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The Secret Keeper

Kate Morton    
Availability: Out of print
Format: Hard Cover
Pages: 592
AUD $35.00inc. GST
The Secret Keeper


In a bucolic English summer at the end of the 1960s, a young girl witnesses a shocking crime. Fifty years later, she sets out to find out the truth, uncovering layers of mystery and deception. Moving from London during the Blitz to the present day, this is classic Kate Morton: a compulsively-readable, entrancing mystery with a long held secret to be uncovered at its heart.


1961: On a sweltering summer's day, while her family picnics by the stream on their Suffolk farm, sixteen-year-old Laurel hides out in her childhood tree house dreaming of a boy called Billy, a move to London, and the bright future she can't wait to seize. But before the idyllic afternoon is over, Laurel will have witnessed a shocking crime that changes everything.

2011: Now a much-loved actress, Laurel finds herself overwhelmed by shades of the past. Haunted by memories, and the mystery of what she saw that day, she returns to her family home and begins to piece together a secret history. A tale of three strangers from vastly different worlds - Dorothy, Vivien and Jimmy - who are brought together by chance in wartime London and whose lives become fiercely and fatefully entwined.

Shifting between the 1930s, the 1960s and the present, The Secret Keeper is a spellbinding story of mysteries and secrets, theatre and thievery, murder and enduring love.


Winner, The Courier-Mail People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year, 2013
Winner, APA Book Design Awards, Best Designed Fiction Book, 2013
Winner, Australian Book Industry Awards, General Fiction Book of the Year, 2013
Winner, Australian Book Industry Awards, Publisher Promotional Campaign of the Year, 2013
Winner, Fellowship of Australian Writers National Literary Awards, Christina Stead Award, 2012
Short-listed, 2013 Book Design Awards, Best Designed Fiction Book, 2013
Short-listed, ABA Nielsen BookData Booksellers Choice Award, 2013

Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland and lives now with her husband and young sons in Brisbane. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature, specializing in nineteenth-century tragedy and contemporary gothic novels.

With just three novels published, Kate Morton has sold over 7 million copies in 26 languages, across 38 countries. The Shifting Fog, published internationally as The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden and The Distant Hours have all been number one bestsellers around the world. Each novel won the Australian Book Industry award for General Fiction Book of the Year.

You can find more information about Kate Morton and her books at or

ISBN: 9781742374376
Australian Pub.: November 2012
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Subject: Fiction
Edition Number:

Reader reviews

'With a family mystery to solve, a dynamic balance between love and tragedy, and a story which extends across several time periods, The Secret Keeper follows a similar structure to Kate Morton's previous works. But that's certainly not a complaint; Morton has made this style of story-telling distinctively her own. Reading this latest book then feels like catching up with an old friend, with the conversation exhibiting a warmly familiar flow and cadence.

'In The Secret Keeper, Morton once again explores the way in which seemingly insignificant moments and minor decisions can sometimes alter the entire course of our personal histories. At the centre of the story is an eternal question pondered by many of us as we get older, 'How well do we really know our parents?' Perhaps after reading this, we'll all be inclined to do some digging into our own family's history ... who knows what we might uncover. One thing is for sure, we'd probably discover that their pasts are not as simple as they may at first seem.' - T. Sargent, QLD

'I think one of the things I love about Kate Morton is that she tells such a good story, one that gets you in and hooked, wanting to know more, more. This book is a deceptively simple story about secrets - massive secrets, actually - and when the twist came and the final secrets were revealed everything dropped into place. I read an early review where Kate said she "hid everything in plain view"... and I was trying to figure out what the ending would be... and failed. I came close, but ultimately her story was much better than my imagination, LOL.
'Reading her is like peeling an onion - the story comes out layer by layer, sometimes involving tears, sometimes involving surprises, sometimes involved nasty things, sometimes involving joy. But until that final layer was peeled back to reveal the secret of the title, there were still many surprises to be had while reading. I love that fabulous and slow revelation of secrets in a book: what gripping story-telling!
'Kate Morton has a wonderful grasp of human nature, foibles, imperfections, delights and all. It makes her characters vibrant and alive, very flesh-and-blood to me, the reader. Her descriptions of London during the WWII blitz were also - well, I can't say fabulous, because of the unmitigated horror of it all - but so real I felt like I was there. It was an all senses thing: smelling, hearing the bombs, feeling the blasts shake the houses, seeing the eerie lights, and so on. I didn't live through those times, but the story was heart-breakingly real and moving because of Kate's sheer talent, talent, talent.

'So a thousand thanks again for giving me an early copy of the book to read! I appreciated it tremendously. And now that story will stay with me... resoundingly so, I would imagine.' - M. Yock, NSW

'When Laurel Nicolson was sixteen years old, she witnessed her mother Dorothy commit a shocking crime. Now some fifty years later Dorothy is dying, and Laurel is determined to uncover the truth about what really happened on that fateful day. ... To say any more would be to ruin the suspense. Suffice to say that Kate Morton is a master of tension-building, unfolding the story layer by layer until the final dramatic conclusion. Her books twist and turn like a labyrinth, making them utterly compelling and totally addictive.

Alternating between the 1930s, the 1960s and the present, The Secret Keeper is a book about life-long secrets, memory, family and second chances. Anyone who loved Ian McEwen’s Atonement or Morton’s first book The Shifting Fog will love this book.' - E. Tingay, NSW

'Highly recommended: a most satisfying read.' - J. Davies, NSW

'A beautifully written, luscious read - so beautifully descriptive one can see the story unfolding in technicolour before one's eyes....a mysterious story with twists and turns that left me guessing until the surprising and satisfying reveal.

'This novel will easily and stunningly transfer to the big screen one day I hope.' - C. Seeley, WA

'Another great family saga story by Kate Morton. Laurel now a well known actress returns to her family home, Greenacres Farm, to be with her family as her mother Dorothy is dying. Laurel struggles with the memories of a terrible crime she witnessed as a teenager and attempts to piece together her family's history - going back to England pre WWII when Dorothy is in love with Jimmy to the current day - to find peace for her and her mother.

'The Secret Keeper is hard to put down as you quickly become drawn into the hunt for the truth about the crime and the hidden family secrets. The characters are real, warm and easy to relate to. The writing style is true Kate Morton -- the richness of the plots, the entwining of the past and the present really pull you into the life of Laurel and her hunt for the truth. I was truly gripped as each new thread to the secret was revealed. Highly recommended read!' - K. Gladwish, ACT

'I thoroughly enjoyed The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. It was, and I say this completely without exaggeration, intense, emotional and incredible. It is a very long book, and thus took me ages to read, but I found it interesting throughout. It was rather slow paced and took me a while to get into, but looking back much of that was necessary build up to the end of the novel, which really sold it for me. The final quarter or so of The Secret Keeper snuck up on me, in a good way, and I flew through it. It kept me up at night trying to finish it, and later with thoughts of what would happen next.' - J. Sutton, NSW

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