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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Babysitter's Secret

Narrator: Naomi Frederick

Hachette UK - Bookouture

ISBN: 9781837900756

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: 05/24/2023

Format: e-book

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)

Everything I thought I knew about my life is a lie. My mother revealed a terrible, dangerous secret in her last letter to me. But, with her death, any chance of knowing the truth has disappeared. I’ll have to do whatever it takes to find out for myself.

Going back to the house where I was born, I find a family living the life I’d always dreamed of. And when Cecelia, the mother, mistakes me for the new nanny, I seize the chance to move in. Maybe, being in the house every day and night, I will remember more, uncover more, about the secret that haunts me…

But this family is not the happy one it appears from the outside. Cecelia is angry, unpredictable, unstable. She is not the mother these children deserve. They are scared of her, and rightly so.

As my memories start to crystalize, I am ever more determined to shelter them from harm. Because history has a horrible way of repeating itself, and I’ll do everything I can to protect these children. But how long can I stay here, undetected, pretending to be someone I’m not? And if the children end up in danger, what will I have to do to save them…?

With twists no reader will EVER see coming, this incredibly gripping psychological thriller is perfect for fans of The Housemaid, The Widow and The Housewarming.

My Review

My first book by the UK author Casey Kelleher and looking forward to reading more! Her latest, THE BABYSITTER'S SECRET — is a dark, unsettling, and creepy psychological thriller with unreliable narrators—you are not sure whom to trust —to the twisty jaw-dropping conclusion.

The suspense thriller holds its secrets well and packs a concluding wallop!

Sasha Hammond's adoptive mother has died. She inherited everything, including a letter stating she was adopted.

Emily Pickett is a patient in a mental hospital. We get flashbacks from 20 years of her constantly hearing a little girl crying. She stays medicated to drown out the voices and crying. She is unstable and suspicious of the caregivers. Some evil, mean, and one a guardian angel. She is being released presently, twenty years later.

Told from two alternating POVs: Sasha and Emily.

Sasha tracks down her childhood home at 64 Maple Street. She has dark flashes of fractured memory that float around inside her head. She cannot keep ignoring them. She hopes it will trigger the memories she has forgotten in this house.

Memories of things that had happened in her life before. Those forgotten years. She will get her answers inside these walls of the house where it all started. Do we ever really leave the past behind?

Upon arrival at the house, a woman Cecelia Clark (the mother), answers the door and mistakes Sasha for the new nanny. She plays along and decides this will allow her to check out the house.

The two children are Annabelle and Zachery. The single mom is frazzled and distracted with work and has no time for the children. Her ex-husband, Henry, left them for another woman.

Sasha feels sorry for the children and takes them under her wing. Slowly she starts remembering things that happened in the house and to her brother. She remembers being locked in a cupboard. Her brother drowned, and someone was burying him. Then her adoptive mom saved her.

Then Sasah's mind starts returning to the house's darkness. Her mind is blurred from past to present. Something happens in the present to Zachery, and now the children do not like or trust her. She begins drugging them and the mother why she figures things out.

Emily and Sasha connect at the house for an explosive, nail-biting, heart-pounding game of cat and mouse— from the home to the tree house, which one will be left alive.

As a reader, you are dying to see how the two storylines connect and which is telling the truth. Good or evil? These are some wacky disturbing characters. The treehouse scene was INTENSE!

The story flip flops and your loyalties change, then BAM, the author throws a wickedly evil twist at the end, leaving you shaking your head where nothing or no one is as they appear!

Kelleher skillfully maintains the suspense through well-timed extended flashbacks and plenty of shocking twists. Harrowing and intense―a vivid look at the long repercussions of violent crime. A chilling, twisted tale of secrets, gaslighting, and revenge— with innocent victims, caught up and served as collateral damage.

If you like twisty, dark, gritty, and disturbing domestic thrillers with complex unreliable narrators and a lot of drama, THE BABYSITTER'S SECRET is for you! For fans of authors—Freida McFadden, Emily Shiner, Miranda Rijks, K.L. Slater, and Daniel Hurst.

Thanks to #Bookouture for an e-ARC via #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 4 Stars

Pub Date: May 24, 2023

About the Author

Born in Cuckfield, West Sussex, Casey Kelleher grew up as an avid reader.

Whilst working as a beauty therapist and bringing up her three children together with her husband, Casey penned her debut novel Rotten to the Core. Its success meant that she could give up her day job and concentrate on writing full time. She has since published 12 books, including her debut psychological thriller MINE, and her latest gritty crime series- The DC Lucy Murphy Trilogy. WEBSITE



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