Jess’ Book Nook: Two Can Keep A Secret

The second novel by Karen McManus is a murder mystery with twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the very end.

The official book cover of Two Can Keep A Secret, which contains two photos of girls. The smaller text on the photo in the front ... if one is dead. foreshadows some information about the book.


The official book cover of Two Can Keep A Secret, which contains two photos of girls. The smaller text on the photo in the front “… if one is dead.” foreshadows some information about the book.

Jessica Sutton, Reporter

Secret: Something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others.

Every person in the world has had a secret. We cannot help it; it is human nature to protect the people we care about or keep things hushed because of fear of judgement.

Some say, “What they don’t know won’t hurt them.” While that may be true in some circumstances, the hidden secrets in Two Can Keep A Secret cause more pain than having the truth out in the open.

Two Can Keep A Secret is the second novel by Karen M. McManus, both of which are fictional mystery stories centered around someone’s murder; however, the two novels are not connected.

Everyone in this town is keeping secrets and Ellery has to figure out what’s more dangerous, to hide them or to know them.”

— Karen McManus

In this novel, twins Ellery and Ezra Corcoran are going to live with their grandmother in Echo Ridge, the small, undiverse, and upscale town in New England where their mother Sadie Corcoran grew up.

Sadie Corcoran is a drug addict, currently in rehab.  As a teen, Sadie was determined to escape Echo Ridge so she could pursue an acting career and try avoid the grief and reminders of her missing twin sister, Sarah.

The book starts with Ellery and Ezra arriving at the airport outside of Echo Ridge. McManus does not hold back, and instead she jumps right into murders and mysteries.

Even though Ezra and Ellery are fresh from Los Angeles, California, they stumble upon the first victim of homicide about an hour after leaving the airport.

As the reader follows Ellery’s story through her perspective, s/he also follows Malcolm Kelly, the younger brother of Declan Kelly, in his perspective. Five years before the story takes place, Declan was assumed to have murdered his then-girlfriend Lacy Kilduff.

Just starting the story, the reader is exposed to two murders and one missing-suspected-dead, and the dramatic harshness of the murder-mystery novel is no where close to over.

Throughout the intense story, plot twists and secrets pop up in dramatic and shocking ways. Unlike McManus’s first novel, One Of Us Is Lying, the end of this novel is very far from predictable.

More and more teenage girls who live in Echo Ridge go missing like Ellery’s aunt, Sarah. The rich dwellers of the town, and people who have heard the news throughout America, are not sure if the murders are connected or not.


Many threats to the homecoming court are posted around the town, attacking the recently crowned princesses of the court, which includes Ellery.

When yet another teen girl goes missing, the town is frantic. Everyone looks to Malcolm Kelly for answers, hearing rumors that he’s the last person to have seen the girl alive.

Following these events, secrets become a little less secret.

The townspeople learn the truth about who has been wreaking havoc on the the town by leaving threats, causing fear, and taking the lives of the young girls.

The killer of this novel is someone who is never close to being a suspect, though when looking, the signs of a truly evil person are there. This person, capable of many homicides, is also capable of covering their tracks until the very end. Ellery’s talented. crime-solving mind lead the killer to make a few very careless mistakes.

Overall, the novel, Two Can Keep A Secret, has an intriguing, twisting, and turning plot that holds a reader tightly, making him or her anticipate every page that follows. If connecting the dots to many different scenarios and piecing together small parts of a story is something enjoyed by a reader, then this is a perfect fit.

Read Two Can Keep A Secret and be exposed to the erratic lives of those left behind, those lost, those suspected of criminal acts, and those who have done more than anyone would have ever suspected.