Little Secrets
What happens when ambition trumps the truth?A town reeling in the wake of tragedyAn arsonist is on the loose in Colmstock, Australia, most recently burning down the town's courthouse and killing a young boy who was trapped inside.. An aspiring journalist desperate for a storyThe clock is ticking for Rose Blakey. With nothing but rejections from newspapers piling up, her job pulling beers for cops at the local tavern isn't nearly enough to cover rent. Rose needs a story-a big one. Little dolls full of secretsIn the weeks after the courthouse fire, precise porcelain replicas of Colmstock's daughters begin turning up on doorsteps, terrifying parents and testing the limits of the town's already fractured police force. Rose may have finally found her story. But as her articles gain traction and the boundaries of her investigation blur, Colmstock is seized by a seething paranoia. Soon, no one is safe from suspicion. And when Rose's attention turns to the mysterious stranger living in the rooms behind the tavern, neighbor turns on neighbor and the darkest side of self-preservation is revealed.

Little Secrets Details

TitleLittle Secrets
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 17th, 2017
PublisherMira Books
ISBN-139780778331094
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller

Little Secrets Review

  • Heidi
    January 1, 1970
    I think that over the last decade or so, Australian mystery & crime fiction has really come into its own, with authors using unique characteristics in their stories and creating a niche market for themselves that draws readers from all around the world for an Aussie interpretation of “noir”. For me, these are books that have a strong sense of place, using the harshness of nature and the remoteness of the setting to create tension and a constant undercurrent of menace and danger to the story. I think that over the last decade or so, Australian mystery & crime fiction has really come into its own, with authors using unique characteristics in their stories and creating a niche market for themselves that draws readers from all around the world for an Aussie interpretation of “noir”. For me, these are books that have a strong sense of place, using the harshness of nature and the remoteness of the setting to create tension and a constant undercurrent of menace and danger to the story. Little Secrets definitely falls into that category! Snoekstra has done a wonderful job in creating not only a setting, but also characters that captivate and terrify at the same time. The dying little country town of Colmstock is so quintessentially Australian that you can literally feel the heat and hear the flies buzzing in its dusty, deserted streets! Not only does its remote setting make for a perfect background to a chilling mystery, but Snoekstra includes some seemingly insignificant but terrifying elements that make the streets of this particular country town even more creepy: such as the smoking ruins of the courthouse, or the spooky presence of the paper plate kids – and those creepy dolls of course! I had goosebumps reading it!In Rose, Snoekstra has created a wonderful main protagonist – one you cannot help liking, even though she definitely has her flaws. Young and ambitious, Rose’s main dream is to get out of the dying town she has grown up in, and yet has limited means to do so. An aspiring journalist, Rose knows rejection only too well, even though this latest one threatens to put all her best-laid plans to rest. Like any creature trapped, Rose is not afraid to fight for her chance of an escape. Her friend Mia, on the other hand, has long resigned herself to living and dying in Colmstock, which makes her both adore and resent Rose in equal measure. The dynamics between the two best friends was fascinating and very well drawn, and held a few unexpected surprises.I really don’t want to give anything away to spoil this wonderful mystery for anyone, so won’t be delving too much into the storyline, except to say that it had me captivated from beginning to end. If it hadn’t been for the reality of having to go to work, and catch a few hours sleep, I would have devoured this book in one giant read-a-thon. I couldn’t tear myself away! As things start heading south, and the small community of Colmstock is beginning to unravel like a pack of wild dogs snapping and snarling at each other, the tension was almost unbearable. I loved how the author slowly strips each and every character of their masks, revealing their true personalities underneath. There were a few surprises there! Snoekstra’s ability to give all her characters true-to-life personalities and flaws made them come to life for me. As tensions grow, and neighbours turn against neighbours, friends against friends, there was a palpable sense of menace that had my heart racing and my knuckles turn white as I gripped the book tightly in my hands, wanting, needing to find out how this would all end – what more can you ask from a good mystery? Little Secrets is Australian crime fiction at its best – this is the type of psychological thriller that makes me come back for more, and I can’t wait to read more from this talented author. Highly recommended!Thank you to Harlequin Australia for the free copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review. *blog* *facebook* *instagram*
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  • marlin1
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed Little Secrets by Anna Snoekstra, my first by this author.It was dark, gritty and handled the stifling atmosphere of a small town down on its luck so well. I could feel the hopelessness of it all.It opens with the courthouse and local store recently being set alight by an arsonist and a young boy being trapped and killed in the fire. Then creepy porcelain dolls appear on the doorstep of young girls in the town, strangely they look like the girls living in the respective houses.R I really enjoyed Little Secrets by Anna Snoekstra, my first by this author.It was dark, gritty and handled the stifling atmosphere of a small town down on its luck so well. I could feel the hopelessness of it all.It opens with the courthouse and local store recently being set alight by an arsonist and a young boy being trapped and killed in the fire. Then creepy porcelain dolls appear on the doorstep of young girls in the town, strangely they look like the girls living in the respective houses.Rose is an aspiring reporter that has only had to deal with rejections. Caught in this town, she pulls beers at the local pub and she sees the chance to make her mark with the story of the dolls. Little does she know how her actions will have consequences to some of the town inhabitants and herself.Not so much a police procedural, I found it to be more of a characterization of the town inhabitants. There was a lot not to like about them, though I did admire Rose and determination to escape the town. I can’t quite convey the darkness I felt while I was reading this but I could picture everything so clearly in my head. I think it would make a great Australian TV mini series.Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for a copy to read and review.
