Charlaine Harris, A Secret Rage

Posted August 4, 2011 by Kathy Davie in

Secret RageSecret Rage by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: There is nothing of a supernatural tone in A Secret Rage

The Story
A suspenseful tale of rape and anger. Old, young, embarrassed, misunderstood angers. A series of brutal rapes are committed against a number of women from older teen to thirtyish. Students, professors, and administrators. All associated with the college established by Mimi Houghton’s family.

Poor Nickie Callahan has peaked in her modeling career and after one phone call with Mimi, she has chosen to go back to college. Go back South. Go to Knolls, Tennessee and attend Houghton College and stay with Mimi in her grandmother’s old house. Where she can fantasize even more about Cully Houghton. A just-divorced Cully.

The Characters
Nickie Callahan, a no-longer NYC model, has chosen to go back to school and get a degree as a writer. After missing the South for so long and its easy peaceful ways, Nicki is looking forward to the pace and safety of small town life.

Mimi Houghton is heavily involved with the college coordinating student and house activities. Twice-divorced, she’s looking forward to some quality time with Nicki, a best friend she has known since Miss Beacham’s Academy for Girls where they first met at 14.

Cully Houghton is Mimi’s brother and the college counselor…and the object of Nicki’s fantasies since she first met him. Nick has always thought that Cully never thought of her…ain’t she surprised now!

Dr. Barbara Tucker is Nicki’s faculty adviser at the College initially. After both rapes, Nicki and Barbara become friends. Theo Cochran is the college registrar. Alicia Merrit is an old friend of both Mimi and Nicki’s and it takes a tragedy for Nicki to realize Alicia’s true merits. Unlike Alicia’s hubby!

My Take
Small town characters in an everyman town with their misconceptions and frustrations. Prejudices and understandings. Harris certainly brought a sense of drama with Barbara and Nicki’s list of possibilities and I enjoyed how the ladies managed to whittle it down. Quite clever for two women who had never been called upon to rise up in this way.

I was a bit irritated that everything people did that Nicki didn’t like automatically made them just awful people. It takes a lot of introspection and her own tragedy for Nicki to mellow out.

[Why is it that so many people think that all comments and actions are negative and aimed at them?? It usually turns out that each of us interprets everything that occurs around them selfishly instead of thinking that maybe that person had a bad day or that we shouldn’t be projecting our own insecurities onto others.-Kathy Davie]

Other than that, I did enjoy A Secret Rage. A nice trip down memory lane with growth along the way. And a fulfillment of a young, long-held fantasy.

The Cover
The cover is perfect! Main Street, U.S.A. with the unexpected tools of discovery above. The title is too, too accurate with the suspect indeed harboring A Secret Rage.

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