20sb-artldnarrow-katemortoncover_20121019163529402421-300x0Ok, so I’m working backwards through recent reads to review. Here’s one of my favourites.

Kate Morton is my favourite author. I picked up her book The Shifting Fog at an airport a few years ago while waiting for a flight home from Sydney. I’ve been hooked on every book since. One of the few authors I’ve read that is able to have you not only wanting to read but thinking about the book constantly while you have it, unable to piece together what will happen next and caught on every detail.

As a modern Gothic novel, each book surrounds two times – the present and sometime in the 20th century. The Secret Keeper is Kate Morton’s most recent book (a few years published) and goes between wartime, 1961 and 2011 England. Like many of Morton’s novels, it surrounds a woman in the present who is slowly revealing a mystery of the past, with twists in the plot that you don’t suspect. In this case, a daughter Laurel, who is witnessed a crime on the family farm when she was young. She goes back to the family home as her mother is dying to work out what happened in the past.

What she uncovers is a tangled web between Dorothy, a beautiful yet narcissistic girl, with aspirations for fame and fortune, her boyfriend Jimmy, and the beautiful and rich socialite Vivian. The characters are full of life and secrets. Just as you have the plot all figured out and think you know what is going to happen, it all seems to change again.

It is very cleverly written, even if it is quite long, and the kind of book that you need to process all the twists and turns once you are done.

I didn’t enjoy it as much as her earlier books (The Shifting Fog and The Forgotton Garden), but it is still up there, and the kind of book that I still make an effort to buy a hard copy of when it is newly released, which is not often the case these days.