Today it really is a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Secretary by Renee Knight. It’s a contemporary story with the vibe of a psychological thriller.
About the Author
Renée Knight worked as a documentary-maker for the BBC before turning to writing. She is a graduate of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course, and lives in London with her husband and two children. Her widely acclaimed debut novel, Disclaimer, was a Sunday Times No.1 bestseller. The Secretary is her second novel.
About the book
Look around you. Who holds the most power in the room? Is it the one who speaks loudest, who looks the part, who has the most money, who commands the most respect?
Or perhaps it’s someone like Christine Butcher: a meek, overlooked figure, who silently bears witness as information is shared and secrets are whispered. Someone who quietly, perhaps even unwittingly, gathers together knowledge of the people she’s there to serve – the ones who don’t notice her, the ones who consider themselves to be important.
There’s a fine line between loyalty and betrayal. And when someone like Christine Butcher is pushed to her limit, she might just become the most dangerous person in the room . . .
Even though the reader technically knows who the bad guy is, for me the lines are a little skewed. No matter what separates Christine and Mina, whether it is status, money or goals in life, they also have a lot of similarities. Neither of them recognises that fact in the other though.
Mina is used to being at the top of the food chain and expects everyone around her to act accordingly, especially those closest to her. She also expects Christine to put everything and everyone, including family members, way behind what Mina wants and needs. Of course this leads to Christine neglecting those closest to her.
Christine is meticulous when it comes to the finer details of her work. She is everything a PA is supposed to be; punctual, takes care of things before her employer thinks she needs it and loyal to a fault. She admires Mina, and in a way she perhaps wants to be her.
This story pits two very different women against each other, and yet they are also two peas in a pod. Willing to sacrifice everything to excel at their own personal goals, whilst pretending to the world to be something they are not and never will be. It’s an ode to the insincerity in our society, the hunger for fame and the willingness of the public to lap it all up.
Simultaneously it also speaks to the fragile nature of trust and loyalty, and the impact on relationships with an imbalance of power. They become a breeding ground for unhealthy obsessions and accusations.
I particularly enjoyed the ending. It was satisfying, It wasn’t what I expected, which is always a plus, but in general it just felt as if the author managed to bring the story full circle. It’s a contemporary story with the vibe of a psychological thriller.
Buy The Secretary at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Doubleday; pub date 21 Feb. 2019, Buy at Amazon com
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So sorry I missed this earlier Cheryl. Thanks so much for the Blog Tour support x