Two Can Keep a Secret

Two Can Keep a Secret

by Karen M. McManus

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524714741
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 01/08/2019
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 8,827
File size: 4 MB
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Karen M. McManus earned her BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross and her MA in journalism from Northeastern University. When she isn't working or writing in Cambridge, Massachusetts, McManus loves to travel with her son. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller One of Us Is Lying and of Two Can Keep a Secret. To learn more about her, go to her website, karenmcmanus.com, or follow @writerkmc on Twitter.

Read an Excerpt

Ellery

 

Friday, August 30

 

 

If I believed in omens, this would be a bad one.

 

There’s only one suitcase left on the baggage carousel. It’s bright pink, covered with Hello Kitty stickers, and definitely not mine.

 

My brother, Ezra, watches it pass us for the fourth time, leaning on the handle of his own oversized suitcase. The crowd around the carousel is nearly gone, except for a couple arguing about who was supposed to keep track of their rental car reservation. “Maybe you should take it,” Ezra suggests. “Seems like whoever owns it wasn’t on our flight, and I bet they have an interesting wardrobe. A lot of polka dots, probably. And glitter.” His phone chimes, and he pulls it out of his pocket. “Nana’s outside.”

 

“I can’t believe this,” I mutter, kicking the toe of my sneaker against the carousel’s metal side. “My entire life was in that suitcase.”

 

It’s a slight exaggeration. My actual entire life was in La Puente, California, until about eight hours ago. Other than a few boxes shipped to Vermont last week, the suitcase contains what’s left.

 

“I guess we should report it.” Ezra scans the baggage claim area, running a hand over his close-cropped hair. He used to have thick dark curls like mine, hanging in his eyes, and I still can’t get used to the cut he got over the summer. He tilts his suitcase and pivots toward the information desk. “Over here, probably.”

 

The skinny guy behind the desk looks like he could still be in high school, with a rash of red pimples dotting his cheeks and jawline. A gold name tag pinned crookedly to his blue vest reads “Andy.” Andy’s thin lips twist when I tell him about my suitcase, and he cranes his neck toward the Hello Kitty bag still making carousel laps. “Flight 5624 from Los Angeles? With a layover in Charlotte?” I nod. “You sure that’s not yours?”

 

“Positive.”

 

“Bummer. It’ll turn up, though. You just gotta fill this out.” He yanks open a drawer and pulls out a form, sliding it toward me. “There’s a pen around here somewhere,” he mutters, pawing half-heartedly through a stack of papers.

 

“I have one.” I unzip the front of my backpack, pulling out a book that I place on the counter while I feel around for a pen. Ezra raises his brows when he sees the battered hardcover.

 

“Really, Ellery?” he asks. “You brought In Cold Blood on the plane? Why didn’t you just ship it with the rest of your books?”

 

“It’s valuable,” I say defensively.

 

Ezra rolls his eyes. “You know that’s not Truman Capote’s actual signature. Sadie got fleeced.”

 

“Whatever. It’s the thought that counts,” I mutter. Our mother bought me the “signed” first edition off eBay after she landed a role as Dead Body #2 on Law & Order four years ago. She gave Ezra a Sex Pistols album cover with a Sid Vicious autograph that was probably just as forged. We should’ve gotten a car with reliable brakes instead, but Sadie’s never been great at long-term planning. “Anyway, you know what they say. When in Murderland . . .” I finally extract a pen and start scratching my name across the form.

 

“You headed for Echo Ridge, then?” Andy asks. I pause on the second c of my last name and he adds, “They don’t call it that anymore, you know. And you’re early. It doesn’t open for another week.”

 

“I know. I didn’t mean the theme park. I meant the . . .” I trail off before saying town and shove In Cold Blood into my bag. “Never mind,” I say, returning my attention to the form. “How long does it usually take to get your stuff back?”

 

“Shouldn’t be more than a day.” Andy’s eyes drift between Ezra and me. “You guys look a lot alike. You twins?”

 

I nod and keep writing. Ezra, ever polite, answers, “We are.”

 

“I was supposed to be a twin,” Andy says. “The other one got absorbed in the womb, though.” Ezra lets out a surprised little snort, and I bite back a laugh. This happens to my brother all the time; people overshare the strangest things with him. We might have almost the same face, but his is the one everyone trusts. “I always thought it would’ve been cool to have a twin. You could pretend to be one another and mess with people.” I look up, and Andy is squinting at us again. “Well. I guess you guys can’t do that. You aren’t the right kind of twins.”

 

“Definitely not,” Ezra says with a fixed smile.

 

I write faster and hand the completed form to Andy, who tears off the top sheets and gives me the yellow carbon. “So somebody will get in touch, right?” I ask.

 

“Yep,” Andy says. “You don’t hear from them tomorrow, call the number at the bottom. Have fun in Echo Ridge.”

 

Ezra exhales loudly as we head for the revolving door, and I grin at him over my shoulder. “You make the nicest friends.”

 

He shudders. “Now I can’t stop thinking about it. Absorbed. How does that even happen? Did he . . . No. I’m not going to speculate. I don’t want to know. What a weird thing to grow up with, though, huh? Knowing how easily you could’ve been the wrong twin.”

 

We push through the door into a blast of stifling, exhaust-filled air that takes me by surprise. Even on the last day of August, I’d expected Vermont to be a lot cooler than California. I pull my hair off my neck while Ezra scrolls through his phone. “Nana says she’s circling because she didn’t want to park in a lot,” he reports.

 

I raise my brows at him. “Nana’s texting and driving?”

 

“Apparently.”

 

I haven’t seen my grandmother since she visited us in California ten years ago, but from what I can remember, that seems out of character.

