I Have A Secret: Cheryl Bradshaw

When your past becomes intertwined with the present why does it sometimes lead to murder? When high school friends decide to reunite on a cruise why is one classmate stabbed and thrown overboard? Doug Ward seemed very pensive and in need of deal with his own private thoughts before joining his former classmates for their night of fun on the last night of their cruise. Finding Doug on deck his wife Trista calmly waits for him to come back to the part after he tells her he needs more time alone. But, someone else is lurking in the background that remains unseen until the time is right. Many of the women in his class thought him to be the primary catch. One was on the cruise named Candice who seems bent on tormenting Trista but do no avail. Candice enjoyed tempting the men and Doug was her primary target. Not caring that he was married to Trista nothing would stop her from going after her prey except of course Trista or Doug himself. But, when Trista went back to the party someone came out in the shadows and took his life. Knife in hand stabbing him and with some effort threw him overboard but no one saw. When Trista became alarmed that he never returned to the party or their cabin she enlisted the help of Sloane and Giovanni and some others to try and find him. But, Sloane begin a PI know her way around an investigation and sometimes her methods of questioning can be quite inventive to say the least.

Finding her way into the surveillance room Sloane uses her feminine wiles and ingenuity to get the person on duty to allow her to view the tape from where Doug was last seen. What they both see with their own two eyes is the murder being committed but cannot identify the killer. The captain alerted and Sloane and Giovanni who happens to be FBI questioned the question of just where this investigation will go and how far anyone will go to find the killer is paramount.

Returning home Sloane contacts Trista and restates her offer to help find Doug’s killer. As she is about to enter into the investigation and even before she arrives in her old hometown another classmate is stabbed and murdered. Just why are the members of this particular class the target for the killer? But, when Sloane questions Trista about her life with Doug she learns about his drinking problem, their marital strive and the fact that someone else came between them. Learning that Doug attended AA due to his drinking problem she reconnects with another classmate, Doug’s sponsor. Sponsors are supposed to help when the person they are working with needs to talk and listen to their problems. But, sometimes people become too close and situations heat up and things change when Trista finds herself disconnecting from the world, taking too many pills and literally as she states to Sloane sends Doug into the arms of Heather. But, who wanted him dead and why and what else was Trista hiding from her and did Heather tell her everything?
Enter Jesse a cop in her hometown of Tehachapi who seems bent on not only using his masculine wiles to get too close to Sloane but claims he wants to help her find his killer. Hired by Trista to learn more and find out the answers Sloane agrees to dinner with him keeps her guard up at all times. Added in someone left her note attached to her hotel room door with a knife that when analyzed she learns would be used by a doctor performing surgery. The conversation with Jesse enlightens Sloane to some information about not only Doug but his sponsor Heather too. Learning Heather lied about her alcohol or lack of alcohol problem and learning more about Candice who seemed to make the rounds of every man in town, Sloane started to slowly attempt to connect some of the disjointed and fragmented pieces of the lives of these people together to try and find the common denominator and the killer. But, the secrets and lies mount up and the attempts on lives continue as Jesse makes a move on Sloane and finds out it was more than just a mistake. Giovanni shows up and Sloane realizes that she just might need some extra help to dig deeper into the lives of the people in this town and find out why she seems to be the only one who has no idea what is really going and what lies hidden and buried in the past.

Small town gossip is hard to hide from when Sloane starts to deal with the people in this town after twenty years. Secrets and lies hidden so deeply and threatening messages warning her to leave before she gets hurt, just how many more bodies will be found before the killer’s identity is revealed? But, the gateway to the past opens up its floodgates as Sloane relates her childhood nightmare to her Giovanni and the reader learns about the terror she and her sister endured at the hands of her father.

Then, Sloane decides to visit another old friend finds him dead and decomposed. Thrown, sick and unable to deal with more she calls for help and sends photos of the body to Madison to uncover something about this third person’s murder. Another stabbing another classmate gone but why? As she tries to piece it all together more players come into the mix and one night of fun is revealed that would change the course of not only four lives but a young child’s too. Nate, Jesse, Doug and Rusty just what did they do that has been hidden for more than two decades? Why did Jesse find it necessary to make sure that Sloane would leave town? What about Doug’s mother what truths does she reveal about her granddaughter that sets a chain of events in motion that will not end until not only is the killer revealed but a secret uncovered. A secret Pact made among four friends to cover up what they did to one young girl, the lies they told her and the end they assumed she met. When Trisa alerts Sloane that her daughter Alexa is missing just who would kidnap this medical student and why? Just who was the person closest to her and where was she now? Author Cheryl Bradshaw takes the reader and Sloane back to a town she would rather forget existed to a place where nightmares visit her dreams and her thoughts of the past evolve into the present. With the help of Giovanni she learns the secret of one woman’s past another’s deceit and the final outcome will leave you breathless and wondering who will live to tell the truth and who will be the killer’s next victim? Persistent, hardnosed, straightforward and definitely not someone to trifle with, Sloane Monroe takes her hometown by the bullhorns and let’s them know she’s not leaving until the secret of the past if brought out front and center in the present. “I Have A Secret,” by Cheryl Bradshaw kept this reader glued to the printed page from start to finish. I read this in one hour because I could not put it down. I have a secret that I will reveal to everyone: This is definitely a great book and the twists, unique ending and strong characters are realistic, interesting and let’s hope Sloane and Giovanni return soon. A smart PI who knows how to get the facts, get the job done and definitely can do it alone.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

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