Seven Dirty Secrets

Sourcebooks/Fire. Nov. 2021. 336p. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9781728215785.
Gr 7-10–Cleo has an extra eventful birthday. Her parents are away for work, and Cleo is in the shower when an unseen intruder drops off a ring box in her bathroom. The box contains the beginning of a series of clues requiring her to retrace the landmarks in her relationship with Declan, the boyfriend she believes is dead. Cleo is a crime-solving fiend and forensics is her hobby, so this is either the best birthday present ever or a really sick joke. More and more of their friends are pulled into the “game” as it is revealed that they all played a part in Declan’s disappearance. Along the way, readers get deeper glances into what was a terribly abusive relationship that ended in a drowning that starts to look not like an accident but instead like self-defense. Cleo is white, and her half brother Connor has a Black father. Connor wants to protect her, but given his past experiences with the police, he is reluctant to contact the authorities. Readers will need to suspend significant disbelief, but those who do will be rewarded with a fast-paced whodunit that they won’t see coming.
VERDICT A serious thriller for readers itching for a good mystery, and also a cautionary tale about abusive relationships and how they can escalate into violence.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing