By L. M. Fry
When Emily Brent, a city girl with a sarcastic edge, moves to the remote town of Carrsville Oklahoma, ghostly visions of a teenage girl haunt her day and night. The visions are a warning against the dark secrets of Carrsville’s past. The clock is ticking, and Emily has to find the truth before she becomes the town’s next victim.
‘Wicked Secrets’ is yet another brilliant read for young adults from L. M. Fry, her tone and the language used are perfect for a slightly younger audience and she has teenage angst down to a tee.
There were some great twists and turns throughout the novel, some small ones that I saw coming and some bigger ones I definitely didn’t. Despite being aimed at readers slightly younger than me I still couldn’t put it down and read it just over a day.
Emily Brent and her dad Ryan are leaving behind her old friends and her boyfriend in Seattle and going to live in a nowhere town in Oklahoma named Carrsville. Ryan has recently been laid off from his job and they have been served an eviction notice, this leaves them with no choice but to go and stay with her Aunt Millie whilst Ryan works at Franks Oil Company.
Soon after arriving in Carrsville Emily begins having ghostly visions and her skin crawls whenever she is around her dad’s boss Mr Lee Franks.
The book opens with the lines, “Mom died before I was born. Her death was plastered all over the news. ‘Car accident kills pregnant woman – Miracle baby survives!’ The funny thing is, I don’t feel like a miracle…I feel like a curse.”
Emily didn’t meet her dad until she was 10, until that time she lived with her grandparents. “My grandparents told me my dad was sick and couldn’t take care of a baby. When he dad re-entered her life her fought her grandparents for custody and won. Her grandparents have since died and now it is just Emily and her dad.
When they first arrive in town Emily gets trapped in a bathroom in a gas station and is helped by a handsome young man with a Scottish accent called Liam. Liam and his brother Finn have owned the local pub ‘The Two Brothers’ since their uncle left it to him in his will. Mr Franks has tried to get them closed down several times due to his dislike of ‘immigrants.’
Her aunt Millie flies out the door of her flower shop when they first pull up in town. Millie becomes like a mother figure to Emily and a means for her to find out more about her mother. “After our parents died, she was the only family I had left, she was my best friend.”
Emily comes across as a normal, self-conscious teenage girl but she also has the added feelings of guilt over the death of her mother.
Emily first meets Mr Franks when she is outside the pub. He makes her jump telling her not to be afraid of the legends of ghosts in the town. Mr Franks is tall and thin with grey eyes and a sleazy demeanour.
Emily soon gets used to living in the town but her dad doesn’t fare so well. He has an increasingly short fuse which he takes out on her. Soon he starts dating his trashy co-worker Rachel and his behaviour towards Emily becomes increasingly out of character.
The characters us usual were well developed and the story was definitely worth my time. Added to that I loved that the author quoted ‘A red, red rose’ by Robert Burns.
Who is haunting Emily and why? What secrets does the town of Carrsville hide? And, why does Mr Frank seem so interested in Emily? Read the book to find out, you won’t regret it.
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