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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Book 65: KEEP NO SECRETS Review


Keep No Secrets by Julie Compton
ISBN: 9780988793224 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780988793231 (ebook)
ASIN: B00BSGQ770 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Fresh Fork Publishing
Publication date: March 12, 2013


After the ultimate betrayal, which is more important: trust or forgiveness?
In KEEP NO SECRETS, the controversial follow-up to Compton's debut legal thriller TELL NO LIES, a district attorney struggles to redeem himself after a one-night stand damaged his marriage and professional reputation.
After surviving the private and public fallout from a one-night stand four years before, St. Louis DA Jack Hilliard wants nothing more than to be trusted again by his wife, Claire, and to earn back the respect of the community he serves. Since the day Claire accepted him back into the family, he's vowed to be true to these goals, and so far he's succeeded.
But all of Jack's efforts begin to crumble when the woman involved in his earlier downfall, Jenny Dodson, returns to town claiming threats on her life and asking for his help, and resurrecting for Jack long-buried emotions and questions of her guilt for the murder of a client. Just when he thinks the pressure can't get any worse, his son's girlfriend, Celeste, accuses him of sexual assault, and he suddenly finds himself on the wrong end of a criminal case, battling for his freedom.
Can Jack trust his freedom to the legal system on which he built his career? Or will the ghost of his one-night stand four years before come back to haunt him, causing him to be convicted on the mistakes of his past?

Jack and Claire Hilliard have spent the past four years of their lives portraying a couple rebuilding their marriage. Jack has presumed that his wife has forgiven him and is slowly regaining her trust in him, but that illusion is quickly shattered when he is accused of sexually molesting their son's girlfriend, Celeste. It doesn't help matters much that the woman he had an affair with four years earlier has returned to town. Their lives were placed in a media fish bowl four years earlier when he had to publicly admit to committing adultery and providing an alibi for a woman accused of murder. That event pales in comparison to what is happening now. Is it possible for their family to recover from this false accusation? Will Jack ever regain the trust of his wife or son in light of these allegations? 

Jack Hilliard is the primary focus of Keep No Secrets. His life -- personal and professional -- is pulled in different directions as he tries to prove his innocence publicly and privately, regain the trust of his wife and son, and help his former lover (Jenny) without betraying his wife's forgiveness. Jack is truly a victim. He is a victim of the allegations from his son's girlfriend. He is a victim of his wife's trust issues. He is a victim of his emotions as he strives to help his lover without betraying his wife's trust. And he is a victim of his father-in-law's machinations. Through it all Jack strives to take the high road, believing that the system will work and prove his innocence. He is diligent in his efforts not to betray Claire's trust while he helps Jenny. 

I initially found Keep No Secrets to be a little slow, but it quickly picked up after only a few chapters. I found myself rooting for Jack and hoping things would work out in his favor. Even though I felt Claire was just as much a victim of circumstance as Jack, I didn't like her much. I didn't really like Jack's ex-lover Jenny Dodson much either. I thought they were both manipulative. The action and storylines were a bit convoluted at times but it all made perfect sense in the end. The end is a bit of a surprise on a variety of levels (no I'm not going to reveal the ending . . . read it for yourself). Keep No Secrets is filled with teenage angst, family drama, legal drama, sexual molestation/abuse, and passion; not just passion between a man and a woman, but one man's passion to do the right thing at all costs. If you enjoy legal thrillers with a hint of mystery and suspense then you definitely want to add Keep No Secrets to your to-be-read list. The only reason I put this book down and didn't complete it in one sitting was due to a severe migraine. I enjoyed Keep No Secrets so much I've added Tell No Lies to my TBR list (something tells me I'll read Tell No Lies and then re-read Keep No Secrets).

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


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