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  • Marti
    January 1, 1970
    Well I have discovered a new favorite author. What a great book. BUT be forewarned if you like mushy gushy all is well that ends well happily for ever and ever....This aint your book.This book was real and honest and makes you look at things and examine yourself. Who do you assume you know and judge them? What goes on behind closed door? How dishonest and backstabbing can hurt innocent people. Highly recommend this book.
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  • TL
    January 1, 1970
    I received this via Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own. 😊---Interesting idea but ultimately didn't capture me fully. *shrugs*
  • Judy Collins
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars Review to follow.
  • Jenea Whittington
    January 1, 1970
    Little Secrets is a story that will definitely make you think. Creepy doesn’t even describe the things that go on on this place, but it sure makes for a really good read.Colmstock, a small town in Australia where everyone pretty much know everyone. When the courthouse fire happened killing the boy inside the town was turned upside down, but something even more sinister is taking place. Porcelain dolls have been showing up the towns doorsteps that have little girls. These dolls look just like tho Little Secrets is a story that will definitely make you think. Creepy doesn’t even describe the things that go on on this place, but it sure makes for a really good read.Colmstock, a small town in Australia where everyone pretty much know everyone. When the courthouse fire happened killing the boy inside the town was turned upside down, but something even more sinister is taking place. Porcelain dolls have been showing up the towns doorsteps that have little girls. These dolls look just like those girls. This is where Rose Blakely comes in, a journalist who pieces the clues together and prints them. Making all the suspicion and rumor with in this small town spread even worse.Rose is one ambitious journalist. She wants to make a name for herself, and sometimes she steps on some toes doing just that. But, I like that Snoekstra gave us a main character that wasn’t perfect, she made her fair share of mistakes, but she learned from them. I think that Rose is probably the most straight forward character in this, the rest were fairly complicated. At some point or another I suspected them of having some involvement and this was just the towns people. The mysterious new comer, Will was just that. A mystery. Rose’s best friend was one that I really wanted to like, but then were others that they were wolves in sheeps clothing. It was an interesting group of characters, that’s for sure.As the story unfolds and the pieces start to fall in place, and as for the who done it, I change my mind several times. The more the Rose learned about the people in this town and the police, the more I was unsure who was behind the dolls and the fire. I was amazed at how many secrets this small town held and as some were revealed, it all led up to a big twist at the end, that kinda left me scratching my head. It was a fitting ending, just not what I was expecting or hoping for with everything that happened from start to finish. But, I still enjoyed reading this.Little Lies was a suspenseful story with town secrets and betrayals, and those who enjoy a great mystery will enjoy this one.
