Review: Twelve Secrets & Eleven Liars by Robert Gold

Evening Everyone,

Hope you’ve all had a good week. I’ve not been well this week which has been a pain in the backside. Nothing major, just full of cold, sore throat and the most annoying tickly cough ever. Thankfully, I’m starting to perk up and feel better. It somewhat hindered my ability to get any decent reading done because I was really struggling to focus.

Book πŸ“–

Thank you to @tandemcollectiveuk and @littlebrownbookgroup_uk for this gifted copy of Eleven Liars by Robert Gold. I was lucky enough to take part in the readalong for this book and also the amazing live Discord event that Tandem ran. Eleven Liars is the second book in the Ben Harper series so naturally I had to read the first one beforehand; Twelve Secrets. I read them back to back so I thought I’d review both at the same time. You can get your hands on Twelve Secrets here and you can preorder Eleven Liars here (due to be published on 30th March 2023).

Description πŸ”–

Twelve Secrets;

Ben Harper, true crime journalist, is about to unravel his most shocking story yet . . . his own.

The day his older brother was murdered was the day Ben Harper’s life changed forever.

In one of the most shocking crimes in national history, Nick and his friend were stabbed to death by two girls their own age. Police called the killings random, a senseless tragedy.

Twenty years on Ben is one of the best true crime journalists in the country. He has left the past behind, thanks to the support of his close-knit hometown community.

But when he learns about a fresh murder case with links to his brother’s death, Ben’s life is turned upside down once more. He soon find himself caught in a web of lies, one that implicates everyone around him. And on his quest for answers, Ben discovers one very important truth:

Everyone has secrets.
But some secrets are deadlier than others.

Eleven Liars;

Journalist Ben Harper is on his way home when he sees the flames in the churchyard. The derelict community centre is on fire. And somebody is trapped inside. 

With Ben’s help the person escapes, only to flee the scene before they can be identified. Now the small town of Haddley is abuzz with rumours. Was this an accident, or arson?

Then a skeleton is found in the burnt-out foundations.

And when the identity of the victim is revealed, Ben is confronted with a crime that is terrifyingly close to home. As he uncovers a web of deceit and destruction that goes back decades, Ben quickly learns that in this small town, everybody has something to hide.

General Thoughts πŸ€”

I will forever be grateful to Tandem Collective for introducing me to this series because I adored these two books. I was hooked on Twelve Secrets from the moment that I started. There was no easing in with the drama, the tense storyline kicked in right away and I had so many questions. It was one of those books that was thrillingly frustrating because every time I thought I had cracked the case, something happened to destroy my theory.

Following up with Eleven Liars, it was just as exciting and thrilling however I did think the pace slowed down a little. I say this in a positive way because I was grateful for it. I felt like I had more time to consider what might happen next and the storyline didn’t feel as complex as the one in Twelve Secrets.

Characters πŸ‘«πŸ‘­πŸ‘¬

There were a lot of characters in each book and I think it was this that had my mind working overtime. Particularly in Twelve Secrets, there were so many characters who were flawed, at one point, I thought the killer could have been any one of them. I immediately liked Ben’s character and I loved the angle of him investigating a crime so close to his life. I was hoping for some kind of romance development between Ben and Holly (I think I’ve been reading too many romances) but it was not meant to be.

Although Ben was still a big part of Eleven Liars, he wasn’t at the forefront of the storyline quite as much, which was natural because the case wasn’t about him. I did enjoy the relationship development between him and Dani and I cannot wait to see where that is going to go next. Pamela was my favourite character and I would love to sit and have a mince pie with her.

Writing Style ✍️

Reading Robert Gold’s books has reminded me how much I love thrillers and particularly investigative thrillers. Both books were so fast paced, so tense and had me turning the pages at lightening speed. I loved the short snappy chapters as they kept me very much engaged and kept the plot line moving forward.

I really liked that both books were very much thriller, but also had great character development. I was so absorbed into Haddley life and I think Robert Gold has done an amazing job of creating this fictional community.

Conclusion & Scoring πŸŽ–

I devoured these two books; I could not get enough of them. Once I started, I became all consumed with Haddley and it’s taken me a moment to realise I’m not actually a resident, Ben Harper isn’t my friend and I’m not on the hunt for a murderer. I took part in the Discord Live Murder Mystery event organised by Tandem Collective which was my first experience of anything like this and I loved it. So much effort must have gone into it and it was so much fun. I have them to thank for introducing me to this fantastic series and I cannot recommend it enough for thriller lovers.

😍😍😍😍😍 & 😍😍😍😍😍

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