Alex Marwood won the Edgar Award for her debut thriller, The Wicked Girls, and the Macavity Award for her sophomore effort, The Killer Next Door. Alex opens The Darkest Secret with Maria Gavlia’s 2004 email: “Apologies for the general email, but I desperately need your help. My goddaughter, Coco Jackson, disappeared from her family's holiday home in Bournemouth on the night of Sunday/Monday August 29/30th, the bank holiday weekend just gone. Coco is three years old.” A dozen years later Coco’s twin sister, Milly, is informed of their father’s death. Alex alternates between two timelines to build a twisted domestic noir tale of secrets and suspense.
From Edgar Award winner Alex Marwood comes another gripping psychological thriller. When a child goes missing at an opulent house party, it makes international news. But what really happened to Coco Jackson?
Real estate mogul Sean Jackson is throwing himself a splashy fiftieth birthday party, but trouble starts almost immediately: His ex-wife has sent his teenage daughters to the party without telling him; his current wife has fired the nanny; and he's finding it difficult to sneak away to his mistress. Then something truly terrible happens: one of his three-year-old twins goes missing. No trace of her is ever found. The attendees of the party, nicknamed the Jackson Associates by the press, become infamous overnight.
Twelve years later, Sean is dead. The Jackson Associates assemble for the funeral, together for the first time since that fateful weekend. Soon the barbed comments and accusations are flying. By the end of the weekend, one will be dead. And one of Sean's daughters will make a shocking discovery.
Everyone who lives at 23 Beulah Grove has a secret. If they didn't, they wouldn't be renting rooms in a dodgy old building for cash--no credit check, no lease. It's the kind of place you end up when you've run out of other options. The six residents mostly keep to themselves, but one unbearably hot summer night, a terrible accident pushes them into an uneasy alliance. What they don't know is that one of them is a killer. He's already chosen his next victim, and he'll do anything to protect his secret.
It's been 25 years since Jade Walker and Annabel Oldacre were con victed of murder, and their lives have taken dramatically different turns. Jade, now known as Kirsty, is a journalist with a dedicated husband and two children. Bel, now called Amber, supervises the evening cleaning shift at an amusement park on the boardwalk in Whitmouth. When young women begin to turn up dead in Whitmouth, Kirsty and Amber reconnect by chance. The rash of killings threatens to expose their carefully guarded secrets--and for one of them, these new murders hit very close to home.