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The Secret Santa by Trish Harnetiaux

Genre: Thriller
Source: Penguin Random House
Rating: 4’5/5

About The Book

When an international pop starlet rolls into town looking to buy the most expensive house on the market, struggling real estate agents and husband and wife duo Claudine and Henry think their terrible luck has finally turned.
The mysterious mansion has hidden secrets, and Claudine and Henry’s survival depends on no one finding out the truth about what really happened there. In a desperate move to secure the sale, Claudine decides to bury the house’s dark past and show it at its best – by inviting the singer to a lavish holiday party hosted inside the majestic mountainside mansion.
But when a murder weapon turns up as part of the party’s game of Secret Santa, Claudine’s carefully curated lie and the lives of all the party goers is threatened as they race to find the killer before they can strike again.
How far will Claudine go to protect her secrets? Is she prepared to kill to make a killing, or will she fall prey herself?

My Thoughts

I’ve played so many times the Secret Santa at school and in my work, that I would never thought it could be something so competitive and dangerous!
The story is told in the present, like the memories and thoughts of the characters but they relate to the story from the past, like someone has recollected all the events that happened a few days before the fatidic moment. There aren’t many characters, but they are interesting and with a few dark secrets hidden, sadly all of them will see the light sooner than they expect.
Let’s talk a little about the characters, Claudine and Henry are the owners of Calhoun + Calhoun, but the business is not as good as it was so Claudine thinks the best move would be sell the first house her husband created, nothing less than to the famous celebrity Zara. The most interesting characters of the story for me were Claudine and Henry, Claudine is so bossy and self centered that the reader can’t wait to discover what the story has prepared for her! And her husband Henry seem really scared to return to the first house he built, something happened there and he doesn’t want to remember it. But the secrets they both have, seem to connect Claudine and Henry together, what I don’t know is what will happen when they will come out.
It’s been a little difficult in this book to make the review without any spoiler, because saying too much would make the story being discovered too soon!
This had been an amazing read, I was totally invested with the story, the characters felt real and complex I really couldn’t put it down!
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About The Author

The Secret Santa is Trish Harnetiaux’s debut novel. She is a Brooklyn-based playwright whose published works include Tin Cat Shoes, How To Get Into Buildings, and If You Can Get To Buffalo.