Published: 28th July 2017 (HQ)
A deserted train station: A man waits. A woman watches.
Chris is ready to join his wife. He’s planned this moment for nearly a year. The date. The time. The train. But he hadn’t factored in Sarah.
So when Sarah walks on to the platform and sees a man swaying at the edge she assumes he’s just had too much to drink. What she doesn’t expect is to stop a suicide.
As Sarah becomes obsessed with discovering the secrets that Chris is clearly hiding, he becomes obsessed with stopping her, protecting her.
But there are some secrets that are meant to stay buried…
Perfect for fans of Clare Mackintosh, BA Paris and Holly Seddon.
I am absolutely thrilled that I had the opportunity to read an advance copy of Our Little Secret as it looked and sounded fantastic. Then, just before I started to read it, I found out that it’s setting was in and around my home city, Peterborough, which intrigued me more.
The book opens on the outskirts of Peterborough, in a fenland town with a remote train station (well it’s remote at that time of night!). Chris Hayes is preparing to kill himself, to throw himself in front of the freight train that he knows passes through at the same time each evening. Meticilous planning has gone into this night, he has chosen March train station because, from his practice runs, he knows that it will be deserted due to the time between the passenger trains……however the real thing doesn’t go according to plan as there is someone present, Sarah.
Sarah is engrossed in her own problems when she sees Chris on the platform, at first she just thinks that he has had one too many drinks and waiting for the same train as she is. But then she begins to notice little things that just don’t add up – Sarah wasn’t expecting to have prevented a suicide that evening…..but then she cannot stop thinking about this mystery man and his despair.
Told from both Chris and Sarah’s perspectives, Our Little Secret is very atmospheric and right from the start the tension builds, it feels as though that the reader is bystander who can do nothing to stop the course of the events unfolding. O’Sullivan’s writing is great, it pulls the reader in, with good use of the dual narrative as well as the descriptions of the world around Chris and Sarah.
I’m a massive fan of psychological thrillers and I’ll be honest, I had this one worked out just before the midway point but this didn’t impact my enjoyment of the book. I wanted to keep going to discover if I was right, and also I ended up questioning whether I was correct so it certainly kept me gripped. Our Little Secret is an emotional read as well as a tense one as it deals with depression, despair and suicidal themes – all of which were sensitively handled by the author.
I really enjoyed O’Sullivan’s debut and he is definitely one to keep a watch on, I look forward to what his second book brings.
Darren O’Sullivan was born in Slough in 1982 but moved to Peterborough when he was 17 to train in performing arts. He has been working creatively ever since, first as an actor for the stage, then director. 5 years ago he felt inspired to write theatre and from that came the idea to develop a novel.
Following being accepted in the Faber and Faber novel writing programme in 2015 he fine tuned his hand and during that 6 month training programme ‘Our Little Secret’ was born.
Darren signed for HQ with his psychological thriller ‘Our Little Secret’ and it is due to be released on July 28th this year.
He is currently working on his second thriller.