Dirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain #review @spainjoanne @QuercusBooks

When the decomposing body of Olive Collins is found in her home in the very small community of Withered Vale, all the neighbours are shocked. It is more than three months since she was last seen by any of her neighbours but no-one seems to have thought to check on her. As DI Frank Brazil and his colleague Emma Child begin to investigate this possible murder, they soon get the feeling that someone in the street is responsible but with everyone seeming to have something to hide, they have their work cut out for them.

In such a small gated community with only seven houses, everyone should know everyone and know everything about each other. Yet the residents seem to have maintained a polite distance between each other. And oh my goodness the secrets that were hidden behind those doors! What was it that everybody had to hide? Every resident seemed to have something going on that they were keeping from the others. And why did every single person seem to be glad, relieved even the Olive had died? Just what on earth was going on in that small street?  My head was filled with all these questions as I eagerly read on.

The story is told through the voices of each of the residents in short chapters, including the thoughts of the deceased Olive. I felt I got to know the residents quite well as Jo Spain cleverly drip fed details about each one a little at a time. Mostly they seemed an unpleasant bunch, though I did soften to some of them when I learned more about them. 

This is by necessity a rather vague review as I don’t want to give any of the “dirty little secrets” away. But I think it says a lot that I couldn’t put this book down. I devoured it in two long sittings including one late night bedtime reading session. I thought it was brilliant, compulsive and enthralling and could be Jo Spain’s best book yet!


My thanks to the publishers for my review copy of the book. Dirty Little Secrets will be published in hardback and an e-book on 7th February with the paperback to follow in September. It will be available from your usual book retailer or you can order a Kindle copy here: Dirty Little Secrets

From the back of the book

Six neighbours, six secrets, six reasons to want Olive Collins dead.

In the exclusive gated community of Withered Vale, people’s lives appear as perfect as their beautifully manicured lawns. Money, success, privilege – the residents have it all. Life is good.

There’s just one problem.

Olive Collins’ dead body has been rotting inside number four for the last three months. Her neighbours say they’re shocked at the discovery but nobody thought to check on her when she vanished from sight.

The police start to ask questions and the seemingly flawless facade begins to crack. Because, when it comes to Olive’s neighbours, it seems each of them has something to hide, something to lose and everything to gain from her death.

About the author

Jo Spain

Jo Spain’s first novel, top ten bestseller With our Blessing, was one of seven finalists in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition. It was named as an Irish Times crime fiction book of the year by Declan Burke. Beneath the Surface (2016) and Sleeping Beauties (2017), the second and third in the DI Tom Reynolds series followed, to further critical acclaim. Her standalone thriller, The Confession, released in January 2018, became a number one bestseller and sold in multiple territories. Jo is releasing the fourth Tom Reynolds, The Darkest Place, in 2018 and a new standalone Dirty Little Secrets in 2019. 

Jo also writes for TV and is the co-writer of new series Taken Down.


5 thoughts on “Dirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain #review @spainjoanne @QuercusBooks

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