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  • Deb R
    January 1, 1970
    In Colmstock, Australia, an arsonist has burned the courthouse down which killed a boy who was trapped inside. Rose Blakey is a reporter, but she has recently received nothing but rejections for her stories. She tries to make ends meet by bartending at a local tavern, but what she earns isn't enough to live on. She desperately wants to get out of the town she grew up in, and she really needs to land a big story. In the weeks following the courthouse fire, dolls in the likeness of young girls in In Colmstock, Australia, an arsonist has burned the courthouse down which killed a boy who was trapped inside. Rose Blakey is a reporter, but she has recently received nothing but rejections for her stories. She tries to make ends meet by bartending at a local tavern, but what she earns isn't enough to live on. She desperately wants to get out of the town she grew up in, and she really needs to land a big story. In the weeks following the courthouse fire, dolls in the likeness of young girls in the town begin appearing on their front porches, and parents are terrified. Now Rose thinks she has found her story as her articles on the arson and the dolls begin taking off. Along the way, Rose creates a few "facts" to move her story along which set off a chain of events that carries the book through to the end.The book was very good and holds the reader's interest throughout. There are a number of surprises and twists that occur, and all the little secrets of the townspeople are revealed. It will keep readers guessing until the end. I enjoyed the book and found it hard to put down. I was anxious to reach the end to find out what happened. I highly recommend it.
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  • Patricia Romero
    January 1, 1970
    ikeable character in the least. Actually none of them were. Not even the children. Rose desperately wants to leave behind her small town and small-minded people. She thinks she is better than this. Mainly she whines about her position in life and assumes her best friend, Mia, feels the same way. There  more secrets in this town and more downright bad people. I don't think one of them had a redeeming quality at all. When Rose decides to capitalize on the arsons and the dolls, it gets her just eno ikeable character in the least. Actually none of them were. Not even the children. Rose desperately wants to leave behind her small town and small-minded people. She thinks she is better than this. Mainly she whines about her position in life and assumes her best friend, Mia, feels the same way. There  more secrets in this town and more downright bad people. I don't think one of them had a redeeming quality at all. When Rose decides to capitalize on the arsons and the dolls, it gets her just enough attention from the local rag to fuel her intense need to get out of the place. So what if she makes up a few "facts" or sets a few people up. But her actions will set a chain of events in place that do not end when the book does I'm sure.Netgalley/Mira Books Release Date is October 17, 2017
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  • Phyllis Krall
    January 1, 1970
    The Australian town of Comstock is struggling financially , while its crime rate has increased. Someone has burned down the courthouse while a young boy was trapped inside. Dolls that replicate children are being left on doorsteps. Everyone is looking for answers while they make wrongful accusations filled with mistrust.Rose Blakey is trying to get a job as a journalist as she solves the town's mysteries, hoping for a sensational story to sell to the newspaper. She wants to escape Comstock and i The Australian town of Comstock is struggling financially , while its crime rate has increased. Someone has burned down the courthouse while a young boy was trapped inside. Dolls that replicate children are being left on doorsteps. Everyone is looking for answers while they make wrongful accusations filled with mistrust.Rose Blakey is trying to get a job as a journalist as she solves the town's mysteries, hoping for a sensational story to sell to the newspaper. She wants to escape Comstock and is hoping for a better life elsewhere. Her stories cause havoc in the town and unforeseen events along with police brutality occur. Secrets are revealed which cause tragedy.I received this ARC from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. It kept me guessing until the ending which I never saw coming! The secrets were shocking!! Highly recommend
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  • Rochelle
    January 1, 1970
    Wow this was a good book and kept me guessing till the end. This is a story about a very small town called Colmstock in Australia. The main creature is Rose who is out of high school and trying to become a journalist. Rose works at one of the two bars in her town so she can save money to move out of her town to the city. Someone in town sends dolls to the little girls around town and the dolls look just like the girls they are given to. The police in the town are shady and are not doing much to Wow this was a good book and kept me guessing till the end. This is a story about a very small town called Colmstock in Australia. The main creature is Rose who is out of high school and trying to become a journalist. Rose works at one of the two bars in her town so she can save money to move out of her town to the city. Someone in town sends dolls to the little girls around town and the dolls look just like the girls they are given to. The police in the town are shady and are not doing much to get the person every one is thinking is a sicko. I didn't want this book to end. The people in the town have some secrets that come out when the police are looking for answers. The police end up making things worse and I loved the ending of this book!
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Ugh....This is a hard book to review. I didn't hate this book, but I also didn't love it. At some points while reading, I kept thinking....this is a very clever author, I see what your doing here....only to be surprised later that I was wrong....and while I love being surprised and wrong....and I love clever plots and interesting situations....My complete dislike of the majority of the characters killed this book for me. I kept hoping to get to know rose better, to understand and connect with he Ugh....This is a hard book to review. I didn't hate this book, but I also didn't love it. At some points while reading, I kept thinking....this is a very clever author, I see what your doing here....only to be surprised later that I was wrong....and while I love being surprised and wrong....and I love clever plots and interesting situations....My complete dislike of the majority of the characters killed this book for me. I kept hoping to get to know rose better, to understand and connect with her ....but it never happened....and then she did something I completely disliked and it just cemented it for me. I hate all of the characters.
