Secret Smile by Nicci French || Book Review

I bought this book a while back after getting a recommendation from someone about the author, Nicci French.

This book was on the sale pile at the second-hand book store so I didn’t think I’d be losing much judging by the price and the outcome of the book should I not enjoy it. Thank goodness I didn’t spend more on it…

I actually had the series, Frieda Klein, on my TBR list for whenever time I got around to it, but after reading this book I’m not all too enthusiastic to read more from the author. My usual rule is three books to decide on liking an author’s work or not, but sometimes your eyes are opened by the first book you read.

I really need people to start understanding what the word ‘thriller‘ means and when it’s actually applicable to a book. This was no where close to a thriller but at most falls in the crime/mystery genre. Adding it to the suspense genre is also a bit of a stretch.

DISCLAIMER: This review could contain possible spoilers based on my opinions. All opinions and views are my own.

Book review: Secret Smile by Nicci French #bookreview #niccifrench #crimebooks #mysterybooks #booktwt #bookaddict #booktwitter

Originally published: 2003

Pages: 432
Format: Paperback

Plot from GoodReads:

Miranda Cotton thinks she’s put boyfriend Brendan out of her life for good. But two weeks later, he’s intimately involved with her sister. Soon what began as an embarrassment becomes threatening – then even more terrifying than a girl’s worst nightmare.


The book has an extremely slow pace and most of the time the story isn’t going anywhere.

There was no real plot development nor any character development, where the only spark occurs during the rushed ending.

There are so many redundant pages of information which left the book being dragged out and served no purpose in enriching the story.

I couldn’t believe that there were so many ‘blind’ people in one book who can’t see what on earth is going on. Gullible is a big understatement. If just one, ONE, character apart from the main one, Miranda, had half a brain to think with, things could’ve gone a lot better for the book as a whole. It was extremely frustration to work through the amount of characters in this book, which isn’t a small number, and see their pathetic responses to very visibly wrong things.

Then Miranda, whom the story evolves around is one helpless women. No matter what happens and no matter how many signs, even when thrown directly in her face, she chooses to just remain quiet. Even in the moments where she tried to speak out, she just gave up to easily for the sake of others, and just kept leaving herself in danger. I can’t tell you how many times I swore at her, and basically everyone else in the book, to just wake the hell up and actually do something!

Brendan is a creep, through and through. Although maybe not enough… The book would’ve been better if his character was made out to be just a little more wacko than the author let him be. His behaviour was insanely inappropriate and it was right up in your face clear what was going on, but no one else seemed to notice. Not very believable.

The only twist in the book was right at the end and even then it didn’t seem realistically accurate to be believable.

This book could’ve had potential if a little more effort was put into developing the characters, not making everyone so dumb to everything and just creating a few believable scenarios. The plot would’ve been good if just a little more went into covering up some holes and focusing on creating proper suspense and build up.

My Rating:

The book has a rating of 3.69 on GoodReads. I gave it a 2.

Secret Smile by Nicci French #bookreview #niccifrench #crimebooks #mysterybooks #bookaddict #booktwitter

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