book cover of This Secret Thing
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This Secret Thing

A novel by

Out of love. Out of protection. Out of fear. Everyone has a reason to lie.

Everyone in Raleigh, North Carolina, is talking about Norah Ramsey, the single mother accused of being a suburban madam. But Norah’s not the only one keeping secrets.

After her mother’s arrest, Norah’s teenage daughter, Violet, is devastated and alone. She has no one to turn to until her grandmother Polly arrives. Polly, long estranged from Norah, is running from her own troubles. Down the street, Bess, once Norah’s best friend, desperately tries to hide secrets while Casey, Bess’s daughter, flees college after a traumatic event, only to find that home isn’t the safe haven she expected. And Nico, the detective who has doggedly pursued Norah Ramsey in hopes that she will lead him to his missing brother, is drawn further into these women’s lives while facing his own domestic disturbance.

Scandal has brought each of them to a crossroads. Now, as they delve into Norah’s secrets, they must come to terms with secrets of their own—ones that still have the power to hurt or to heal.

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"In her new novel This Secret Thing, Marybeth Mayhew Whalen deftly plumbs the depths of the hidden life of a seemingly placid suburb. With surgical precision and rare insight into the inner lives of her subjects, the author peels away layer upon layers of half-truths, secrets, and lies to reveal the shocking truth at the heart of this story. Marybeth Whalen is the new mistress of the suburban thriller." - Mary Kay Andrews

"If you love fiercely and believe it’s possible to make your own fate, you’ll treasure every moment of This Secret Thing. Whalen’s characters may be living in a chaos of their own making, but guided by her gentle, skilled hands, they turn their vulnerabilities into their greatest strengths, and emerge transformed. Exquisite, emotionally-charged storytelling." - Laura Benedict

"When a suburban mom is arrested and jailed for prostitution, the emotional fallout is devastating to her shocked friends and neighbors, her family members, even the detective investigating the case. But no one is hit harder than her teenage daughter, who must figure out a way to cope. In This Secret Thing, Marybeth Mayhew Whalen has written a psychological thriller, with engaging characters and plot twists that kept me turning the pages long past my bedtime. I read it in one sitting because I simply couldn’t stop!" - Maddie Dawson

"A deeply satisfying story of secrets, scandal, and the repercussions of the decisions we make, This Secret Thing is brimming with menace and hope, and showcases Whalen’s talent for bringing her multi-layered characters to life. An impressive page-turner with heart and soul." - J T Ellison

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