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  • Diane Edbauer
    January 1, 1970
    I usually like a book if I can like the characters. None of the characters in this book were likable. Rose, the protagonist was so determined to become a journalist that she stopped at nothing. The towns people were all flawed and unlikable even the children. Little Secrets was ok but not my favorite.Little Secrets by Anna Snoekstra was sent to me from the Goodreads lottery, thank you. I understand that the copy that I received was an uncorrected proof with some typos, however, I could not toler I usually like a book if I can like the characters. None of the characters in this book were likable. Rose, the protagonist was so determined to become a journalist that she stopped at nothing. The towns people were all flawed and unlikable even the children. Little Secrets was ok but not my favorite.Little Secrets by Anna Snoekstra was sent to me from the Goodreads lottery, thank you. I understand that the copy that I received was an uncorrected proof with some typos, however, I could not tolerate the poor printing quality. My copy of Little Secrets had light gray print with blank spots. I had to guess words because much of the book was not legible.
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  • Burma Turner
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway.This book tells the story of Rose, a young woman who wants to be a journalist. She badly wants to get out of the small town Colmstock. This book was very slow in the beginning and hard to keep track of the characters. When I finally got everyone straight, the book really picked up. There were surprises and twists I did not see coming. I could not put it down until I had finished it. If you like mystery and suspense, I would recommend this book!
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  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    This novel kept my interest, but it was not one of my favorites. Rose was not a likeable person and the character development was shallow. The story moved slowly, but then things got tied up a little too quickly in the end. I'm appreciative to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to be an early reader in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • Kirsten
    January 1, 1970
    Note: I received a copy of this book from a goodreads giveaway. This review is 100% my own.I am conflicted about this book. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it, I think I mostly liked it. I'm not fully satisfied with the ending but I can't imagine the book ending any other way. The characters were pretty unlikable, but they were very realistic and for the most part, I understood their motives and feelings (except Frank - he's the worst).I thought this book was very well written. Yes, Snoekstra do Note: I received a copy of this book from a goodreads giveaway. This review is 100% my own.I am conflicted about this book. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it, I think I mostly liked it. I'm not fully satisfied with the ending but I can't imagine the book ending any other way. The characters were pretty unlikable, but they were very realistic and for the most part, I understood their motives and feelings (except Frank - he's the worst).I thought this book was very well written. Yes, Snoekstra does withhold a lot of things that get revealed throughout the book, but I think this was done very well. This kept me guessing. This book also felt really episodic, I could easily see it becoming a miniseries (hint, hint, HBO).This book is really more about Rose and the drama in her small town then it is the actual mystery - even if the mystery plays a huge part. I'll be honest at first this annoyed me but once I got into it, I couldn't stop reading it. I will say the title is fairly misleading. For a book titled Little Secrets there weren't nearly as many as I thought there would be.And now for spoilers... I really do wish that this book focused more on the mystery. Though the more I read the more into Rose's life I got. Sure, she wasn't perfect but she was relatable and I was rooting for her. I do wish we got more about her family. Why does her step-father hate her so much? Why did her mother never stand up for her? Also what was with this book and squashing animals?! For most of the book I was convinced that Will had nothing to do with the dolls. Then when Rose ends up writing the article saying he was I was thrown for a loop, I was thrown for another when it was explained that Will, in fact, wasn't the one leaving the dolls that Rose had just written that to wrap it up the story so she could go work for the newspaper. I wish we got to see more of Will's character (because I still feel like I know zilch about him). It would make everything that happened to him so much worse, it would make Rose's betrayal hurt more.I wish Frank got what was coming to him. He is the worst. He creeped me out from the beginning and as the book went on he got even worse. Even Rose's best friend Mia turned out to be horrible. Rose wasn't great either but she was relatable, I understood why she did the things she did even if I didn't always like them. I do wish we got more development for Rose as well. Other than ambitious I don't know that much about her.I don't know how I feel about the twist ending. I do think I would have been dissapointed had it ended any other way, if it was anyone else it would have been a cheap cop-out. All and all I liked this book and would definetly recommend it!
