Tall Poppies Review: A Beloved Character, Zoe Goldman, Returns in Sandra Block’s ‘The Secret Room’

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I’ve been a fan of the Zoe Goldman books since she made her first appearance several years ago in Sandra Block’s debut, Little Black Lies. Smart, tenacious, and more than a bit sarcastic, Zoe casually stepped off the page and became so much more than just a character in a book. I jumped at the chance to read and review The Secret Room, Block’s third in the series, eager to reconnect with Dr. Zoe Goldman and her often dark, always dangerous world of criminal psychology. I wasn’t disappointed!

In The Secret Room, Zoe is a new psychiatry fellow at a correctional facility in Buffalo, New York. It just so happens this is the same prison where her deranged, homicidal biological sister is being held. If that isn’t enough to unnerve the seemingly unflappable Zoe, she is forced to contend with an antagonistic boss, a completely checked-out supervisor, and an array of baffling cases. When Zoe’s patients begin to die from a series of suspicious suicides, Zoe’s competency and her suitability for her harrowing job are thrown into question. As she takes the fall for the mounting deaths, she worries about her patients and fears that the killer may have a different target in mind: her.

Tension continues to mount as Zoe starts to see connections between the deaths and hurries to unravel the mystery before it’s too late. Filled with snappy dialogue and fascinating characters, The Secret Room is a thrill-ride of a book that sprints to a shocking conclusion. Block is at her best in this riveting novel that will surely leave readers clamoring for more.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sandra A. Block graduated from college at Harvard, then returned to her native land of Buffalo, New York for medical training and never left. She is a practicing neurologist and proud Sabres fan, and lives at home with her husband, two children, and impetuous yellow lab. Little Black Lies is her debut which was a finalist in the International Thriller Awards, and The Girl Without a Name and The Secret Room are the other books in the Zoe Goldman series. Her latest stand-alone novel, What Happened That Night comes out in June 2018.

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Nicole Baart is the mother of five children from four different countries. The cofounder of a non-profit organization, One Body One Hope, she lives in a small town in Iowa. She is the author of eight previous novels, including Little Broken Things and The Beautiful Daughters. Learn more at NicoleBaart.com.