Women's Fiction

Book Review – The Secretary – Renée Knight

Book Review of ‘The Secretary’ by Renée Knight

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Suspense

Published: February 2019, Penguin Random House UK

Swathi’s Rating: 4/5

Verdict: highly original, thrilling and totally unpredictable

February had been so good to me as it marked the month I have read such a huge number of fantastic books from various genres and I am really proud!! Here is one such book – one of my favorites of the year – a real spicy hot novel you ought to be carrying along for on your vacay! I certainly DID and it was AW-UH-SUM!! So, here is everything you need to know about this book – it’s plot, my review and a little about Renee’s works! Also, I have got a brilliant piece about the book that I loved from the author’s own words and I am going to be sharing with you guys – just to tempt you more into picking this book!!

So, what are you waiting for? Go on, real along!! xxx


From her first day as Personal Assistant to the celebrated Mina Appleton, Christine Butcher understands what is expected of her. Absolute loyalty. Absolute discretion. For twenty years, Christine has been a most devoted servant, a silent witness to everything in Mina’s life. So quiet, you would hardly know she is there.

Day after day, year after year, Christine has been there, invisible—watching, listening, absorbing all the secrets floating around her. Keeping them safe.

Christine is trusted. But those years of loyalty and discretion come with a high price. And eventually Christina will pay.

Yet, it would be a mistake to underestimate such a steadfast woman. Because as everyone is about to discover, there’s a dangerous line between obedience and obsession.


Swathi’s Review:

The Secretary is the story of Christine Butcher – told and narrated by her which could probably be diary entries, but they are not. Christine is your average wife and mother of an independent teenage daughter, whose life becomes appealing as she was asked by THE Mina Appleton to be her personal secretary and Christine readily accepts without a second thought! Been 18 long years now, never once has she slipped her loyalty or committed a blunder of any sort as she had stood by Mina only to lead her employer to the path of success.

Mina’s path though is not always the legal, ethical way, was it? To achieve what you want, you might have to overcome all the hurdles that come your way and Mina does that in the way she knows best without revealing it to her own secretary. Years later, when all her secrets are prone to come out and the kingdom she has built over the years is about to crumble – Mina knows who to pick as her pawns – her very own loyal Secretary and her personal chauffeur for years!!

Will Christine take the fall? Is this the price she has to pay for her loyalty?

The Secretary is a slow burn, written in the most unconventional way possible such that the reader is not even sure of what to expect next. The events from Christine’s life as Secretary are revealed as riddles for the readers to solve and put together the last piece of puzzle to find the ultimate solution!

This book is very close to a Psychological thriller than a contemporary women’s fiction alone. Yes, its slow but it’s also very addictive and un-put-down-able till the very last page! I can’t help but comment on the totally unpredictable ending of the book. I think that’s where Renee has made her mark with her skillful storytelling.

Totally recommended for a relaxed, binge read!! Thank you Alison Barrow from Transworld Books for my copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Author Bio:

Renée Knight worked for the BBC directing arts documentaries before turning to writing. She has had television and film scripts commissioned by the BBC, Channel Four, and Capital Films. In April 2013 she graduated from the Faber Academy “Writing a Novel” course, following noted alumni, including S. J. Watson. She lives in London with her husband and two children.


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