Review: An Inheritance of Secrets by Sonya Bates, by Shelley Carter

Title: Inheritance of Secrets
Author: Sonya Bates
Genre: Historical Thriller
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia (2020)

After the horrific death of her Oma and Opa, Juliet Dunne must trace her family history and uncover secrets that were supposed to stay buried forever. She discovers that her grandfather, Karl, somehow had a connection to the Nazi party before immigrating to Australia at the end of the 1940s, and this connection could possibly be the cause of his murder, and the murder of his beloved wife Grete.

Inheritance of Secrets is a dual timeline story set between Germany, Adelaide, and the ocean in between, and is an absolute thrill ride. The pacing is brilliant, with the author slowly revealing clues to Karl and Grete’s homicide at perfect intervals throughout the story; just enough to keep you turning the pages, while also immersing yourself in the story of Karl’s escape to Australia.

I found the chapters set in the 1940s to be more enjoyable than the ones set in the present, as I felt I had more of an emotional connection to Karl and Grete as young adults rather than Juliet and her life in Adelaide. I didn’t much care for her relationships with the other characters, aside from the troubled relationship she had with her older sister Lily. I found their chemistry to be excellent, and Bates did a great job at portraying tense interactions between estranged siblings.

It takes an impressive thriller to garner a five-star rating from me, and Inheritance of Secrets is up on my list of favourite reads of 2020 so far! If you’re a fan of historical fiction with a thriller/mystery twist, I would highly recommend this book.

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