‘Secrets In The Dark’ is Ceril Campbell’s debut novel.
Innocent Phoebe has only known a life of privilege. Street-smart Paula has had to make her own way in the world. When the two girls meet as teenagers, they form a deep sisterly bond, recognising in one another a yearning for love and for lives that are different from the ones they were born into. But when they each suffer a personal trauma, they are torn apart and set out on very different paths. So begins a rollercoaster journey throughout the 1970s of extreme highs and lows for Phoebe and Paula, as they travel from the epicentre of cool on the Kings Road, Chelsea, to the glamour of Paris, LA and the South of France.
If you’re a fan ofJackie Collins and need a book filled with deceit, scandal and sex, then look no further as ‘Secrets In The Dark’ ticks all those boxes.
The story is seen through the narrative of best friends Phoebe and Paula, who met in secondary school in 1970 and became unlikely friends. Upper class Phoebe is uncomfortable and awkward whilst Paula is a stunning girl who is Phoebe’s complete opposite. Together they make an unlikely pair but they form a close bond until one day Paula disappears leaving Phoebe to wonder what became of her best friend. Leaving them both to find their places in the world, unaware that they in each other’s vicinity without the other knowing.
The story is seen through the narrative of both women and flows through the years. Both becoming successful in their careers, falling in love, marriage as well as teenage pregnancy, sexual assault and drug addiction.
This book makes for racy yet gritty reading that I found myself unable to put down as Phoebe becomes a successful clothes stylist working with great pop stars of the 70’s and gives an insight into the pop circuit. An industry rife with drugs, alcohol and sexual exploits.We also see Phoebe struggle with substance addiction as well as an eating disorder as it helps deal with a sexual assault and gives her back control. These scenes are upsetting reading as Phoebe battles with emotions and blames herself for the attack. Whilst Paula has made a career for herself as a working girl and is fortunate to be paired with only successful men.
The era for the setting of the book made for gripping reading, when drugs are heavily on the scene and being gay is still taboo and has to be celebrated in secret. Cecril’s descriptions are wonderfully vivid and she paints a fabulous picture of the heady days of the music and film industry.
I loved ‘Secrets In The Dark’, it’s sexy, scandalous, thrilling but at the heart of it all, it’s a wonderful story of friendship and though lives may have moved on, best friends are forever.
You buy ‘Secrets In The Dark’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.