One Little Secret

Two days. Three married couples. Six agendas. One murder.


In Cate Holahan’s electric Hamptons thriller, ONE LITTLE SECRET (Crooked Lane Books; July 9, 2019), love, passion, abuse, and betrayal snake through the lives of three seemingly flawless couples. Their $3,000 per night waterfront rental in this exclusive enclave is just what they need to get to know each other better. But no one realizes how interconnected their lives have already become.


None of the couples are what they seem; each person harbors dangerous secrets beneath their wine-glass smiles. Each has a reason to hate another—and there is one secret someone will kill for.


Susan and Nadal Ahmadi have just moved to the Westchester County suburbs. Nadal’s new tech start-up promises to revolutionize the medical field and make him a multimillionaire. Susan knows she’s a wallflower in the social hierarchy of New York moms but thinks a week of relaxation and Sauvignon blanc on the Amagansett dunes is just what she and her neighbors need to become friends.


Gorgeous Jenny Murray is the prom-queen of the social ladder. An orthopedic surgeon turned famous CBS sports commentator, she’s also the Mary Poppins of the neighborhood moms. Although she and Louis, her prominent ER surgeon husband, are a perfect couple, it’s soon apparent there is an undercurrent of discontent.


Rachel Klein is a high-powered personal injury lawyer, married to former NFL player Ben Hansen, the neighborhood “Magic Mike.” He’s a doting husband and the best-looking stay-at-home dad anyone has ever seen. Who wouldn’t be happy in a marriage like theirs?


As the sun sets over the restless Atlantic, the Wölffer Estate rosé flows and tongues loosen. It’s soon clear their lives are more fiction than fact. As the night progresses, accusations hurl like spears, and blame casts dark shadows over the summer evening and the jetty’s black boulders.


The next morning, one wife is dead.


Detective Sergeant Gabby Watkins, the only female detective in her department, must separate truth from lies to investigate the murder, a rare occurrence in the Hamptons. Untangling the snarl of knots tying the couples’ lives together throws Detective Watkins into their vortex of betrayal, jealousy and rage.  Each of the five has a reason to hate the dead woman and each had an opportunity to kill her. But which among these East coast elite had the strongest provocation to commit murder?

My Review

I did like this book. Yet, I will say that the latter half of this book was much better reading for me. The first half I did read fast but more like in a daze. The latter half of the story is where all of the secrets and intensity came out. 

The overall vibe of this book was good. It just would have been a better reading experience for me if I had found something redeeming about the couples. For example, while it was sad about the murder, I can't truly say that I shed any tears. 

The second half of the story kept my interest much better. Yet, there were so many secrets that at first it was hard to keep them all straight. When it came to the ending; it was a nice one. I do look forward to checking out the next book from this author.


Cate Holahan is the USA Today bestselling author of The Widower's Wife (August 2016), Lies She Told (Sept. 2017), and Dark Turns (November 2015), all published by Crooked Lane Books. An award-winning journalist and former television producer, her articles have appeared in BusinessWeek, The Boston Globe, The Record and on web sites for CBS, MSN Money,,, and CNBC.


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