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Review: Keep No Secrets by Julie Compton

After the ultimate betrayal, which 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 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?

When it comes to sequels, you never know what to expect. Not having read Julie's preceding book "Tell No Lies" I am so sorry I missed out. I say that because "Keep No Secrets" was such a great read that I feel like I have to go back to see what details I missed out on. Not having read her first book, I really think she did a great job writing this one. Don't worry if you didn't get a chance to read the first one yet, this book had enough information to stand on it own. I feel confident that we were given enough information to get a great picture from what she wrote.

I mean, talk about page turner. I don't think my fingers could move fast enough. This was one of those books that grabs you and makes you sit down and want to read. It had so many twists and turns to the story that you don't know how to feel. From the first chapter throughout the book, the story was just so engaging that as each layer was unraveled, you wanted to know what was going to happen next. It had everything you need to salivate in a thriller. You had a little romance, suspense, deception, and characters that you really can dive into. 

From a reader perspective, she really made this book come alive. Each character had their own distinctive voice that enabled you to connect emotionally and that vulnerability drew you in that made the story so addictive. What I really appreciate and respect is her authenticity and courage for how she wrote the story line that dealt with the issues that teetered the moral compass. With the issue of adultery in this book, I respect how she didn't glorify it but really showed from all perspectives the impacts and imperfections of choices people make in life. 

Here's a little bit of the characters to get you started:

Jack - No matter how much you want to hate him for what he did with Jenny and to his family, you will find yourself in conflicting emotions towards him throughout the book. He is married to Claire and has two children, Jaime and Michael. Regaining his credibility with the community after a huge trial that exposed his brief affair with Jenny, Jack tries to move on with life and put his past behind him. One day everything changed when his son's girlfriend made accusations about him that not only brought the past back but put him on a journey to prove not only his innocence but fight for his life and family.

Claire - Who wouldn't feel for her? She is the wife of Jack who was publicly humiliated from a secret that was exposed that changed their lives. After claiming she put all this behind her, Jenny's return to town along with Jack's current situation has ignited old scars that put their marriage and trust to the test. 

Michael - The son of Claire and Jack has some unresolved feelings about what happened to their family. After coming home with his girlfriend one night drunk, his dad offered to take her home unknowing what was to come. Keeping secrets of his own and after finding out what his girlfriend did, he battles allegiance to her versus his father's and his fight for innocence.

Celeste - She is the girlfriend of Michael who has a striking resemblance to the woman his father had an affair with. Holding onto a devastating secret of her own, she is driven to the unthinkable with consequences that shatter the core of the Hilliard family. 

Jenny - On the trial of the murder of her father's mistress, the secret of their affair came out and had consequences that affected the Hilliard family. Upon return on the heels of the biggest fight for Jack's life brings up old wounds that depending on which way you think either help or hurt. 

Overall, I think if you are looking for a good suspense book, this will be a great read. Despite any personal feelings towards certain subject matters of the book, it was a well written and has that definite can't put it down quality to it. I think you should add this one to your suspense and thriller list! I know you won't be disappointed.

Reviewed by Michelle Bowles

Book Information
Publisher: Fresh Fork Publishing
Release Date: 3/12/13
Pages: 344

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