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Two Can Keep a Secret

Review

Two Can Keep a Secret

From Karen M. McManus, the author who stunned readers with an intriguing story of a high school struck with the tragic death of a student in ONE OF US IS LYING comes a new young adult thriller that is sure to evoke the same reaction among readers.

Ellery and Ezra are used to flying under the radar. Growing up with just their troubled mom, Sadie, unsure of her mysterious past and unconnected to any other family, the pair of twins have learned to rely heavily on each other and themselves. When Sadie is put into rehab after a nasty car accident, Ezra and Ellery are sent to live with their grandmother in the town where Sadie grew up and also the town where not one, but two girls were mysteriously murdered --- Echo Ridge. Connected to the town in a deeply haunting way, the twins are greeted with more attention than they bargained for. However, obsessed with murder mysteries, especially the one surrounding her aunt --- Sadie’s twin sister’s --- death, Ellery is certainly going to use her time in Echo Ridge to try to solve the cold case and learn more about her family in the process.

"This novel manages to present the details of the mystery in a personal and effective way, tugging readers to the heart of the story and begging them to try to solve the mystery first."

But the one thing Ellery doesn’t count on is the cold case becoming hot again. Merely minutes after their arrival in Echo Ridge, mysterious things begin happening. First, one of Echo Ridge High’s most beloved teachers is discovered dead after being hit by a car. Then, intimidating notes are scrawled across town, targeting homecoming queens and threatening to end another life of an Echo Ridge teenager. Finally, another girl goes missing, and the circumstances surrounding her disappearance are mysterious and cause the whole town to turn fearful again.

TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET explores a town with a gruesome past in the light of a new crime spree and pulls readers into the mystery. Told from the dual perspectives of crime buff Ellery and a fellow Echo Ridge High student Malcolm, this novel manages to present the details of the mystery in a personal and effective way, tugging readers to the heart of the story and begging them to try to solve the mystery first.

McManus once again creates a story that is moved forward simultaneously by its plot and characters. At many points of the novel I was terrified for what would happen next and how the characters would respond to it. One aspect of the plot that left me disappointed however, was how much interference the characters had in it. While Ellery’s craving for crime-solving makes her an intriguing character, her need to point fingers at suspects and get involved with the investigation often resulted in the plot getting dragged down countless irrelevant rabbit trails. However, it did create a nice surprise ending that will leave readers stunned and craving more from Karen M. McManus.

Readers who enjoyed ONE OF US IS LYING, WE WERE LIARS, NEVERWORLD WAKE, or THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE are sure to be sucked into the town of Echo Ridge and the mysteries that are a part of it.

Reviewed by Ellie Tiemens on January 16, 2019

Two Can Keep a Secret
by Karen M. McManus