THE SECRETS WE KEEP
BY JONATHAN HARVEY
Jonathan Harvey is a comedy writer who to date has written more than one hundred episodes of Coronation Street. Kathy Burke recently recommended “The Secrets We Keep” on Twitter. I love Corrie and I love Kathy Burke and that is how I ended up with Harvey’s fourth novel in my hands.
This is the story of Danny Bioletti, his wife Natalie and their children Owen and Cally. Five years ago Danny went out for a pint of milk and never came back. His devastated family were left to pick up the pieces living in the glare of the media on a posh new estate with over-friendly, nosey neighbours. After his disappearance Danny’s car was found at Beachy Head and so is presumed by all to have taken his life. But when the family find a left luggage ticket in the pocket of one of his old coats, Natalie starts to wonder if he is actually still alive and if he is, where could he be? She begins her own whirlwind of investigations and needless to say, she doesn’t like all that she finds.
The plot is superb, expertly interweaving the central characters with each other’s backstories, one discovered secret leading to another. There’s booming nightclubs, child abuse, teenage modelling, gay relationships, alcoholism, rags to riches and back again. Their stories come to life through Harvey taking on the distinctive voices of each of the four characters for their own chapters full of hoarded secrets, making this a really good read full of unexpected twists and turns. Natalie was my favourite, funny throughout despite her circumstances. In fact that is what I really liked about this book – how he writes about these devastating and traumatic events in the context of normal life happening and people getting on with it as is the way.
A really good read, funny and touching with a very, very good ending.
Notes on the author – Jonathan Harvey:
- Born in Liverpool in 1968
- Writer of Coronation Street, Gimme Gimme Gimme and Beautiful Thing
- His previous novels are: All She Wants, The Confusion of Karen Carpenter and The Girl Who Just Appeared