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  • Michelle Wortelboer
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this very suspenseful book. Kept your interest, kept me reading so I could find out what would happen next. Good job, two thumbs up.
  • Talking Books
    January 1, 1970
    Review to follow
  • Sandi Wallace
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars!
  • Chaya Nebel
    January 1, 1970
    Would have liked to review this, but I never received the copy I won.
  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    Surprisingly engaging characters and plot with some surprises.
  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    What the what, that ending was unexpected!
  • Diana Iozzia
    January 1, 1970
    "Little Secrets" by Anna SnoekstraReview written by Diana Iozzia"Little Secrets" was a curious read, it's hard to describe this book, but you cannot at all use the back of the book blurb to describe this book. You can, but the blurb could have been written by someone who read the first chapter of the book, and that's it. The story starts out with our main character, Rose, a twenty-one to twenty-four year old woman, who takes more care of her siblings than her mom and step-father. Naturally, like "Little Secrets" by Anna SnoekstraReview written by Diana Iozzia"Little Secrets" was a curious read, it's hard to describe this book, but you cannot at all use the back of the book blurb to describe this book. You can, but the blurb could have been written by someone who read the first chapter of the book, and that's it. The story starts out with our main character, Rose, a twenty-one to twenty-four year old woman, who takes more care of her siblings than her mom and step-father. Naturally, like all characters in fiction books, she hates her step-father, and he's a terrible drunk with no redeemable qualities. Upon the first few chapters, Rose reminds me of Fiona Gallagher from one of my favorite television shows, "Shameless".Rose is an ambitious journalist, who is not yet succeeding. She soon finds out that a mysterious person has been leaving dolls on porches that match the appearance of the little girls that live in the house. (I won't spoil the ending, but Jesus, it's a stupid twist). Rose realizes that with her friends who are the police and her mysterious new tenant at the pub she works in, that she can create interesting news articles, capitalizing on the strange town events.There are a few twists and turns, a pretty creepy torture sequence, awkward descriptions of sex, and very unlikable characters (including Rose 50 percent of the time). Mia, Will, and Bazza are very good, likable characters, however. This book is very ambitious with many different complicated characters, but there are at least 5 main sub-plots. When the book ends, there isn't enough closure.One of the things I need to point out is that often in fiction, children are not portrayed as accurately as a real child would be. This one is no exception. Rose's twin siblings could have been 6, 12, or 16. They're meant to be 8, I think? They act like shells of children. Her youngest sister is Laura, who speaks like a strange four year old, but is supposed to be 6. I teach children from the age 4 to 8, and none of the children in the story are similar to the correct age.In addition, the location of the story is very ambiguous. In the blurb, it's said to be in Australia, but the dialogue is consistent with a melting pot of English, American, and Aussie. I had picked this up, thinking it would be similar to "Little Children" by Tom Perrotta. I was mistaken. It's an okay book, but it's more about Rose's ambitions and sex life and interrupting the police investigation than anything else.*I received this book as a complementary ARC courtesy of the publisher.*
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  • Isobel
    January 1, 1970
    An incredibly gripping read from start to finish. I have read quite a lot of Anna Snoekstra's work (both her novel and short stories) and I think this is by far her most well developed novel yet. It was also great to see her narrative voice maturing, with specific care and attention being taken to address important issues such as police brutality and mental health, particularly in regional areas in Australian culture. Having grown up in a small regional community myself, I think this is one of t An incredibly gripping read from start to finish. I have read quite a lot of Anna Snoekstra's work (both her novel and short stories) and I think this is by far her most well developed novel yet. It was also great to see her narrative voice maturing, with specific care and attention being taken to address important issues such as police brutality and mental health, particularly in regional areas in Australian culture. Having grown up in a small regional community myself, I think this is one of the best portrayals of outback Australian culture I read. The main female protagonist in this story is so ballsy, which I loved! Rose navigates that delicate line between headstrong female independence, within the constrains of a heavily patriarchal society. The best thing was how Snoekstra doesn't allow Rose to be infallible. She makes mistakes, lots of them, but she's young and the story deals with the themes of a woman getting to know herself in the most extraordinary circumstances, you can't help but want her to succeed. Reminiscent of the old school crime writers such as Dennis LeHane but with incredibly fresh contemporary themes. I brave work from start to finish.
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  • Harlequin Books
    January 1, 1970
    Received 4 stars @ RT Book Reviews
  • R.
    January 1, 1970
    Very good.
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