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The Darkest Secret

Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, 2017

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781405521215

Price: £8.99

ON SALE: 1st January 2016

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Crime & Mystery

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‘If there has been a better mystery suspense story written in this decade, I can’t think of it’ STEPHEN KING


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, THE DARKEST SECRET is an unputdownable ‘ripped from the headlines’ novel that you will want to talk about with everyone you know.


Don’t miss the shocking new novel from Alex Marwood – THE POISON GARDEN is out now

Praise for Alex Marwood

‘So good I wish I’d written it myself’

‘Without a doubt, she is one of crime fiction’s brightest stars. Not to be missed’


‘Alex Marwood has become one of my must-read crime writers’


‘I cancel all engagements for a new novel from Alex Marwood’


‘Crime writing at its best’


‘I can’t wait to see what Alex Marwood comes up with next’



At turns suspenseful, chilling and deeply, unexpectedly moving, The Darkest Secret is a true tour de force. Alex Marwood's richly detailed, heartbreakingly human characters will stay with you long after the book's shocking conclusion. I loved it
Alison Gaylin
A taut, white-knuckle, one-sitting kind of read that will have you guessing and gasping out loud, right to the very last page
Sarra Manning, Red
You know when you read a really good book and you can't wait to tell everyone about it? That's how we feel about Alex Marwood's The Darkest Secret. (A) gripping thriller.
If there has been a better mystery suspense story written in this decade, I can't think of it
Stephen King
Alex Marwood's The Darkest Secret is a feast of a novel, a modern Greek tragedy with believable characters, a heart stopping plot and a brilliant triple jump of an ending that left me clutching the book. I haven't read anything so satisfying in a long time. I loved The Wicked Girls, but this is even better
Jenny Eclair
The Darkest Secret is spine tingling and terrifying, a beautifully written tale of obsessive love
Lisa Jewell
In The Darkest Secret Alex Marwood has created a masterful thriller and a cast of the most deliciously vile and compelling characters I have encountered. It's a novel that stands out from the crowd
Colette McBeth
I read the book in one weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's ghoulishly page-turning and I loved Alex's ability to create characters that are addictively vile. As a reader you feel afterwards like washing your hands as though they're blood-stained
Cath Weeks
Read The Darkest Secret, by Alex Marwood - unputdownable grip-lit.
India Knight
A chilling thriller with a deftly woven plot: this is Marwood's best yet
Clare Mackintosh, Number 1 Kindle Bestseller
I made the mistake of thinking I could read a couple of pages and then spend the weekend writing. Well, that was not the case. A few pages was not enough, in fact, nothing was enough until I had finished it. I think it is taut storytelling at its best and by the end I was breathless. I actually didn't realise I was holding my breath until I turned that very last page
Angela Marsons, Number 1 Kindle Bestseller
Those of us who admire Alex Marwood's writing know her for devious plotting, skillful manipulation of suspense, and an ability to add the bleakly comic to what others would leave merely bleak. In The Darkest Secret she gives us even more, with some genuinely beautiful writing about grief and loss, adding a real poignancy to the twists of the story, creating a crime novel that is also heartbreakingly human
Stella Duffy
Beautifully written, masterfully structured, The Darkest Secret gently takes hold of you from the very first page then steadily squeezes until you finally close the book and realise that you haven't been breathing for the last hundred pages or so. I doubt you'll read a better book all year, it's that good
Simon Toyne
A taut, claustrophobic look into toxic relationships and family secrets. I couldn't put it down as more and more layers were revealed, with suspense and intrigue creating a tense and satisfying read
Mel Sherratt
Wow. It's a long time since a book flattened me as emotionally as that. Just stunning.
Martyn Waites
Alex Marwood goes from strength to strength. The Darkest Secret is domestic noir at its finest. Even more twisty than Gone Girl, this novel is dynamite, exploding the heart of family secrets with shocking results
Ruth Dugdall
The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood is such a good book! It's involving and intelligent; a mystery revealed from multiple viewpoints. I'm sure it will be a huge hit
Helen Smith
With the psychological acuity of Kate Atkinson and a dark wit all her own, Alex Marwood draws us into The Darkest Secret with utter narrative cunning, then surprises with its emotional wallop, its deeper resonances. In so doing, she demonstrates, without a doubt, that she is one of crime fiction's brightest stars. Not to be missed
Megan Abbott
The Darkest Secret is Alex Marwood's best book yet - no small thing when one considers that her first two crime novels were both award winners. Her plots are always top-notch - deft, twisty - but it's the humanity she grants all her characters that makes her one of our best. This story will grip you to the final page, but Milly and her troubled family may never leave you.
Laura Lippman
Oh my god, it is SO good. A work of genius. I'm in awe
Mark Edwards, Number 1 Kindle Bestseller
I cancel all engagements and turn off my phone for a new Alex Marwood book. The Darkest Secret is her best yet
Erin Kelly
The Darkest Secret left me reeling. This book is an absolute TRIUMPH
Rebecca Griffiths
Simply tremendous, so tense and packed with pathos. I loved every page of it
Sarah Hilary
A genuinely shocking thriller where nothing is what it seems. So good I wish I'd written it myself
Val McDermid, Sunday Times Number 1 Bestseller