- File Size: 1450 KB
- Print Length: 273 pages
- Publisher: Alibi (July 21, 2015)
- Publication Date: July 21, 2015
For fans of Patricia Cornwell, Tana French, and Lisa Gardner comes a razor-sharp novel of suspense featuring Detective Nan Vining—a single mother whose worlds collide when her teenage daughter stumbles upon a grisly double homicide.
When she gets the call, Nan Vining responds as a mother first and a detective second. Her daughter, Emily, has made a gruesome discovery in a secluded section of a Pasadena park: a pretty, popular young teacher from Emily’s high school and a bright yet troubled transfer student—both dead and bloody in a copse of trees. But the crime scene isn’t the only thing that seems off to Detective Vining. There’s also the cocky classmate who was with Emily in the park—the boyfriend she never knew about. What else doesn’t she know about her daughter?
As she attempts to channel both her maternal and investigative instincts into one single point of focus, Vining’s superiors at the Pasadena Police Department are moving at lightning speed. Before the evidence has even been processed, the case is closed as a clear-cut murder/suicide: a disturbed teenager murders his teacher, then takes his own life. Vining doesn’t buy it. Now she’s chasing dangerous, powerful people with secrets they would kill for—and taking them down means risking her own flesh and blood.
Buy, read, and discuss Killing Secrets
Dianne Emley is the bestselling author of The Night Visitor and the Nan Vining series: The First Cut, Cut to the Quick, The Deepest Cut, and Love Kills. A Los Angeles native, she lives in the Central California wine country with her husband, Charlie.
Connect with Dianne
Killing Secrets was my first introduction to both author Dianne Emley and character Nan Vining, although this is hardly the first book in the Nan Vining series. While I’m certain reading of Vining’s previous adventures would have enriched my experience, I had no problem jumping into her world, or following all the elements of the story: solving a murder/suicide, dealing with the internal politics at play in the police department, or parenting a teenager. (This latter element, by the way, made me glad that I only ever have to deal with adolescent dogs.)
I felt that Nan’s internal conflict – her paid job as a police detective vs. her role as a single parent – really permeated the story, because motherhood never stops being part of your psyche, and I liked that author Dianne Emley reflected that struggle so realistically.
I also enjoyed the plot of the novel. I tend toward more cozy mysteries than not, and this book struck me as riding the edge of contemporary cozy. Certainly, it had dark moments, and a fast-paced action-filled plot, but it also had the lighter, more human moments that really “sell” stories for me, and I thought everything was really well balanced.
Nan, herself, is an easy character to like: flawed, fierce, dimensional, real. I’m pretty sure I’ve met her – or versions of her – during my lifetime.
These books are Kindle only, but at roughly $3/pop they take the ‘guilty’ our of ‘guilty pleasure,’ and leave just ‘pleasure’ behind. And Killing Secrets was absolutely a pleasure to read: well crafted with believable situations and characters, and a version of reality that closely matches our own.
Goes well with Chinese take-out and jasmine tea.
Monday, July 20th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Wednesday, July 22nd: Buried Under Books
Thursday, July 23rd: A Book Geek
Thursday, July 23rd: Open Book Society
Monday, July 27th: Book Babe
Tuesday, July 28th: Kay’s Reading Life
Wednesday, July 29th: FictionZeal
Monday, August 3rd: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, August 4th: Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, August 6th: The Novel Life
Monday, August 10th: Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, August 12th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, August 13th: Bibliotica
TBD: Bell, Book & Candle