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The Secretary Reviews

The Secretary by Renee Knight

The Secretary

Renee Knight

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Doubleday
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Publication date: 15 Feb 2019
ISBN: 9780857522849

'A cool, contemporary, whip-smart thriller.' - Paula Hawkins, author of THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN and INTO THE WATERLook around you. And when someone like Christine Butcher is pushed to her limit, she might just become the most dangerous person in the room .

4 stars out of 5
17 Feb 2019

" a scintillating double psychological portrait... reminiscent of Ruth Rendell at her flintiest."

...the story of Christine, PA to Mina, a supermarket chain CEO whose likeable public image belies possibly sociopathic ruthlessness. Writing in retrospect after some form of downfall for both women, Christine traces the course of their relationship — she obsessively, militantly protective of her employer’s secrets, Mina increasingly under strain after she sues a journalist for libelling her in an exposé. The bulk of the book is hence a scintillating double psychological portrait, but, with the fate of its protagonists broadly known from the outset, it gambles on eschewing surprise. Only in its denouement does it become a suspense thriller, as Knight conjures an arresting ending reminiscent of Ruth Rendell at her flintiest.

Reviews

2 stars out of 5
7 Feb 2019

"side from a creaky plot and the fact that supermarkets are not exactly sexy, the very word “secretary”... seems just a tad out of touch"

The problem is we don’t really care. Not only does Christine come over as two-dimensionally unlikeable, she also undergoes a remarkable personality change over the course of the novel, from naive accolyte to vengeful, knife-wielding bitch. 

And aside from a creaky plot and the fact that supermarkets are not exactly sexy, the very word “secretary” — SECRETary on the book jacket, ouch — seems just a tad out of touch. Aren’t people executive assistants nowadays?