Georgia May Goodall reviews Secret Exposure by Jan Christensen
Jan Christensen is a multi-award winning author with an extensive bibliography of short stories, non-fiction and mystery/crime fiction.
Secret Exposure is the third novel in the Paula Mitchell, PI series, but you don’t need to have read the previous two before you pick this one up; though I’d recommend it, purely so that you get to read more of these great books.
The Paula Mitchell books are part of Christensen’s “Light Mystery” collection, and they definitely live up to their name – the writing is light and easy, but it’s also entertaining and gripping enough that I read the whole book in one sitting.
Set in and around Rhode Island, Paula is trying to clear her client of not only the abuse of his son, but the murder of his wife. Christensen leaks out clues and intrigue at just the right pace – you’re kept questioning every character in turn and never knowing who to trust. Is Simon Langford actually innocent? And if so, which person in his life is hiding the most secrets? Because everyone in this area seems to have at least one!
There were a couple of parts of the books that I felt were over-explained (like people’s hallway decorations), a slight inconsistency in a background plot point (that didn’t affect the main mystery), and Christensen’s use of the name “Little Henry” every single time anyone referred to the main character’s son felt over the top and insincere.
However, I really enjoyed reading this overall – it felt like sitting down to watch a gripping mystery on TV and not wanting to look away, it wasn’t too heavy and is a great book to pick up when you want an entertaining, undemanding read. Light, easy mystery for once you’ve got the taste from the more intense likes of Gone Girl.