The Secretary

The Secretary

A Novel

Book - 2019
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From her first day as Personal Assistant to the celebrated Mina Appleton, Christine Butcher understands what is expected of her. Absolute loyalty. Absolute discretion. For twenty years, Christine has been a most devoted servant, a silent witness to everything in Mina's life. So quiet, you would hardly know she is there. Day after day, year after year, Christine has been there, invisible--watching, listening, absorbing all the secrets floating around her. Keeping them safe. Christine is trusted. But those years of loyalty and discretion come with a high price. And eventually Christine will pay. But it would be a mistake to underestimate such a steadfast woman as Christine. Because as everyone is about to discover, there's a dangerous line between obedience and obsession.-- Amazon
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2019]
Edition: First U.S. edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780062362353
Branch Call Number: FIC KNI
Characteristics: 292 pages ; 24 cm


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Dec 08, 2019

The premise of this book was good but pretty soon it went off track. I found Christine's slavish devotion to her employer a bit hard to believe, as were some of the technological liberties taken later on (a former employee can still access the employers emails and bank accounts months later??). The ending was a disappointment - the way Christine would ultimately get back at her employer was more than a bit weird. The Court scenes were quite well written but overall the characters were not well drawn in my opinion; and plot quality sacrificed for 'tension' and 'dark atmosphere'. 2.5 out of 5.

Jun 15, 2019

'We are dependent on each other--secretary and employer--each meeting the other's needs. A secretary needs to be needed." (page 125)

May 14, 2019

2019; Harper/Harper Collins

After reading a few disappointing suspense novels in a row, I almost passed on this one to take a break to cleanse my palate. When my audiobook hold came in, the hold list seemed long so I went ahead and decided to try it. The Secretary drew me right in and I didn't realize how much I was really into the story until I finished. "What? It's done?" While I wasn't completely thrilled with the ending, I still liked this novel a lot.

It's a slow burn psychological suspense, that is rightly compared to Rebecca. This a modern take on the relationship between Mrs. Danvers and Rebecca (mistress of an estate and her faithful housekeeper), set in a business world. A secretary/housekeeper/assistance stays in the background, she is barely noticed unless things go wrong. They are the ones that know how it all works and keeps it working...and they know, and mostly keep, the secrets that threaten their employer. This is the person you never want to piss off, but are often overlooked, taken for granted and thought to be replaceable.

As this story moves slowly, told through "the secretary," Christine's point of view, you do see some things coming before they take place and are predictable. But being so invested in Christine, her effort and wanting to see how it unfolds you will feel the enthrall of the story. This book pulled me away from other things just to see what is happening next. I might be in the minority with this one but I really liked it.

***I received an eARC from EDELWEISS***

My Novelesque Blog

Mar 29, 2019

Slow and drawn out story with no real payoff in the end. The character's decision at the end of the story was quite puzzling and difficult to rationalize,


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