 

We wait a few minutes, wilting in the heat, until a forest-green Subaru station wagon pulls up beside us. The passenger-side window rolls down, and Nana sticks her head out. She doesn’t look much different than she does over Skype, although her thick gray bangs appear freshly cut. “Go on, get in,” she calls, side-eyeing the traffic cop a few feet from us. “They won’t let you idle for more than a minute.” She pulls her head back in as Ezra wheels his solitary suitcase toward the trunk.

 

When we slide into the backseat Nana turns to face us, and so does a younger woman behind the steering wheel. “Ellery, Ezra, this is Melanie Kilduff. Her family lives down the street from us. I have terrible night vision, so Melanie was kind enough to drive. She used to babysit your mother when she was young. You’ve probably heard the name.”

 

Ezra and I exchange wide-eyed glances. Yes. Yes, we have.

 

Sadie left Echo Ridge when she was eighteen, and she’s only been back twice. The first time was the year before we were born, when our grandfather died from a heart attack. And the second time was five years ago, for Melanie’s teenage daughter’s funeral.

 

Ezra and I watched the Dateline special--“Mystery at Murderland”--at home while our neighbor stayed with us. I was transfixed by the story of Lacey Kilduff, the beautiful blond homecoming queen from my mother’s hometown, found strangled in a Halloween theme park. Airport Andy was right; the park’s owner changed its name from Murderland to Fright Farm a few months later. I’m not sure the case would have gotten as much national attention if the park hadn’t had such an on-the-nose name.

 

Or if Lacey hadn’t been the second pretty teenager from Echo Ridge--and from the same exact street, even--to make tragic headlines.

 

Sadie wouldn’t answer any of our questions when she got back from Lacey’s funeral. “I just want to forget about it,” she said whenever we asked. Which is what she’s been saying about Echo Ridge our entire lives.

 

Ironic, I guess, that we ended up here anyway.

Customer Reviews

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Two Can Keep a Secret (Signed Book) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
bayy245 6 months ago
Two Can Keep a Secret is just a twisty and delicious as One of Us Is Lying. I loved Ellery and the quaint little town she moves to. Well, if quaint includes a theme park formerly known as Murderland. There's personal issues against the murder mystery backdrop, such as a mom in rehab, first love, and the teenage struggle of figuring out who you want to be. Ellery is obsessed with true crime and wants to solve the mystery of the missing girls in Echo Ridge, especially when the first girl to go missing was her aunt. Just as the synopsis promises, there's plenty of shocking secrets woven through the novel and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. This mystery is extremely twisty and juicy. Everyone is a suspect and you're not sure if you can trust anyone. The reveal, however, was a little lackluster. I'm not sure what I wanted to be the scenario, but the one I was given I didn't like. It's such a shame because everything up to that point was perfect. I preferred the reveal of One of Us Is Lying, but I still loved all the mystery and buildup of this one. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*
Anonymous 11 days ago
This book is one of the best mystery/murder books I've read. Mcmanus also has another book similar to this, and I also read and admire the book. To make a long story short, NOT a spoiler, please read this book, and her other book, 'One of us is Lying'.
Anonymous 15 days ago
Great mystery for all ages. Suspenseful plot twists with logical conclusions, unconfusing side stories to keep you entertained that come together satsifyingly. Excellent and likable main characters. Long enough to keep you guessing-all the makings of a good mystery. My only critque would be the quickness of the ending and the ultimate carelessness of the murderer. Believable but not as good as it couldve been written. Everything leading up to it including the reveal and final unknown elements made sense and I DID appreciate being surprided. Would totally read another book of hers. I liked the two different characters altnernating narration because it kept my adhd head focused. The 13 year old i babysit loved it as well which is how i discovered it.
Anonymous 4 months ago
held+my+attention+and+didn%27t+figure+out+like+I+usually+do+on+who+did+it
Anonymous 5 months ago
*Thanks to NetGalley for the eARC of this title!* Seventeen year old twins Ellery and Ezra are spending their senior year of high school with their grandmother in tiny Echo Ridge, while their mother gives rehab one more shot. They have never been there before; their mother left after her own twin sister was murdered as a teenager. This wasn't even the only murder in the town - beautiful homecoming queen Lacey was killed just a few years before Ellery and Ezra show up. Ellery, a true crime buff, is hoping she can find some clues to unravel both of those cases during her stay. Of course, the more she looks, the more secrets come to light - and the more bad things start happening. From a hit and run, to open threats on the homecoming court, to a disappearance, things in Echo Falls just can't stay in the past. *My Notes* - I really love Karen M. McManus's writing style, and I love that the twists and turns are both believable and unpredictable. I can't wait for her next novel!
Anonymous 5 months ago
Anonymous 5 months ago
marongm8 6 months ago
This book was really intense to read. Every page there was something new developing in the plot and I never knew how powerful secrets are until reading this book. Keeping secrets is a good quality to have but this book took it one step further in letting it be the key to your survival in the town of Echo-Ridge. Echo-Ridge is a very ironic name for a town where keeping secrets is the key to happiness. Watching Ellery go through Echo-Ridge, discovering unfortunate events and disappearances kept my eyes glued to the page, never wanting to stop reading. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
JillJemmett 6 months ago
I was so excited to read this book when I first heard about it. It didn’t disappoint! I couldn’t put this book down. It was such a page-turner! There were so many pieces of the puzzle that kept popping up. I figured out who did it halfway through the story, when I heard one of the clues. I was still excited to read the ending. The last 50 pages or so were so fast paced. I kept holding my breath just waiting to see what would happen next. The final lines of the story gave me chills! I loved this book! I can’t wait to read everything Karen M. McManus writes in the future! I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 5 months ago
This book gives chills with killer one liners. Karen McManus is an amazing author. She knows exactly what will make the reader twitch, think, and shake for a long long time. That last line... I’m still thinking about it.