contemporary fiction · crime · mystery · suspense · thriller

Book Review: Dirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain

Title: Dirty Little Secrets

Author: Jo Spain

Published: February 12th 2019

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Pages: 400

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

RRP: $29.99

Rating: 4 stars

The second psychological thriller from No.1 bestselling author Jo Spain. Perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Lucy Foley.


Six neighbours, six secrets, six reasons to want Olive Collins dead.

In the exclusive gated community of Withered Vale, people’s lives appear as perfect as their beautifully manicured lawns. Money, success, privilege – the residents have it all. Life is good.

There’s just one problem.

Olive Collins’ dead body has been rotting inside number four for the last three months. Her neighbours say they’re shocked at the discovery but nobody thought to check on her when she vanished from sight.

The police start to ask questions and the seemingly flawless facade begins to crack. Because, when it comes to Olive’s neighbours, it seems each of them has something to hide, something to lose and everything to gain from her death.

The new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of THE CONFESSION, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty.


In this domestic mystery title, Spain puts the spotlight on the wealthy and upper class living. In Dirty Little Secrets an exclusive gated community comes under intense scrutiny following the strange death of a resident in this neighbourhood. Perplexing, stimulating, shocking and dark, Dirty Little Secrets is a cracking novel that offers plenty of entertainment.

In Dirty Little Secrets we meet half a dozen different neighbours of Withered Vale, a community for the upper class. With their picture-perfect lives and enviable abodes, everything comes easy to this exclusive community. But huge problems surface when Olive Collins, a resident of this community, is found dead. To make matters worse, Olive passed away over three months ago, with her body left decomposing. When the police arrive, the residents of Withered Vale are each questioned. Slowly the cracks and flaws in this seemingly perfect community begin to emerge. It also becomes clear that each of Olive’s neighbours has their own secrets that they wish to hide. There are plenty of suspects, motives and possibilities in relation to Olive’s death. But what will the truth reveal?

Jo Spain is fast becoming one of my favorite authors in the contemporary domestic fiction genre. Dirty Little Secrets is a book that I purchased following the amazing experience I had with Spain’s latest release. Following this positive reading session, I made the effort to seek out Spain’s back catalogue and although I have a busy review schedule, I just had to squeeze this one in.

Spain takes an interesting and varied form of narration with Dirty Little Secrets. We hear from Olive, the victim of this tale from beyond the grave. I think this narrative voice worked really well and it sucked me right in. As the story progresses, we hear from each of the six neighbours, along with two police personnel assigned to this complex case. I loved how Spain varied the backstories and personalities of the neighbours. This helped me to fully engage with the novel and it also contributed to a strong level of shifting suspicion as to who was involved in Olive’s death. Spain does a fine job in creating very plausible reasons for each of the neighbours to be the perpetrator. With added twists, turns, shocks and deviations put in place, Dirty Little Secrets accelerates to an explosive end.

In a nod to the title, Dirty Little Secrets works to critically interrogate public images, personal facades, wealth, power, influence and authority. Spain also refuses to shy away from the less attractive side of exclusive community living standards, which was very interesting. My tip for this one – do not make an assumptions, or solid conclusions about Dirty Little Secrets, as it keeps you guessing until the last minute. I enjoyed the ride, especially the final moments of this shocking tale.

Jo Spain’s Dirty Little Secrets receives my full backing, this was a gripping title from an author who really knows how to pen a great domestic mystery novel.

Dirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain is published by Hachette Australia on February 12th 2019. $29.99.

To learn more about the author of Dirty Little Secrets, Jo Spain visit here.

One thought on “Book Review: Dirty Little Secrets by Jo Spain

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s