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  • Writer's picturePaul Burston

The Secrets You Hide

Kate Helm’s debut crime novel has a brilliantly original premise. Georgia Sage is a courtroom artist with a traumatic past and the ability to see the evil in people. She uses her skills to portray the accused as she sees them, helping to convict the guilty and acquit the innocent. But now she’s questioning her abilities. An old case has resurfaced and the indications are that she got it wrong. Haunted by her past and the nagging sense that she’s partially responsible for a miscarriage of justice, Georgia puts herself out on a limb, breaking protocol and getting too close to the family at the heart of the old case. Helm paints a sympathetic portrait of a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, doubting her own abilities and driven to taking risks no normal, functioning person would. Georgia is a compelling protagonist and the story hinges on her perceptions and the extent to which they’re clouded by her own past. There are some great plot twists, but what really drives the story is the central character, flaws and all. Kate Helm is a pseudonym for author Kate Harrison, whose previous books have been published in 20 countries and sold over 800,000 copies. I predict similar success for her first foray into crime.  

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