Woman with a Secret by Sophie Hannah (4 out of 5)
Nicki Clements is a compulsive liar. She’s not being 100% honest with her family, nor anyone else. The way things normally catch up to one who does this all the time? That’s where this novel dares to tread. I have read Sophie Hannah before, and she can always be counted on to deliver the goods. The last few of her books I didn’t connect with on much of a level at all. This one? I had no fucking clue what this Nicki broad was up to and what she was going to do next. I wondered if she was even who she said she was. I just finished Lisa Lutz’s “Passenger” a few months back and the character in that book reminded me a lot of Nicki- except Lutz’s character was more funny. Nicki is a little bit more complicated and not as fun as that character was. I saw some parallels between the two chracters, that’s why I’m referencing back to Lisa Lutz’s book. There were moments with Nicki that I wanted to smack the crap out of her. She got a bit tedious at times, and that was the only reason I didn’t give this five stars. Nicki’s crap catches up with her a thousandfold when she is sitting in a pile-up on the road and the police are checking every single car for something. She spots the cop and panics, does the illegal U-turn, and peels out of there. You guessed it… someone notices her dodgy behavior and she’s nailed for it. The cops pull her in for questioning in the murder of a notorious newspaper columnist, Damon Blundy. Blundy’s murder brings with it a ton of questions, and the one she can’t- and won’t- answer is the one that would free her. But she won’t ante up. Why? What’s the deal here with her and this guy? Who was the cop and why did he freak her out so much she fled the scene of a roadblock? Who killed this guy? Why? How does Nicki play into this whole mess? Method of death and motive make it no clearer, and Nicki, if she can manage it, tries to avoid letting those secrets that she’s locked away in her Pandora’s box and get exonerated… but it doesn’t work that way, friends. This book throws you all sorts of curve balls. That’s good, but when you are wanting to smack the crap out of the character (similar to how I felt about Amy from “Gone Girl”, in fact. And you know I’m in the minority who didn’t love that book in the least), how much sympathy are you going to have for her down the road? That was the hard part for me. Overall, though, I really think Hannah has done a superb job crafting this book. I enjoyed it on multiple levels and really enjoyed the twists and turns, and ultimately, the outcome of it as well. It’s now out in paperback.