Even before I got to the first chapter of the Royal Secret, Riley’s Author’s Note piqued my interest in this book. Originally this book was written in the late 1990s but was pulled from publication as it was seen to have an inappropriate plot line for the time. This plot line concerned a fictional Royal Family and we all know that the Royals went through a bad time in the late 1990s. This is Riley’s first thriller, and set around a letter that contains information that people are prepared to kill for. This is not necessarily fast-paced but it has all the ingredients of a brilliant thriller, suspense, twists and turns, tension, murder and conspiracy.
Like Lucinda Riley’s other novels there is a fairly small cast of characters who are all there for a reason and play an integral part in the plot. She doesn’t have characters who don’t really add anything like some authors do. Journalist Joanna Hsalm is a junior reporter trying to work her way up the ladder, but did not go looking for the story that fell in her lap at a funeral. As she becomes embroiled in the search for a mysterious letter and what it contains, she puts herself in danger and some of those she comes in contact with. It is hard to say too much without giving the plot away. This is a slow burner where we are drip fed pieces of info so that you have to wait until the very end to find out what’s happening. There is plenty of action and edge of the seat moments that intensify the tension and suspense. Romance, family secrets, and drama make this a multi-layered read to keep your interest throughout the book. I genuinely couldn’t put this wonderful and scandalous book down