Two Can Keep A Secret – Karen McManus

Twins, Ellery and Ezra, move to their mothers home town to live with their grandmother Nora after their own mother was involved in an accident. They return to the town of Echo Ridge just before a series of mysterious events start to occur. We mainly follow Ellery, the true-crime buff, and Malcolm, the brother to a local outcast, as they try to solve not only a crime happening under their noses but one from five years ago.

I love stories where the main characters move back to a hometown or move from a big city to a tiny “everyone-knows-everyone” town. It’s a mixture of them having to figure out how the town works and slotting themselves easily into the action. McManus transfers Ellery and Ezra into the town’s history by using their mother’s connection to the town; an old homecoming queen at the local high-school. She doesn’t rely on it though as a way of not having to actually develop their relationships with townies as our twins seem to naturally evolve into their own personalities that meld with other key characters without their backstory being a key point.

Mystery stories always reel me in with their set list of characters to pick a killer from, but this story had some many different pieces to put together that I was so entranced by the whole thing. There wasn’t too much information to handle but every character had a good amount of detail to them. I honestly had no idea who the killer was going to be until it was revealed, I had my suspicions about everyone, even Ezra who was portrayed as the nicest character in the story. Looking back I should have seen *SPOILER* Peter as being the bad guy, he was too nice. I’ve just read ‘A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder’ where nearly the exact same situation happened, but in this case we meet Peter and we are so focused on Malcolm’s distrust of him from him being his stepfather we were too distracted to suspect him.

I was worried that this story wouldn’t live up to my expectations because McManus’s previous book really hit it out of the park. After this she will now be an automatic buy whenever she publishes and I’m so excited for the sequel to ‘One of Us Is Lying’ to come out so I can binge read it. ‘Two Can Keep A Secret’ was I dare say even better than her first book, I loved the story, the characters, the reveal of the killer and even the brief look at the characters lives after the ‘ending’ of the main story was so nice to read through. My favourite part of this entire book though was the final line. I got literal chills reading it and I was so shocked that was how it ended, everything could have been different and the final words gave the exact impression that were intended, I was creeped out to the max!

This was a strong 5/5, I couldn’t find any faults in it that couldn’t be easily overlooked by the strong writing. McManus has again blown me away with her writing skills and ability to pull me into the little worlds she creates.

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