Being naked in Cat’s bed was a fantasy I was already entertaining, and I ran my hand along her white marble countertop, making a silent vow to christen that surface, also.
Cat Winthrope seemingly has it all — the perfect husband, William, the gorgeous home, the social standing among the who’s who of their California community.
Enter Neena, the life coach who can help put William’s company over the top. But Neena is harboring deep-seated jealousy of everything Cat has — and Neena is willing to do whatever it takes to set herself as the next Mrs. Winthrope.
Filled with dark, duplicitous characters, A.R. Torre’s Every Secret Thing will have you questioning your allegiances and changing “sides” in the ongoing struggle between Cat and Neena throughout the course of the book. Neena and her husband, Matt, buy the house next door to Wiliam and Cat, insinuating themselves in the lives of the Winthrope’s at every opportunity — both professionally and personally. But neither side knows the other is playing a long game, leading to a suspenseful, “I can’t believe she’s doing this” final third of the novel. Be warned that once you get past a certain point, odds are you won’t be able to stop turning the pages in order to see what happens or develops next.
Part of that hook is Torre’s telling the story from the alternating viewpoint of Neena and Cat. Seeing how each views the other and the mounting frustration and conflict between the two makes for a rich, rewarding payoff in the final pages. The final third of the novel is rich with melodrama – but it’s all earned by some Torre’s laying a solid foundation for it early in the story.
As I said earlier, don’t be shocked to find your allegiances changing — or that you’ll at least understand what motivates each side in the ever-escalating conflict. There is a final twist or two that had me raising an eyebrow a bit, but at that point, I’d just decided to go with the crazy and enjoy what was unfolding.