Monday, May 27, 2019

The Royal Secret - Review

The Royal Secret by Lucinda Riley
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: May 21, 2019
Source: Publisher for an honest review

In this suspenseful and heart-pounding novel from New York Times bestselling author Lucinda Riley, an ambitious young journalist unravels a dangerous mystery that threatens to devastate the British monarchy.

Keeping secrets is a dangerous game.

When Sir James Harrison, one the greatest actors of his generation, passes away at the age of ninety-five, he leaves behind not just a heartbroken family but also a secret so shocking, it could rock the English establishment to its core.

Joanna Haslam, an up-and-coming reporter, is assigned to cover the legendary actor’s funeral, attended by glitzy celebrities of every background. But Joanna stumbles on something dark beneath the glamour: the mention of a letter James Harrison has left behind—the contents of which many have been desperate to keep concealed for over seventy years. As she peels back the veil of lies that has shrouded the secret, she realizes that she’s close to uncovering something deadly serious—and the royal family may be implicated. Before long, someone is on her tracks, attempting to prevent her from discovering the truth. And they’ll stop at nothing to reach the letter before she does.

Full of salacious scandal, shocking twists, and captivating romance, and written in Lucinda Riley’s signature “vividly drawn and lushly atmospheric” (RT Book Reviews) prose, The Royal Secret is “a full-throttle escapist adventure” (Lancashire Evening Post).

My Take:

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from The Royal Secret, but the description of the novel definitely intrigued me. I liked the main character, Joana Haslam, a young reporter on her way up. Her life is a bit of a mess due to a break up, but she is smart, funny and tenacious.

I really liked the set up the big mystery – famous actor James Harrison dies and Joanna is tasked with covering the funeral and is sitting next to a little old lady who has a strange and seemingly serious physical reaction during the service. Joanna, being a generally nice person, helps her to a cab and makes sure she gets home. Then a letter which points to a big mystery/scandal arrives at her work from the little old woman – who then dies in a suspicious manner before Joanna can talk with her about it. And things just get more complicated and interesting from there.

Joanna follows up on the letter because she is a journalist and she just can’t let things go. The trail is long and winding and goes in some unexpected directions. I enjoyed the novel and had such a fun time finally finding out the big royal mystery. There are lots of interesting characters, lots of intrigue and some fun spy action. There are some tragedies and so many secrets. Everyone is not exactly who they seem at first and things get complicated.

Overall, I would say that The Royal Secret is a fast-paced and enjoyable read. There were a couple of plot points that I’m just kind of so-so on, but as a whole, I enjoyed the book and can recommend it. I think The Royal Secret makes a great summer read.

About the author:

Lucinda Riley was born in Ireland, and after an early career as an actress in film, theatre and television, wrote her first book aged twenty-four. Her books have been translated into over thirty five languages and sold fifteen million copies worldwide. She is a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller.

Lucinda is currently writing The Seven Sisters series, which tells the story of adopted sisters and is based allegorically on the mythology of the famous star constellation. The first five books, The Seven Sisters, The Storm Sister, The Shadow Sister, The Pearl Sister and The Moon Sister have all been No.1 bestsellers across the world, and the rights to a multi-season TV series have already been optioned by a Hollywood production company.


Twitter: @lucindariley

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