Product DetailsΒ Publisher: Sphere (1st January 2016)

Book description:

Apologies for the general email, but I desperately need your help.

My goddaughter, Coco Jackson, disappeared from her family’s holiday home in Bournemouth on the night of Sunday/Monday August 29/30th, the bank holiday weekend just gone. Coco is three years old.

When identical twin Coco goes missing during a family celebration, there is a media frenzy. Her parents are rich and influential, as are the friends they were with at their holiday home by the sea.

But what really happened to Coco?

Over two intense weekends – the first when Coco goes missing and the second twelve years later at the funeral of her father – the darkest of secrets will gradually be revealed…

Taut, emotive and utterly compelling, an unputdownable ‘ripped from the headlines’ novel that you will want to talk about with everyone you know.

My rating 5/5

Oh My Word!

I didn’t like most of the characters in this book. They are arrogant, self-centred and not nice people at all, but the story had me gripped. I was up quite late last night as I had to finish it.

We start in 2004 with the news that Coco, a three year old twin of Sean’s and Claire’s (the other twin being Ruby), has gone missing and a ‘Find Coco’ campaign is underway. No parent should have to suffer the loss of a child, but to lose a child and never really know what happened must be, well, there are no words really. How would you move on from that?

Prior to Coco’s disappearance, it’s Sean’s 50th Birthday. He’s a rich man, with rich friends, and he has arranged a lavish party in Bournemouth for himself, Claire, and their few closest friends. Well, his friends anyway. They are without a nanny, so they have the children to look after also. This is not ideal for Sean, or his group of friends, who just want to have a good time getting drunk and high without the inconvenience of children. These are not likeable people. What makes it worse for Sean is that his first wife has sent his first two daughters, Camilla (Milly) and India, along for the party and he’s not impressed. The teenage sisters are well aware that he doesn’t want them there. How awful to not feel welcome at your own fathers birthday.

The story flits between the events of 2004 and the present day. Milly, who now goes by Mila, and India didn’t have much to do with their father after feeling so unwanted at his 50th Birthday celebrations. They have always felt a twinge of guilt regarding the twin half-sisters they never bothered to get to know though, especially since Coco disappeared. They’d always resented them, even though it wasn’t their fault their father left their mother for Claire.

When Sean dies suddenly (obviously whilst having yet another affair despite being married to his fourth wife by now) Mila is contacted and asked to identify his body. She also gets a surprise phone call from Claire asking her if she will take Ruby (now 15 years old) to the funeral as she can’t face it herself. Mila reluctantly agrees and makes her way to their home in Sussex. I liked the relationship which develops between the girls over the following few days. These are the only two characters I actually liked!

From this point we start to learn what really went on during Sean’s 50th Birthday celebrations. Claire finds him at it in the pool, with Linda (who later becomes his third wife) and decides enough in enough. She leaves to clear her head and think about her future alone with her girls, but she leaves the twins behind so she can think straight for a little while. This part I didn’t understand, especially being a mother myself. I know generally you should be safe leaving your children with their father, but in this case Claire was well aware of what the adults were getting up to so why she would leave them there I don’t know. Anyway, as the truth unfolds I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Shocking is an understatement!

I highly recommend!

With thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for my advance kindle copy.

You can pre-order here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B010RALUP6?keywords=the%20darkest%20secret&qid=1451399483&ref_=sr_1_1&s=digital-text&sr=1-1

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