Cover image for Secret smile
Secret smile
French, Nicci.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Warner Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
308 pages ; 24 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.5 13.0 79140.
Format :


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FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



From the bestselling author of "Beneath the Skin" and "Killing Me Softly" comes a chilling novel about an affair that leads to a deadly obsession, available at a special low price.

Author Notes

Nicci French lives in Northern England.

(Publisher Provided) Nicci French is the pseudonym used by husband-and-wife team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, who write psychological thrillers together.

Nicci Gerrard was born in Worcestershire, England on June 10, 1958. She received a first class honors degree in English literature from Oxford University. She taught English literature in Sheffield, London and Los Angeles before founding Women's Review, a magazine for women on art, literature and female issues. Later on, she worked at the New Statesman and is currently working at The Observer.

Sean French was born in Bristol, England on May 28, 1959. He received a first class honors degree in English literature from Oxford University and became a journalist. In 1981 he won Vogue magazine's Writing Talent Contest and worked as their theatre critic from 1981 to 1986. During that time, he was also deputy literary editor and television critic at the Sunday Times, film critic for Marie Claire, and deputy editor of New Society. Before becoming a full-time author, he wrote write columns for the New Statesman. He has written both novels and non-fiction books.

They were married in October 1990. In 1995, they started work on their first joint novel. The Memory Game was published in 1997 and was followed by numerous other works including The Safe House (1998), Killing Me Softly (1999), Beneath the Skin (2000), The Red Room (2001), Land of the Living (2002), Secret Smile (2003), Catch Me When I Fall (2005), Losing You (2006), Until It's Over (2008), What To Do When Someone Dies (2009), and Sunday Morning Coming Down (2017).

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Although French's thrillers are all stand-alones, they all have one element in common: delicious, constantly building suspense. Like Land of the Living BKL Mr 15 03, this one focuses on a London-dwelling protagonist who must prove a point to disbelieving family, friends, and police. Miranda is dating a charmer named Brendan until she discovers him reading her diary and kicks him out. Dumped by Miranda, Brendan woos and wins her sister,erry. Gradually Miranda realizes he's more than just sleazy--he's sick. But her family and friends only see the charming face he shows them and believe that Miranda is the one who was dumped and won't let go. When a member of her family dies, Miranda feels that Brendan must be involved. But can she prove it before he kills her? In typical French fashion, the surprise ending will leave readers shaking their heads and grinning. Another not-to-be-missed adventure from a consistently satisfying author. --Jenny McLarin Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Nobody does the dark underside of sex in the city better than the British couple who write as Nicci French, and their latest (after 2003's Land of the Living) is one of their most sustained and believable studies in terror against women. Miranda Cotton has an ideal life in London, doing work she loves (building and contracting; she always seems to have a spot of paint in her hair), with no current love interest but lots of dating opportunities. Then a short, nasty liaison with a man who calls himself Brendan Block rips her comfortable world apart. A charming and dangerous psychopath, Block worms his way into the Cotton family claiming that he dumped Miranda (when in fact it was she who tossed him out when she caught him reading her diaries); he immediately wins the trust of her flustered parents and does serious damage to her older sister, Kerry, and her mentally fragile younger brother, Troy. The trouble is that nobody believes the rather rough-edged Miranda when she tries desperately to stop Block's rampage. Studded with sharp insights into the strange compromises involved in modern relationships, this novel could be the horror version of Bridget Jones's Diary. And the authors are so subtle at bringing Brendan and Miranda to life that readers might even begin to doubt that what she's telling us is the whole truth-until a stunning climax in which all sorts of secrets and lies are revealed. Agent, Joy Harris. (Jun. 22) FYI: Nicci French is the pseudonym of English journalists Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

When Londoner Miranda discovers that Brendan, the man she has been dating for only a short while, has let himself into her flat and read her diary, she is horrified and quickly dumps him. She is stunned when she learns a few weeks later that he is dating her sister, Kerry, and has charmed her entire family into believing that he dumped her and that she is bitter about it. When Brendan and Kerry's plan to move into an apartment together hits a snag, Miranda is pressured into letting them stay with her temporarily. Things go from bad to worse as Brendan harasses and taunts Miranda and wreaks havoc in the lives of the people she loves. Miranda is desperate for someone-a family member, a friend, a police officer-to see what she sees and knows before more damage is done. The cold, detached writing style adds to the tension and is perfect for this genre. Unfortunately predictable at times, French's latest (after The Land of the Living) is still a fast read with some shocking moments and surprise twists. Public libraries should expect heavy summer demand. [French is the pseudonym for English journalists Nicci Gerrard and Sean French.-Ed.]-Samantha J. Gust, Niagara Univ. Lib., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.