A new crime series with an investigative journalist – yes please! I am lucky enough to have an early copy of the sequel – Eleven Liars so plan on reading that one pretty soon. Twelve Secrets is a great crime debut – detailed, suspenseful and thrilling, a highly recommended read!
Will you be picking up Twelve Secrets?
About the Author
Originally from Harrogate in North Yorkshire, Robert Gold began his career as an intern at the American broadcaster CNN, based in Washington DC. He returned to Yorkshire to work for the retailer Asda, becoming the chain’s nationwide book buyer. He now works in sales for a UK publishing company. Robert lives in Putney and his new hometown served as the inspiration for the fictional town Haddley in Twelve Secrets. In 2016 he co-authored three titles in James Patterson’s Bookshots series. Robert’s next thriller, Eleven Liars, also featuring Ben Harper will be released in March 2023.
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I’m not crazy about lots of characters or a slow start, but I still may have to give this a try.
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I know what you mean, but I would recommend this one.