By: Michele Campbell
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 7/31/2018
My Rating: 5 Stars +
Top Books of 2018 From the author of It’s Always the Husband comes a riveting new suspense novel about privilege, power, and what happens when we let ambition take control. When twin sisters Rose and Bel Enright enroll in The Odell School, a prestigious New Hampshire boarding school, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. But the sisters could not be more different. The school brings out a rivalry between them that few ever knew existed. And the school itself has a dark underbelly: of privileged kids running unchecked and uninhibited; of rituals and traditions that are more sinister than they seem; of wealth and entitlement that can only lead to disaster.
For Sarah Donovan, wife of an ambitious teacher who is determined to rise through the ranks, Odell also seems like the best thing that could happen to their small family. But how well does she really know her husband? What lengths will he go to to achieve his goals? And when one dark night ends in murder, who is guilty, who knows the truth, and who has been in on it all along? SHE WAS THE QUIET ONE. Because murderers are almost never who you expect.
In a novel full of twists, turns, and dark secrets, Michele Campbell once again proves her skill at crafting intricately spun and completely compelling plots.
Bestselling author, Michele Campbell returns following (2017) It's Always the Husband with her latest "unputdownable" edgy suspense thriller SHE WAS THE QUIET ONE—Cleverly crafted, twisty and dark, this cat-and-mouse tale will grab you and never let go until its grisly, gratifying, and jaw-dropping conclusion. Dirty little secrets.
“The only quiet woman is a dead one.” —Sylvia Plath
Twin sisters Rose and Bel find themselves pitted against one another as the school brings out a dangerous rivalry between them, and the wife of one of the school's teachers begins to question the man she's married to. What is going on at this prestigious school behind closed doors?
From sibling rivalry, social media, schoolgirl crushes, privilege, power, ambition, hazing, deception, stalking, infidelity, dark secrets, to murder — this scandalous thriller set in this prestigious New Hampshire boarding school, has it all! Never a lull in the suspense and the author cleverly keeps the reader guessing until the explosive nail-biting conclusion.
Two twin sisters. Bel and Rose Enright. Bel hated Odell Academy. However, she had promised Rose to give it a real try, so she kept silent and pretended. Two different personalities.
Their mom had died in May from cancer. Bel and her mom were close. She was an artist and the bohemian lifestyle. They were all alone in the world until they found their paternal grandmother —(blue blood) Martha Brooks Enright. They had not seen her since their dad at age five.
The orphaned twins moved from California to their grandmother’s home in Connecticut. Soon she shipped them off to boarding school. After all, it was something rich people did. They would reside at the pretentious prep school in the fall and come home only for the holidays. They did not have a choice.
Rose was delighted to be able to attend one of the top schools in the country. Odell Academy in New Hampshire with its beautiful brick and iron gates and lush green campus. Both were coming in as sophomores, and soon the two sisters went their separate ways. Not only were they not roommates, but they were also no longer friends. Bel and Rose moved in different crowds.
Rose was the good girl. She got perfect grades, played the violin, and did her charity work. Bel thought Rose’s friends were dweebs like her. She was sure Rose would fit in.
However, Bel is lured in by some older popular girls. She liked to party and wear fun clothes. She was not interested in studying like her sister. These girls are bad news. Darcy, a senior, was trouble as well as the girls she hung out with. Soon they did not even associate with one another. Rose was concerned about Bel hanging out with the wrong crowd. Bel was a follower, not a leader.
Rose must find out what is going on. Bel is secretive. Until she plays dirty tricks on her roommate and her. Betrayal.
Enter more trouble . . .
The new headmaster Heath Donovan (hot, good-looking, teaches English) and coach of the cross-country team. His wife, Sarah (math teacher) and their two small children— Henry and Sophia all live on campus. They are coheads at Moreland. There is a lot of stress and pressure for the two of them to keep down the crime at the school. The bad girls, of course, think Sarah is mousy and soon make a bet to see which girl could seduce her husband first.
To make things even more intriguing, Heath has a secret past. Sarah is trying to trust him, and this move was to create a new start. Sarah comes from a wealthy family, and her husband’s past misdeeds were covered up.
Heath (narcissistic) is ambitious and wants to make a name for himself. He is a good father and supposedly a loving husband, or so his wife thinks. He tells his wife to ignore the girls; they do not want to draw attention to trouble.
Rose soon gets comfortable with her math teacher, Sarah. She is her advisor and spends time with her and the boys babysitting.
