Cover image for The secretary
Title:
The secretary
ISBN:
9780062362353
Personal Author:
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2019]

©2019
Physical Description:
292 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
From her first day as Personal Assistant to the celebrated Mina Appleton, Christine Butcher understands what is expected of her. Absolute loyalty. Absolute discretion. For twenty years, Christine has been a most devoted servant, a silent witness to everything in Mina's life. So quiet, you would hardly know she is there. Day after day, year after year, Christine has been there, invisible--watching, listening, absorbing all the secrets floating around her. Keeping them safe. Christine is trusted. But those years of loyalty and discretion come with a high price. And eventually Christine will pay. But it would be a mistake to underestimate such a steadfast woman as Christine. Because as everyone is about to discover, there's a dangerous line between obedience and obsession.-- Amazon
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Book Fiction Knigh
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On Order

Summary

Summary

"A cool, contemporary, whip-smart thriller." -- --Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train

She could be the most dangerous person in the room...



From her first day as Personal Assistant to the celebrated Mina Appleton, Christine Butcher understands what is expected of her. Absolute loyalty. Absolute discretion. For twenty years, Christine has been a most devoted servant, a silent witness to everything in Mina's life. So quiet, you would hardly know she is there.

Day after day, year after year, Christine has been there, invisible--watching, listening, absorbing all the secrets floating around her. Keeping them safe.

Christine is trusted. But those years of loyalty and discretion come with a high price. And eventually Christine will pay.

But it would be a mistake to underestimate such a steadfast woman as Christine. Because as everyone is about to discover, there's a dangerous line between obedience and obsession.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

British author Knight follows 2015's Disclaimer, her well-received debut, with a decidedly creepy psychological thriller. Ambitious Mina Appleton, who becomes the head of a London-based supermarket chain upon her father's retirement, is finally able to execute her aggressive plan to increase the family-owned business's market share. For this, she needs more than a secretary. She wants someone who will make sure no detail falls through the cracks, either at the office or at home. Perfectionist Christine Butcher fills the bill. Devoting herself to anticipating Mina's every need, she personifies the secret in secretary. Whether it's reciting meeting minutes and business phone numbers from memory, picking up dry cleaning, or baking cookies for Mina's children, Christine does it all, invisibly, discreetly. Their mutual trust far exceeds the norm as long as Christine, who will remind many of Mrs. Danvers in Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, remembers her below-stairs place. But, after 18 years of Mina's demands costing Christine her husband, her child, and more, a bitter betrayal spirals into a chilling comeuppance. Readers are sure to be left breathless. Agent: Jennifer Joel, ICM Partners. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

Title character and narrator Christine Butcher is a 24-year-old temp when she's hired as secretary to Mina Appleton, only child of Lord Appleton, founder and chairman of a string of supermarkets. As Christine becomes Mina's trusted personal assistant, her job assumes more importance to her than do her husband or daughter, both of whom eventually leave her. Meanwhile, Christine can sense what Mina wants, and she acts on her own to get it for her, even to precipitating Lord Appleton's downfall. When Mina, a budding television celebrity and frequent visitor at 10 Downing Street, is accused by a newspaper of bullying and hypocrisy, she sues for libel and wins, setting the stage for her later trial for perjury and perversion of justice. The latter charge also is made against Christine, who's been trying to be kind to strangers at the same time she's practicing deceit on behalf of Mina. Things turn increasingly dark when Christine asserts control, leading to a stunning finale. Knight, whose debut, Disclaimer (2015), was highly praised, again shows her skill in creating an absorbing psychological thriller.--Michele Leber Copyright 2018 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Since the moment she started as a temp at Appleton, Christine Butcher has been a devoted and hardworking employee. When Mina Appleton, chief executive and daughter of the current chair, picks Christine to be her personal secretary, Christine is delighted. She works long hours for Mina that often interfere with her own personal time but ultimately feels it's worth it because she knows Mina is as loyal to her as she is to Mina. Appleton prides itself as a supermarket with a conscience. Mina, however, is eager to increase profits and consequently forces her principled father out of the company. When a newspaper reports on Mina's unethical deals, Mina relies on Christine to cover up her actions. Even as Christine faces increased personal and legal repercussions, she remains steadfastly devoted to Mina and her job. But one can only lose so much before devotion turns to hatred. VERDICT Knight (Disclaimer) builds tension in this page-turning story about misplaced loyalty, secrets, manipulation, and class with an alternating time line, slowly revealing what happens when one woman's desire to be helpful and needed ruins her life. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 8/27/18.]-Lynnanne Pearson, Skokie P.L., IL © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.