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The Secret Ever Keeps
By Art Tirrell

Publisher: Kunati Inc. | 352 pages | 2007-04-01 | ISBN: 1601640048 | PDF | 19.08 MB

Product Description:

High adventure and chick lit combine as billionaire tycoon Jake Eastland nears the end of a long life of shady dealings, lost love, and failed relationships, and is given one final chance to atone. Themes of greed, lust, guilt, family karma, and the power of forgiveness play out as a granddaughter arrives whose relationship with Jake could change everything for both of them. This sprawling epic adventure of feuding families, prohibition rum-runners, and present-day treasure hunters is equally thrilling and heart-warming.

Summary: Unique Characters In A Unique Setting
Rating: 5

This romantic adventure has it all: shady characters, star-crossed lovers, and a well-described, interesting setting. It's protagonist, Jake Eastland, is a fascinating character unlike the stereotypes that inhabit most novels these days.

What really sets the book apart, though, is Tirrell's use of his knowledge of Lake Ontario to put it someplace besides New York, L.A., or Hong Kong. He obviously knows the water and it's mysteries and draws on that to make the story come alive.

Add in the cross-generational relationship with Jake's granddaughter and some treasure hunters, and you have a unique, fun read.

Rating: 5

What delicious writing. Profound in its simplicity, it rises from the page as naturally as wildflowers, never calling attention to itself, yet it cannot be overlooked. The opening chapter is gripping, but it was chapter two, which changes POV characters and begins with the lovely line; "Those whom God wishes to punish for the sin of selfishness, he first makes lonely then curses with long life," where I fell into the rhythm. I wanted more, and happily, I got it, in prose of such smoothness I felt the very talented - and very modest - hand of a remarkable writer. I heard about The Secret Ever Keeps from a friend who said it was special. I couldn't agree more. My recommendation: read this book.

Rating: 5

A friend told me about this one, but Art Tirrell's The Secret Ever Keeps still surprised me. Keeping things simple, it's too darn good to be a first novel. There is a sureness to the writing, and even though the complex plot shifts between the modern and Prohibition eras, there's never a false note. The supporting characters are wonderful, particularly Char, Sheik, and Estelle. All this is delivered in a way that never allows the narrative tension to lapse for an instant. Before, I'd never heard of him. Now, if you ask me, Art Tirrell is the best new writer of adventure fiction to come along in years.

Summary: Brilliant underwater scenes...tremendous suspense
Rating: 5

In The Secret Ever Keeps, Art Tirrell weaves a rich story of bitter family rivalry, Depression Era wheeling and dealing, and thrilling underwater treasure hunt. Set on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, the novel shifts effortlessly between the present and the 1930s. Jake Eastland, a hard-nosed billionaire nearing the end of his life, attempts to make amends for his unscrupulous dealings in the past by reaching out to his sole living relative, a young woman who is unaware she even has a living grandfather. As they get to know each other, their disparate pasts arise to haunt them.

Tirrell's depiction of their slow-growing relationship is delicate and moving, but it is the suspenseful plot that keeps one flipping the pages. Tirrell quite simply writes the best underwater scenes I have ever read. He takes the reader down into the depths, and no matter how unfamiliar one is with this eerie, potentially deadly setting, one feels one knows exactly what it would be like to dive into the bowels of a sunken ship, to get one's line snagged or air cut off, to be caught and whipped away by a sudden current. Suffice it to say, you'll be breathless, until the secrets and ancient treasures are revealed.

The Secret Ever Keeps is a terrific debut novel for Tirrell. I know he has another in the works and can't wait till it hits the shelves.

Summary: This novel's mysteries unfurl with grace
Rating: 5

The Secret Ever Keeps opens with a great start, the opening lifting off the page and not mired with a huge amount of exposition. This technique pays off in Tirrell's very readable, though flash-back filled, story of family wounds and secrets and adventure. Through the alternating views of a grandfather and granddaughter, the reader is immersed in the history of rum runners during the age of prohibition, with family dynamics and loyalties playing out across generations. If you enjoyed the unraveling mystery of Chris Bohjalian's The Double Bind, you will also love this story.

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