Whereas, you guessed it —Bel, the wild manipulative one has a crush on Heath, the husband. He is her advisor, english teacher, and cross-country coach. Any time she can cozy up to him, she finds a way. Bel wants to please Marcy Madden. These girls are power at the school. Darcy controls Bel and the hazing.
Then everything goes wrong.
Someone is texting Sarah about her husband. There is a photo. He is good-looking, athletic, ambitious, and charming (and a good liar). They both went to this same school, and Sarah knows all too well not to trust these girls. Especially Darcy’s crowd. However, she has to protect her family, their job, and their reputation. She had kept Heath’s secrets, and he trusted her.
Things get heated. More people are involved. There is a murder that rocks the campus. A full-blown investigation. Someone is driving these texts and emails.
Now one twin is murdered, and the other is holding a knife.
However, is there something more sinister at play? Could sisters turn on one another, or is this a setup? Who would kill to keep their dirty secret hidden? Will the grandmother and her lawyer believe her?
The impending peril creates a ticking clock. The ongoing lurking darkness in the woods. The secret meetings. Dirty secrets. You know something terrible is going to happen — and everyone is a suspect. You are holding your breath as you flip the pages.
Wow! Campbell turns up the heat and intensity with this twisty and dark psychological suspense thriller. Not only does she give voice to the hormone raged college campus students, the hazing, and the vicious scheming —the introduction of Sarah and Heath, their past, and their current marriage domestic relationship brings complexity and intrigue to an even deeper level.
Also, the deliciously evil secondary characters will keep you guessing . . . And the chilling ending! Your mouth will drop.
Michele Campbell is such a dynamic storyteller (hello, have you seen her bio)? Typically, college drama does not really get me excited; however, SHE WAS THE QUIET ONE was so much more. Very compelling and great character development! Read it and find out why! Nothing is as it appears.
Highly recommend! My Top 20 Books for July and Top Books of 2018! For fans of Big Little Lies.
"Readers will... be drawn in to the novel’s intricate exploration of divided loyalties and the brittleness of trust." ―Publishers Weekly
"Campbell’s skillful characterization and her shocking final twist make this follow-up to It’s Always the Husband well worthwhile. Readers who enjoyed Simone St. James’ boarding-school mystery, The Broken Girls, should give this a try." ―Booklist
“A thriller full of dark secrets and a vicious murder, this novel is a Summer must read.” — PopSugar
“The former federal prosecutor got attention for her debut, Its Always the Husband, but this thriller set in a world of privilege promises to be her breakout.” — The Hollywood Reporter (naming She Was the Quiet One one of “10 Hot Summer Books” and “Must-Reads”)
“A brilliant read, full of intrigue and amazing twists.” — B.A. Paris, author of “Bring Me Back”
“Intriguing . . . Campbell masterfully hid[es] vivid details until the end. . . Skillful characterization and [a] shocking final twist.” — Booklist
#SheWasTheQuietOne @MCampbellBooks Audiobook narrated by January LaVoy @justjanuary
“A deep and disturbing mystery.” — Barnes and Noble (naming She Was the Quiet One one of July’s best new thrillers)
“From feuding sisters to a shady advisor and his naïve wife, this new novel from Michele Campbell is the perfect summer escape.” – Brit + Co
“This enticing thriller examines the extent to which someone will go in order to achieve their goals and the tragic outcome of one sibling rivalry.” — PopSugar
“A creepy thriller that has notes of Mean Girls and The Secret History.” – Refinery 29
“Tons of twists and turns.” – BookStr
“Once again, Campbell peels back the layers of a perfect marriage to reveal something dark and unexpected, while also exposing a privileged world full of contradictions. Campbell is building herself an admirable career telling stories about the underbelly of ‘success.’” – LitHub Crime Reads
“A new thriller full of hazing, suspicious teachers and a tragic murder, She Was the Quiet One is a dark tale about sisterhood and the need to get ahead.” – BookBub
“[A] twisted tale of sisterhood and what happens when you trust devious characters.” – SheReads
Top 20 Books Coming July —JDCMustReadBooks
About the Author
Michele Campbell is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School and a former federal prosecutor in New York City who specialized in international narcotics and gang cases.
A while back, she said goodbye to her big-city legal career and moved with her husband and two children to an idyllic New England college town a lot like Belle River in IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND. Since then, she has spent her time teaching criminal and constitutional law and writing novels.
She has had many close female friends, a few frenemies, and only one husband, who – to the best of her knowledge – has never tried to kill her.
Michele currently lives in New Hampshire. Read More