Cracked by Louise McCreesh


About the Book

Seven patients. One dark secret.


Jenny Nilsen hasn’t seen her former psychiatrist Phillip since she left the Hillside Psychiatric Unit eight years ago. She wanted to forget everything about her time there, so she kept her secrets buried deep. Especially from her new husband.

But now the police are knocking at her door with evidence of her involvement in Phillip’s death and everything she’s kept hidden is starting to spill out. Jenny desperately needs to speak to old friends, and old enemies, from those dark years at Hillside to clear her name before more of her past is unearthed and her new life is destroyed.

Because they are the only ones who know what really happened at Hillside. About the secret that Phillip kept for them all.


*Trigger Warning: This novel deals with issues of self harm and suicide that some readers may find upsetting*

What I thought

Ooh, this turned out to be a superb book. It has an unreliable narrator in Jennifer Nielsen. Jennifer has her life sorted out now, married to James a police detective, she’s kept her past to herself not even telling her husband. Until now. Unfortunately secrets have a habit of catching up with you sooner or later and Jennifer has to do something to prevent the truth from coming out.

The reader knows Jenny has done something bad in the past and that Phillip Walton, her psychiatrist covered for her, but that’s all the reader knows until towards the end of the book. Jenny worries that it will all come out with the investigation into the murder of Walton. Who would want him dead and why?

The book has alternating chapters. Some set within the psychiatric unit where Jenny spent some time as an inpatient 9 years ago and the alternate chapters in the present as she gradually meets up with fellow inpatients who stayed at Hillside Psychiatric hospital the same time as Jenny.

It’s such a good plot. They are all implicated in the ‘bad thing’ that Jenny did at Hillside all those years ago, just as the finger points at any one of them for the murder of the psychiatrist. The reader sifts through all the evidence along with Jenny.

I did sometimes find reading the book perhaps a little depressing. After all a lot of it is set within the hospital and the atmosphere is created so well that it did sometimes feel like they were in a prison rather than a hospital setting. It also makes you realise just how long it takes to treat mental illness and how difficult recovery can be. It takes time and sadly for some that time just runs out. This aspect of the book was quite emotional and touching in places.

All in all a riveting read, one which you can’t put down once you’ve started because even when I wasn’t reading it, I’d find myself wondering what would happen next.

♥ Happy Reading ♥

The book is out on Kindle today 7 May and will be released in hardback on 23 July 2020.

Thank you to Secret Readers for the opportunity to read this book prior to publication. This was the first book I read through the Secret Readers project.


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