Two Can Keep a Secret
by Karen M. McManus
Reviewed by M.Y. – 10th grade TCS student
In MacManus’ second novel, on the heels of her stunning debut One of Us is Lying, themes of the secrets embedded in small town life are explored, through the perspectives of curious and fallible teenage detectives. Twins Ellery and Ezra are whisked to their mother’s hometown of Echo Ridge, after her drug addiction wins her a stay in rehabilitation. Ellery, a true-crime junkie, is fascinated by the imprint left by her mother’s twin sister’s disappearance nearly twenty-five years prior, as well as the heavily-sensationalized murder of blonde “it-girl” Lacey Kilduff only five years ago. However, the twins’ placid expectation of the seemingly tight-knit community is forever altered when past tensions emerge, serving as a lighting rod for present drama.When another popular student goes missing, Ellery and her new friends must painstakingly unravel the feverish misconceptions and fractured familial ties ingrained in the broken town.
This novel is an immensely enjoyable read, as McManus possesses an uncanny knack for capturing the witticisms and trends of modern teens, a trait that makes her novels an intensely-relatable read. The characters are well-fleshed out, and startlingly realistic, and the plot eagerly hurtles forward. I felt the slower-paced exposition was critical in grasping the mood and pretense of the story, and I was thoroughly delighted in McManus’ red herrings and two-faced personalities she implanted within the story. Akin to riding a roller coaster, complete with the steady climb and downward spirals, Two Can Keep a Secret is an absolute thrill.