The Shakespeare Secret by J.L Carrell

Have you ever asked the question – who was the true William Shakespeare? Well J.L. Carrell explores this question in the book The Shakespeare Secret, first published in 2007 it presents an interesting conspiracy theory relating to the identity of the writer of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets.

The book is a mystery, crime, thriller that is fast-paced and intriguing. The plot twists in this novel are numerous, and the story can certainly make your head spin with the amount of information that is thrown at you. In the book, a Shakespearean academic is murdered in London, setting off a cat and mouse chase across America and Europe to find a lost Shakespearean manuscript; with a killer still on the loose and closing in on the protagonist Kate, it’s not just a piece of history that is at stake but her life.

This book certainly keeps you interested, and I certainly couldn’t put it down once I started it. As I said, the book has plot twists coming at you from all sides, and while that keeps the reader on their toes, it can become confusing if not a little ridiculous especially towards the identity of the killer. The ending also felt slightly rushed for me; a lot of time was spent on detailing the histories of Shakespeare, but the ending chapters felt too hasty. Despite this the novel is a terrific read, with characters that you can get behind and one or two mysteries and conspiracy theories to decipher.


“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.” (quoted from Julius Caesar in The Shakespeare Secret)

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