The Daughter’s Secret by Eva Holland

September 7, 2015 Book review 18 ★★★½

Balancing the books is a quick fire review where I list the assets and liabilities of a book (as I see them) and leave you decide if you think this book is worth investing in.

balancing the books


The Daughter’s Secret by Eva HollandThe Daughter's Secret by Eva Holland
Published by Orion on August 13th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Family Life, Suspense
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Received from Publisher
Buy on Amazon

My daughter is a liar. A liar, liar, liar. And I'm starting to see where she gets it from.
When Rosalind's fifteen-year-old daughter, Stephanie, ran away with her teacher, this ordinary family became something it had never asked to be. Their lives held up to scrutiny in the centre of a major police investigation, the Simms were headline news while Stephanie was missing with a man who was risking everything.
Now, six years on, Ros takes a call that will change their lives all over again. He's going to be released from prison. Years too early. In eleven days' time.
As Temperley's release creeps ever closer, Ros is forced to confront the events that led them here, back to a place she thought she'd left behind, to questions she didn't want to answer. Why did she do it? Where does the blame lie? What happens next?

The Assets of The Daughter’s Secret by Eva Holland:

  • Intrigue: The book holds out the mystery of what exactly what happened 6 years ago when Stephanie disappeared really well.  And this shadows the whole book with an air of secrecy.
  • Non Stereotype Characters : The characters are very unique.  Not exactly likeable but definitely not cookie cutter.  I liked that they represented all the families that don’t really talk feelings (like mine!) as so often I see families in books spilling all the feels to each other and I find it hard to identify with that.  But here they are a family of dark horses and that I can relate to!
  • Decisions that make you cringe!  I love when I get so involved in a book that dubious decisions make me flinch!  I was totally immersed and I felt connected to the characters.  Whether that connection was annoyance, fearful for them or impatient with them; I felt it!
  • A story from the headlines:  I enjoyed that the book felt like it was plucked out of the news headlines but as well taking on the scary missing child theme, it also dealt with the knock-on repercussions.

The Liabilities of The Daughter’s Secret by Eva Holland:

  • Slow Pace: The pace is snail slow.  It’s slowed down by a lot of inner turmoil and angst on behalf of Rosalind and I did find the book suffered a bit for this.
  • Secondary characters are harder to understand:  For example Rosalind’s husband, I find it hard to understand exactly why he behaved as he did and I’d love to have had a little more insight into what motivated his actions/lack of them.

Investment potential: The Daughter’s Secret by Eva Holland

I’d say go for it if you like complicated characters, suspenseful plots and are ok with a slower pace.  Fans of Before you Die by Samantha Hayes and The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly might also enjoy as these also feature realistically flawed characters.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-half-stars


Thanks to Orion for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.




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18 Responses to “The Daughter’s Secret by Eva Holland”

    • trish

      Ohh I haven’t seen another cover like this one but it is fab! I love the watercolour aspect and it fits in well with an artistic theme that runs through the book too.

    • trish

      Yea, pity about the pace but there are lots of other good things to compensate for that! And it’s very unique which is always nice to see.

  1. Christy

    The blurb was a little confusing at first, but after reading what you said about the mystery, I get it a bit better now. Slow pace and lots of inner dialogue … blah. But damn, I really want to know what’s going on.
    Christy recently posted…Sustained by Emma Chase

    • trish

      I like that it managed to keep things hidden for a lot of the book but yes the pace bothered me a bit. I did love the complexity of the main characters though.

    • trish

      Thanks Bea! Yep, the story was definitely intriguing, I really wanted to know what happened in the past and what exactly was happening now. So despite the pace, I still really enjoyed it.

  2. Rita @ View From My Home

    Nice review! I would have to be in the mood for a slower read, whether atmospheric or character-driven, but I do like the intriguing plot. Is Steph still missing? What happened to her and why did the teacher take such a risk? I do want these questions answered if I read this. Hopefully they are. Also, this a slice of real life, when people minding their own business are swept into the public eye and their lives turned upside down. I see it all the time on the news. I would say I might buy it, but would be even more likely to borrow it, but thanks!

    • trish

      Those questions are answered. More or less, some is left up to our imagination but the larger questions are all cleared up. It really read like a story from the news headlines and that made it really interesting as it was like seeing what happened after the story left the news.

    • trish

      Thanks Brandee, I wanted to try a different format and this one indulges my accountancy side! I’m not a fan of slow paces either, especially in thrillers. But apart form that, this was a good read.

  3. Lola

    I haven’t heard of this book before, it sure sounds intriguing! I was a bti surprised to see cringe worhty decisions on the assest side, but I know what you mean. Sometiems characters make mistakes and when you’re invested enough you live it with them and then see how they solve things. I like the sound of the unique characters. Although a shame the side characters are less developed and you get less insight in their decisions. I don’t mind a slow pace if it fits the book, but I do have the feeling the plot is moving forward, if that makes sense. It also depends on how it’s written. Great review!
    Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #143

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