Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))
The Housemaid’s Secret by Freida McFadden – Book Details
TITLE – The Housemaid’s Secret
SERIES – The Housemaid
AUTHOR – Freida McFadden
CATEGORY/GENRE – thriller, mystery, suspense
YEAR PUBLISHED – 2023
PAGE COUNT – 227
MY RATING – 4.5 of 5
RATED ON GOODREADS – 4.56 of 5
A huge thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of The Housemaid’s Secret by Freida McFadden in exchange for an honest review.
What It Is About
I was sure that the car was following me. I would’ve bet my life on it. But it turns out it was all just a coincidence. Nobody is following me. Everything is going to be fine.
The Housemaid’s Secret by Freida McFadden is the second book in The Housemaid series. Once again we follow Millie, still a housemaid and now also a student, freshly employed in a household that hides twisted secrets.
Her new employer, Douglas Garrick, lives in a beautiful penthouse apartment and has a successful career. But he warns Millie from the start not to go into the guest bedroom. Apparently, his wife is very ill and prefers not to be disturbed.
And Millie really tries to follow instructions, as she herself has quite a few secrets to protect. But after hearing crying noises coming from the guest bedroom and finding blood marks on Mrs. Garrick’s nightgown, Millie’s protective instincts kick in.
Because Millie is no stranger to unorthodox methods of resolving domestic issues. And she will do everything she can to help Mrs. Garrick escape an abusive marriage. Even if that puts her own life in jeopardy.
Themes and vibes:
- non-detective thriller/mystery series
- interesting main character
- fun plotline and nice twists
- easy to fly through in one sitting
- one of my favorite thrillers
The Housemaid’s Secret by Freida McFadden – My Review
It all started with a simple cleaning job. And now it might end with my blood being mopped off the cabin floor.
Wow, ok. So. The Housemaid’s Secret.
I’m not sure what I expected after the first book, which I liked quite a bit. All I knew was that my expectations were high, which was why I was pretty sure I would end up disappointed.
I know, logic.
But I actually quite enjoyed this book. It had many elements I liked in the first one, like the chill atmosphere, fun plot, and it was quite immersing. But it was also different enough so that I didn’t feel like I was reading one and the same story.
Which – I don’t even know how this book managed to feel so different, considering all the similarities. We follow Millie again. She’s in desperate need of money, again. She starts working for a wealthy family and something about the place feels very wrong.
A description perfectly suitable both for The Housemaid and The Housemaid’s Secret, and yet. It was just a different story and I don’t think I can describe it better than that without spoiling things.
Maybe because the second book is set in Manhattan, where the Garricks, the new family, have a penthouse. Maybe it’s Millie’s new relationship with a hot and successful lawyer. Or because she’s really trying to put her old ways behind – she’s in college trying to become a social worker and bring justice to abused women in a more legal way.
Whatever it was, the story felt fresh and new, and I was excited to spend some more time with the familiar characters again.
I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about that apartment that makes me uneasy.
Since we left Millie after the events in the first book, she’s gotten herself a certain reputation. She’s definitely the type who needs to help when someone is suffering, and luckily she had Enzo to help with getting the fake IDs and finding safe places.
But Enzo is gone now, and Millie needs to focus on her college classes anyway, which means lying low and not letting anyone dig deeper into her past is imperative. It also makes finding a new job really hard.
An opportunity arises, though. And the paycheck is better than anything Millie could hope for. The place is rich and beautiful, the job not that hard all things considered. And her new employer, a tech billionaire Douglas Garrick, is pleasant enough.
But his wife Wendy is hiding behind closed doors. Douglas says she’s ill and prefers to be left alone. But Millie soon finds evidence that something more sinister is going on.
I have gotten into the habit of listening every time I pass the guest bedroom door. It’s snooping. I know it is— I won’t deny it— but I can’t help myself.
Of course, Millie needs to be careful not to stir things too much. But it wouldn’t be the first time for her to risk everything, even her own life if only the situation is serious enough.
And then the second half of the book is all just a wild ride until the very end, delivering on the promise from that teasing prologue. Many tense chapters, quite a bit of drama. Easy, immersive writing and enough nail-biting plot points to keep you on the edge of your seat.
The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the cover. The exact same as for the first book, only a different background color – honestly, it seemed too lazy even for my standards. And the author definitely doesn’t seem like a lazy type, considering she’s a practicing physician specializing in brain injury and still manages to write all these bestsellers. So I don’t know what happened there.
But other than that, The Housemaid’s Secret by Freida McFadden is pretty much exactly what I envision a great thriller to be. A fun popcorn read. Entertaining and with good aha and you’re going down bitch moments.
I have made an incredibly bad judgment call. I have underestimated an extremely dangerous person. And now I will pay the ultimate price.
Perfect if you are looking for a thrilling read that is book-believable even if not a hundred percent real-life-believable. Which is pretty much what I hope for entering any new thriller.
I’d happily continue with this series if the author decides to stick with these characters some more.