Title: Keep No Secrets
Publication Date: March 12th 2013
by Fresh Fork Publishing
by Fresh Fork Publishing
After the ultimate betrayal, what is more important: trust or forgiveness? In KEEP NO SECRETS, the controversial follow-up to Compton's debut legal thriller TELL NO LIES, a district attorney struggles to redeem himself after a one-night stand four years before damaged his marriage and professional reputation.
After surviving the private and public fallout from a one-night stand four years before, St. Louis DA Jack Hilliard wants nothing more than to be trusted again by his wife, Claire, and to earn back the respect of the community he serves. Since the day Claire accepted him back into the family, he's vowed to be true to these goals, and so far he's succeeded.
But all of Jack's efforts begin to crumble when the woman involved in his earlier downfall, Jenny Dodson, returns to town claiming threats on her life and asking for his help, and resurrecting for Jack long-buried emotions and questions of her guilt for the murder of a client. Just when he thinks the pressure can't get any worse, his son's girlfriend, Celeste, accuses him of sexual assault, and he suddenly finds himself on the wrong end of a criminal case, battling for his freedom.Can Jack trust his freedom to the legal system on which he built his career? Or will the ghost of his one-night stand four years before come back to haunt him, causing him to be convicted on the mistakes of his past?
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My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
At the very beginning of the novel, it seemed to me that the novel will be dealing with juvenile issues. But very soon I realized it is going to be a lot more than that. The novel somehow reminded me of O’Neill’s famous play Long Day’s Journey into Night. All the characters seem to dwell more in the past. Almost everyone faces relationship turmoil and yet there seems to be no reasonable way out. When Jack and his family are struggling hard to forget an unforgettable past, his Past itself knocks on the door.
If a hand unexpectedly reaches out of the dark and touches you at midnight on a deserted college campus, your first emotion is probably fear. You first instinct is one of two- fight or flight. But not when the hand touching you has already left its mark.
When Jack’s past starts to unfold before the readers’ eyes, before my eyes, it is not past ‘secret’ that comes as surprise, as the author had been setting its field from the beginning of the story. No, rather it is an incident from his very present, an incident little worthy of being called a ‘secret’ that changes his life as well as others related to him.
…like Claire, he has only two choices: have faith, or not, because it’s unlikely he will ever have proof.
The line above does not describe Jack’s state of mind alone, it is more or less the same for everyone there. Keep No Secrets greatly deals with trust issues. Jack’s trust issues regarding Jenny or his son Michael, Claire’s trust issues regarding Jack, Michael’s and the whole family’s regarding trust issues regarding Jack- everything altogether creates a domino-like structure, where one trifle change causes a huge ripple effect changing their whole life.
The lies aren't what he says; they’re what he doesn't say.
This is, according to me, is Jack’s tragedy of life. I find the man trying hard to hold together his past and present in order to create a future ordinary man dreams of. Most of the time his lies are the ones unspoken, not only to others but to himself as well, and yet, he struggles to deal with those lies, through a process of acceptance and denial. It is because of this struggle the ending (or a new beginning?) comes to him, as well as me, quite as a surprise:
He couldn't imagine it would ever happen or, if it did, that it would happen so quickly. But then, he couldn't imagine a lot of things.
I finished this book within 2 days and that too on my PC, something I do rarely, only because of its’ gripping story line. The only thing disturbed me a bit sometimes is the use of law-related language and materials as I am not at all a law-person (but I guess that’s my problem!). But it is justified because as said before, it is a legal-thriller novel. I have never read the first book of this series but the author wrote it in such a away that I did not have much complication connecting the story with incidents from the past. This may not be a book I will read twice (because all the suspense is gone now) but I would recommend this to anyone who hasn't read.