In KEEP NO SECRETS, the controversial follow-up to Compton’s debut legal thriller TELL NO LIES, a district attorney struggles to redeem himself after a one-night stand damaged his marriage and professional reputation.
After surviving the private and public fallout from a one-night stand four years before, St. Louis DA Jack Hilliard wants nothing more than to be trusted again by his wife, Claire, and to earn back the respect of the community he serves. Since the day Claire accepted him back into the family, he’s vowed to be true to these goals, and so far he’s succeeded.
But all of Jack’s efforts begin to crumble when the woman involved in his earlier downfall, Jenny Dodson, returns to town claiming threats on her life and asking for his help, and resurrecting for Jack long-buried emotions and questions of her guilt for the murder of a client. Just when he thinks the pressure can’t get any worse, his son’s girlfriend, Celeste, accuses him of sexual assault, and he suddenly finds himself on the wrong end of a criminal case, battling for his freedom.
Can Jack trust his freedom to the legal system on which he built his career? Or will the ghost of his one-night stand four years before come back to haunt him, causing him to be convicted on the mistakes of his past?
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How is Writing In Your Genre Different from Others?
My novels are very character-driven. I like to combine the suspense of thrillers with the drama of human relationships.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Be persistent and practice your craft. You can’t expect to win the US Open the first time you step onto a tennis court, so don’t think just because you’ve written “The End” on your first novel means you’re ready for publication.
Julie Compton is the author of Tell No Lies, a legal thriller set in her original hometown of St. Louis; Rescuing Olivia, a romantic, contemporary thriller set in Florida; and Keep No Secrets, the sequel to Tell No Lies. Her novels combine the suspense of thrillers with the drama of human relationships. An attorney by profession, she now writes full-time from her home near Orlando, Florida.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Keep No Secrets is a sequel to my debut, Tell No Lies (although it’s written to stand-alone for readers who haven’t read the first one). Tell No Lies featured a DA – a basically good, principled man – who damaged his marriage and ruined his reputation in the community after he succumbs to his obsession with a female colleague. His wrongdoing is discovered after the colleague is charged with murder and Jack is her alibi. I never intended to write a sequel, but the requests from my readers were so overwhelming, so I left the door open to the possibility while I went on to write my second (unrelated) novel.
A few years later, at a Christmas Eve family gathering, my sisters-in-law began to discuss “who drives the babysitter home” after a night out with their husbands. All of them had this fear – a fear I’d never had when my children were younger – that if their husbands did the driving, they exposed themselves to a situation in which the wrong babysitter might make unfounded accusations against them. One of my brothers-in-law is a children’s musician, and we began to talk about how devastating such an allegation would be to someone whose livelihood revolved around kids. It was then that the idea sparked in my head: what if Jack was wrongly accused of a crime just as he’d begun to regain the trust of his family and community?