HelenKay Dimon takes readers back to the intriguing world of remote Whitaker Island, Washington in The Secret She Keeps. The same nosy group of colorful islanders also returns, evidence of the fact that even in a small community, away from the rush of a big city, there’s no such thing as down (or quiet) time. But it’s the killer lurking in the bushes, so to speak, that serves as a swift reminder that no matter how far you run, the past always catches up.
Nearly two years after the death of his sister Alexis, Connor Rye finally relocates to Whitaker Island from Washington, D.C., to be closer to his brother and remaining family. Although the beautiful island seems serene on the surface, he’s no stranger to its shadows. Not only was Alexis murdered; someone breaks into his cabin and attacks him on his first night, giving fair warning that he needs to leave. Maddie Rhine has her own secrets—chief among them the fact that she’s on the run and living under a false identity. With the attack on Connor, it’s obvious Whitaker Island once again faces a dangerous interloper, and since Maddie’s a suspicious element, she may be in danger too.
Dimon is a master at world building, and often writes heroic characters who find greatness within, rather than individuals who are weighed down with chests and walls full of medals. Everyday heroics are just as important as strong men and women who can leap single bounds—everyday heroics keep the world going. And something is definitely amiss on Whitaker Island. That much was clear from the first book in the series, Her Other Secret, and readers get an immersion course in murder and mayhem with this second installment.
In the end, The Secret She Keeps is a complex story of love and grief, forgiveness and fresh starts. It’s a perfect story with which to wrap up the decade and forge a new path in the New Year. HelenKay Dimon is definitely on my keeper shelf.