Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus (Book Summary)

The twins, Ellery and Ezra, moved to Echo Ridge to live with their grandmother since their mother, Sadie, is in rehab.

When Ellery and Ezra arrived, they were fetched by their grandmother and Melanie Kilduff. Melanie is the mother of the late Lacy Kilduff, the homecoming queen who was strangled to death 5 years ago in murderland, now known as fright farm.

As they drove, they saw a dead body in the middle or the road – it was the biology teacher and he’s already dead. The next day, officer Ryan Rodriguez questioned Ellery and Ezra – officer Rodriguez was very stunned to see them (later in the book it was revealed that officer Rodriguez is their half brother. They saw a picture of his later father who looked exactly like Ezra. They confronted Sadie about this and she admitted to have slept with a married man when she was in Echo Ridge)

Ellery met Malcolm, the younger brother of Declan. Declan is the boyfriend of the girl who got killed, Lacy. Declan has moved to another town to avoid the drama while Malcolm lives with his mother who just married Peter, a wealthy lawyer. Malcolm also lives with Katrin, Peter’s daughter – a potential homecoming queen.

Ellery and Malcolm first met at an event to honor Lacy. Ellery saw Malcom holding a spray paint and behind him was a warning relating to the previous deaths (aside from Lacy, there was another victim – Sarah. She is Sadie’s twin sister and she died 23 years ago. No body was ever found. She just disappeared. What happened to her is still a mystery.)

Malcolm was worried because he doesn’t want to draw any attention to himself, he knows that people will think bad about him instantly since he is Declan’s younger brother. Another set of threats was found and Malcolm was also around when it showed up.

The homecoming candidates were announced: Kristin, Brooke and Ellery (she was shocked since nobody knows her yet). They received threats – telling them that what has happened to Sarah and Lacy could happen again. They were freaked out.

During a staff party at fright farm (Ellery and Ezra worked there) , Malcolm picked them up to take them home. During the party, when Ellery and Malcolm was about to kiss, they got distracted by a drunk Brooke, holding a paper clip. She mentioned about making a huge mistake. They assisted Brooke to the car. Malcolm dropped Ellery and Ezra first since they are nearer, then he proceeded to Brooke’s house.

They next day, Brooke’s parents reported that she didn’t come home. Malcolm was the last person to see Brooke – and most people were quick to assume that he did something horrible. The police questioned him. Kristin also mentioned that Malcolm and Brooke could be hooking up since Brooke was gone for some time during a sleep over.

Ellery, Ezra and Mia (Malcolm’s close friend) all believe that Malcolm is innocent, so they helped him attempt to figure out what happened to Brooke.

Mia has an older sister named Daisy who used to be Lacy’s bestfriend. Daisy moved out of town after Lacy’s death but came back recently – just in time Declan came back. Mia followed Daisy and found out that she’s in a relationship with Declan. Truth is, they fell in love while Declan was still with Lacy but didn’t do anything about it to avoid hurting Lacy. They met again a few years after Lacy’s death and started dating. The reason Daisy came back to Echo Ridge is because she had a nervous breakdown, she is still not over about Lacy’s guilt. She thought about a bracelet that Lacy had and realized that it may help solve the crime. She went back, asked for the bracelet from Lacy’s mom and then asked Declan to accompany him to the jewelry shop. They found no answers, so Daisy just gave the bracelet to Officer Rodriguez.

Ellery also did her own investigation to find Brooke. She talked to a man that Malcolm saw had an unusual conversation with Brooke – the man (happened to be Sadie’s ex) revealed that Brooke asked him how to teach her how to open a lock without a key. He simply told her to use a paper clip. Ellery remembered that Brooke was holding a paper clip the night she was in fright farm.

Ellery learned to open a lock using a paper clip. She went to fright farm, and took the contents of the recycle bin.  They checked the contents and found only one unusual receipt – it’s a receipt for a car repair for Kristin’s BMW. Customer’s name is Amy Nilsson and the phone number is Brooke’s. The date on the receipt relates to the day Ellery and Ezra arrived in Echo Ridge, the same day they saw the biology teacher’s body on the road.

They thought that the crimes were done by Kristin since she owns the BMW. Malcolm once followed her and saw her making vandals, but they were wrong.

Ellery was at Malcolm’s place, watching netflix. They had a chat with Peter, and he mentioned that Kristin was out of town during the day the biology teacher was killed. Malcolm and his mom were out of town. This means that Peter was left alone at home and he’s the only one who was able to use the BMW that day. Peter said that he was meeting someone, Malcolm’s coach. Malcolm called the coach to ask if he met with Peter that night – he didn’t. Ellery and Malcolm figured out that Peter did it but before they could go out of the house, the door opened and revealed Peter, holding a gun. He asked for their phones and locked them in the basement. He’s planning to set up their deaths as an accident. He went out of the house and left Ellery and Malcolm locked in the basement – the two of them eventually fainted.

Ellery woke up in the hospital, she kept dozing off but she’s already safe. So is Malcolm. They were saved by Officer Rodriguez, he figured out that Peter could he the suspect. He figured it out with the help of Lacy’s bracelet that Daisy gave them. The jeweler contacted them regarding a recent purchase of the same bracelet – it was traced to Peter. They confirmed that the bracelet was given to Brooke, they looked for it during the investigation. Before Peter took the phone, Ellery was able to send a message to Officer Rodriguez and it only contains ‘P’. When he learned that Ellery is at Peter’s house, he rushed to save her. Peter has been sent to Jail. As for Katrin, she has not given a statement but it looks like she doesn’t know about her father’s crimes.

For the vandals in town, it was really Viv – Kristin and Brooke’s friend. She did it to have something to write about since her previous submission got rejected. The police are still not sure why Kristin got involved with the vandals.

Brooke’s body was already found. The blame has been taken off from Declan and Malcolm.

The truth was, Brooke and Peter have an affair. Brooke was with Peter when the biology teacher got hit – it was the mistake that she was referring too. She felt guilty and looked for the receipt to expose what really happened. It was Peter who killed her.

It was also Peter who killed Lacy and Sarah.

The End of Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus.

Published by

Eva Harmoni

There was one night when the rain poured so hard, and i didn't want it to stop. Weird, because i was afraid and amused by the sound of the rain and thunder. The sound of it made me less alone that night. The next day i woke up to find my collection of journals soaked. I keep it near the window to make sure no one could read it. The writings can still be read but i was devastated by the damage. I wanted it preserved but i don't want it published. Still amused by the rain but afraid of the wrath it could bring to my journals, i created this blog.

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