The Price of Secrets - Book Review

The Price of Secrets

Author: Norma Murphy
Genre: Fiction - General
Publisher: Self Published
Date Published: December 9, 2023
ISBN-10: N/A
ISBN-13: 9798989164806

GoodReads Rating:

Book Review of :  The Price of Secrets


The cover illustration of The Price of Secrets by Norma Murphy intrigues the reader with its simple monochromatic photo of a jacket hanging on a hook. The introductory passages grab the reader's attention from the first captivating paragraphs. Young Danny mischievously searches the pockets of his father's favorite jacket to find cash - a lot of cash. Before he can return the money, his father grabs the jacket, rushes out the door, and never returns. Danny believes he is innocent of theft, but his secret act has an unexpected chain of events and unforeseen consequences.

The novel is a moving story of a dysfunctional family experiencing estranged love but strong ties, as well as hidden truths. Secrets, betrayals, and lies keep the reader up at night to find out what happens next. What really happened to Danny's father? Was he murdered? Who were his associates? Is it all Danny's fault?

The characters are well-fleshed out and realistic. Danny is first portrayed as a naïve, immature fourteen-year-old. His behavior is sometimes outrageous but understandable, real, and sympathetic. Can his
obsession with an older woman be true love? As he matures, he becomes
courageous but still makes immature choices.

Rose, who is Uncle Joe's love interest, is complex, gutsy, gorgeous, and
easily influenced.  Uncle Joe himself is portrayed as a criminal in the
guise of a real estate broker. His shady acquaintances add to this
depiction of his identity. Danny's mom's personality and personal life
are another twist to the story. Relationships are touchy but relatable.
Empathy is developed for the primary characters even though they are not

The author's writing style is clear and concise.  The descriptive
narrative sets the place, mood, and tone of the novel. Fast pacing and
details draw the reader to understand the secrets that the characters
hide and why and how the consequences affect their lives. Reading
compulsively, a reader may find themselves grappling with unraveling
family connections and uncovering hidden truths within their own
existence.    Betrayals, lies, and revenge are exposed in this tough yet
tender, dysfunctional family whose problems are achingly real. As the
novel nears its conclusion and the reader thinks he's figured out the
outcome, the unforgettable and unexpected conclusion shakes him out of
any complacency. What? How did the author manage to tie up all the loose
ends and compel the reader to ask for a sequel?

In conclusion, "The Price of Secrets" delves into themes of guilt and
obsession, uncovering an uncle's questionable dealings and a connection
to a father's mysterious disappearance. These discoveries underscore the
importance of family loyalty and the heavy burden of concealing truths.
Murphy adeptly integrates murder, criminal organizations, and romantic
entanglements, crafting a riveting narrative with a robust plot.

Reviewed by: Carole W

About Norma Murphy


Norma Murphy was born, raised and educated in Lowell, Massachusetts. She divides her time between her home in Lowell and her lake house in Newbury, New Hampshire. She taught public school for 18 years, sharing the power and joy of writing with students from grades 3 through 8, as well as fellow educators. This is her second novel.


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