Prather’s Pick: A psychological thriller
Bryn Harper has been experiencing recurring nightmares. She wonders if there’s a message in them—perhaps even a warning. In “ The Secrets You Keep,” this week’s suspense novel by Kate White.
Bryn has had four dreams in the past few weeks, and all of them have involved fire. She’s been caught in the flames, and there’s no way out.
Dr. Greene suggests that Bryn keep track of the dreams because they may be related to the car accident she was in three weeks ago. The doctor says that writing down the details of the dreams may help calm her and answer some questions, too.
The accident took place in March, southwest of Boston. Bryn had gone to Boston to deliver a speech about her most recent self-help book. While there Paul Dunham, paperback director for her publishing house, offered to give Bryn a lift back to the city. Bryn thought it would be easier than taking the train, but in the end it wasn’t easier at all.
Paul ran the car off the road, smashing into a guardrail. Bryn managed to get out of the car but fell down a ravine. She had a lot of broken bones, which have healed, but the worst part of the accident might be her memories of the flames and smoke — thus the nightmares.
Now Bryn and husband Guy are spending the summer at Saratoga where Bryn is trying to “get into the groove.” Bryn is experiencing writer’s block; she’s struggling to finish a book proposal.
Guy works for an opera company, and as the novel opens he and Bryn are hosting a dinner party for some of Guy’s clients. The dinner is being catered by Pure Kitchen Catering, owned by chef Eve Blazer. By the time Eve and two waiters arrive, Bryn has already set the table and placed arrangements of tulips on the table. Eve is not particularly friendly, and she redoes the table and removes the flowers.
The evening goes well, however, and Bryn and Guy decide to give the waiters a tip. But when Bryn goes to her office to get some $20 bills, she gets a shock instead.
Not only is the money missing, but there’s a box of kitchen matches in its place. The matches have been burned down to the tips, and there’s the scent of smoke. Someone is intentionally trying to mess with Bryn’s head—but who? It would have to be someone who knows about Bryn’s accident.
Bryn might let the incident go, but she doesn’t. The next day she goes to the catering service and confronts Eve. Did her waiters take the money? What about the matches? Eve suggests that Bryn ask Guy. What does that mean? Could one of the guests have done it? Then Bryn gets a call from a woman who asks if she can stop by the catering service because Eve has something for her. Bryn finds Eve on the floor with an axe protruding from her head.
The plot involves several secrets and another death. “The Secrets You Keep” is the most recent of Kate White’s psychological thrillers. The book I reviewed is in softcover. It sells for $15.99. You can also find the book with new books at the Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries.
This week’s picture book for children was written and illustrated by David Litchfield who lives in the United Kingdom. “The Bear, the Piano, the Dog, and the Fiddle” is a sequel to “The Bear and the Piano,” a best-selling picture book.