Should some secrets remain buried? Dusty has always been a hothead, far more impulsive than her twin, Nick, the calm, cool and collected one of the pair. But Nick is dead, found murdered in their local cemetery, and Dusty simply can’t rest until she finds out who–or what–has killed her brother. Sure the local authorities aren’t being straight with her–or anyone else–about what’s been going on in their little upper Michigan town, Dusty delays going off to college for a semester, defying her father and stepmother and taking a job in the local bar to start doing some digging. Her focus soon fixes on Shane, her brother’s best friend and the town bad boy. The tension and rivalry between Dusty and Shane has always been palpable and sparks fly as the two collide. Dusty finds herself sinking in deeper with Shane and the mystery of what happened to her brother–and a lengthening list of victims–grows even stranger. When everything comes to a head, Dusty focuses on one thing: What happened the night her brother was killed in the cemetery? She’s sure Shane is keeping a secret and she’s determined to find out what it is, one way or another.
Well, there were quite a few things I liked about Buried Secrets, and a few things I didn't like or thought could have been done a bit better, so maybe I'll break it down like that.
Things I liked:
First of all, I really liked how Emme Rollins was able to write about Dusty's grief - it seemed very real and believable to me. I also really enjoyed the development of Dusty's relationship with Shane. Some people like the friends-before-lovers set-up, but this is more like enemies-before-lovers! Again, it's written in a way that the reader can believe is true, when so often in New Adult books, characters will just jump in the sack with no real build-up or reason behind the attraction. Trust me when I say that this aspect of the book is well done.
Shane is a great character, being both funny and cute, but also smarter than Dusty had ever given him credit for. Dusty's a bit of a tomboy, and I like that about her, but I think she would be hard to get to know or be around for any length of time. In other words, I probably wouldn't choose her for a bestie! But hey, to each his own.
The secrets alluded to in the title, when revealed, were surprising to me! Maybe I'm just not great at guessing these "buried secrets", maybe other readers won't be surprised at all, but I was totally caught off guard! Throughout, the book had a real sense of creepiness to it, where I didn't know who was to be trusted. Who, or what, killed Nick? I was kept wondering all the way through.
Things that were kind of...meh:
Okay, not really sure how to write any of this without giving away big spoilers, but I'll do my best.
Do you ever watch a horror or suspense movie and find yourself yelling at the characters, saying things like, "You idiot, don't do that!!! You're so stupid! Run, scream, etc, etc." Well, I do, and I felt that way a few times during this book. Not enough to throw it at a wall or anything, but still. Those moments, definitely not highlights.
There's a part where Shane takes Dusty to his hideaway, a place only he and Nick have ever been to. And it's just too amazing, to the point where I was thinking, "Nope, totally unbelievable, there's no way he could have that kind of a set up, not at 18 years of age." Actually, a bit of background on how Shane's family obtained all this land would have been nice, especially since I got the impression that Shane's family were a bunch of deadbeats!
And then there's the sex. I don't know how things are done these days, but in the '80's, when I was in junior high, we learned all about what would happen if you had sex without protection. There was even an episode of Degrassi Junior High that we all had to watch, where Spike gets pregnant. Maybe Shane and Dusty didn't have "Family Life" as part of their curriculum, but even so, I just don't believe that two modern characters would take a major step like that without even discussing protection or possible consequences.
As for the killer? Well, I'm not really sure what I think about that. I'll just say that the whole wrap-up was a bit weird for my taste.