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The Secretary

Narrated by: Victoria Hamilton
Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
4 out of 5 stars (135 ratings)

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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Secretary by Renée Knight.

The eagerly anticipated new thriller from the number one best-selling author of Disclaimer

Look around you. Who holds the most power in the room? Is it the one who speaks loudest, who looks the part, who has the most money, who commands the most respect?

Or perhaps it’s someone like Christine Butcher: a meek, overlooked figure who silently bears witness as information is shared and secrets are whispered. Someone who quietly, perhaps even unwittingly, gathers together knowledge of the people she’s there to serve - the ones who don’t notice her, the ones who consider themselves to be important.

There’s a fine line between loyalty and betrayal. And when someone like Christine Butcher is pushed to her limit, she might just become the most dangerous person in the room.... 

©2019 Renée Knight (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"Poised to establish herself as a big name." (The Telegraph)

What listeners say about The Secretary

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping

An intelligently woven story excellently recounted. Keeps you hooked to the end ; even if the characters aren't 'lovable' I found them fascinating.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Compelling tale

This book was not what I expected. After a career of several decades, I know that Secretaries are powerful people. I know of colleagues who have been afraid of their Secretaries, knowing as they did that they could undermine them if they chose to do so. I anticipated that this novel would take this reality and run with it. However, a completely different direction was taken. I will say no more about this to avoid spoilers.

Although I found it compelling (I had to know what happened next throughout), it could not be said that I ‘enjoyed’ it. The two protagonists were written with depth, but the other characters were peripheral and superficial. That was not a problem in itself given the nature of the story, but both protagonists were unpleasant individuals, so it was pretty heavy going. I do recommend it. It is a good book, but not a 5* read/listen.

11 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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I liked it

I really liked this book. I would highly encourage anyone to listen. Narration was good, subtle yet lively

2 people found this helpful

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  • MR
  • 06-05-19

A good read

Enjoyable. Great style of writing. I want a Christine Butcher in my life too 😉

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ghastly main characters, somewhat satisfying end.

Halfway through the book I felt like smashing my listening device against a wall. The characters were so awful, especially the secretary, who had no reason to allow herself to be so easily lead by the nose the way she had. We didn't see any apparent decline in her mental capacity nor did she start out underprivileged or slightly unstable. So it made no sense for her to be so easily beguiled by Meena. I had no sympathy for the secretary whatsoever and although I was rather surprised at the unexpected turn of events in the end, I don't think the ending was justified but instead felt tacked on as an afterthought. But I do appreciate the author's research efforts because as someone who could never devote so much of my life to looking after another adult, I was a bit skeptical about the secretarial duties described in the story. So it's nice to know it's based on fact. I enjoyed Disclaimer a lot and thought I'd give the author another shot. The writing itself is quite good and the narrator was the best part. It's worth a credit but you may find yourself feeling slightly underwhelmed after all is said and done.

3 people found this helpful

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Fantastic book

Brilliantly written, exceptionally narrated - this kept me gripped from the very first word!
I will now download the original Renee Knight book.

3 people found this helpful

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Not what I expected but definitely worth it!

I was rather put off by the cover image so was not expecting such a captivating book; I did not want to stop listening!

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great read

wow this was really good. I got involved straight away and listened to it in a day whilst painting. narrator was great and I dont usually like female narrators. well worth listening too. just downloaded another 1 of her books

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brilliant

initally i found the narrators voice jarring and didnt immediately take to this book, but later i found that it suited the story of Christine the secratary perfectly.
couldnt stop listening towards the end.
would be great on the big or small screen, esecially if the same actress plays the part!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Dull

I couldn't wait to buy this book after enjoying Renee Knight's "Disclaimer", which I absolutely loved!
Now I wish I'd taken more notice of the few negative reviews before I bought it.
Listening to it, made me feel like I was trapped with an extremely boring house guest who only ever wanted to talk about herself!
I hate books that are all narration with very little dialogue. It's impossible to craft characters without dialogue or for the reader to feel emotion for those characters without hearing their voices. The book has no emotion, no sexual tension, no likable characters and no action ...... at least up to chapter 12 there isn't. I'm not reading any further!