Two days. Three married couples. Six agendas. One murder.
In Cate Holahan’s electric Hamptons thriller, One Little Secret (Crooked Lane Books), love, passion, abuse and betrayal snake through the lives of three seemingly flawless couples. Their $3,000 per night waterfront rental in the exclusive Amagansett enclave is just what they need to get to know each other better. But no one realizes how interconnected their lives have already become.
None of the couples are what they seem; each person harbors dangerous secrets beneath their fragile wine-glass smiles. Each has a reason to hate another—and there is one secret someone will kill for.
Susan and Nadal Ahmadi have just moved to the suburbs of Westchester County. Nadal’s new tech start-up promises to revolutionize the medical field and make him a multimillionaire. Susan knows she’s a wallflower in the social hierarchy of New York moms but thinks a week of relaxation and Sauvignon blanc on the Amagansett dunes is just what she and her neighbors need to become friends. And although weathered on the outside, the house she’s arranged to rent is beautiful on the inside—an entire interior wall of glass provides a gorgeous view of the ocean. No one could have guessed how easily it could shatter, just like their lives.
Gorgeous Jenny Murray is the prom queen of the social ladder. An orthopedic surgeon turned famous CBS sports commentator, she’s also the Mary Poppins of the neighborhood moms. Although she and Louis, her prominent ER surgeon husband, are a perfect couple, it’s soon apparent there is an undercurrent of discontent in their fairy-tale marriage. Perfect “paparazzi-prepared” make-up can only mask so much.
Rachel Klein is a high-powered personal injury lawyer, married to former NFL player Ben Hansen, the neighborhood “Magic Mike.” He’s a doting husband and the best-looking stay-at-home dad anyone has ever seen. Who wouldn’t be happy in a marriage like theirs? But resentment and lies can dissolve even the most blissful families.
As the sun sets over the restless Atlantic, the Wölffer Estate rosé flows and tongues loosen. It’s soon clear their lives are more fiction than fact. As the night progresses, accusations hurl like spears, and blame casts dark shadows over the summer evening and the jetty’s black boulders. Each of the six harbors his or her own demons that belie the masquerade.
The next morning, one wife is dead.
Detective Sergeant Gabby Watkins, the only female detective in her department, must separate truth from lies to investigate the murder, a rare occurrence in the Hamptons. Untangling the snarl of knots tying the couples’ lives together throws Detective Watkins into their vortex of betrayal, jealousy and rage, her own family touched by the treachery on the beach that night. Each of the five has a reason to hate the dead woman and each had an opportunity to kill her. But which among these East coast elite had the strongest provocation to commit murder?
The narration of the story pivots between the day of the murder and the day after, readers alternately glimpsing the turmoil bubbling between members of the group and the investigation as it unfolds. Initially, the reader attempts to guess who was murdered and then once we know, we try to decipher who among the couples had the strongest reason to kill. This riveting locked-room thriller will have your mind’s eye scanning sand-prints on the private beach, trying to piece together who had the most to gain and who had the most to lose.
One Little Secret is now available.
About Cate Holahan
Cate Holahan is the USA Today Bestselling author of The Widower’s Wife, Lies She Told, and Dark Turns, all published by Crooked Lane Books. In a former life, she was an award-winning journalist that wrote for The Record, The Boston Globe, and BusinessWeek.
She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two daughters, and a food-obsessed dog, and spends a disturbing amount of time highly-caffeinated, mining her own anxieties for material.