A Secret Rage

Dropped by her agent, New York City model Nickie Callahan decides to start over—moving back to the South to finish school at Houghton College in Knolls, Tennessee. But Knolls isn’t the quiet town Nickie remembers from her youth. A rapist is targeting the women of Houghton, growing bolder and more vicious with each brutal attack, leaving the community gripped by fear.

When the violence affects Nickie personally, she moves from fear to fury—resolving to catch the rapist at any cost. After joining forces with another survivor, Nickie discovers that the attacks are not random—the rapist knows his victims. With that small clue, and an ironclad determination to stop him from striking again, Nickie begins the grim search for the relentless assailant hiding in plain sight.


“Not many novels, and no mysteries, have shaken me as brutally as A SECRET RAGE […] Far more than the story of a crime, this is a scream of fury, of brutal humiliation […] It strips bare the latent rage concealed within the gentlest of exteriors.”

The Los Angeles Times

“A SECRET RAGE is a good mystery, well-written and compelling. I stayed up until 4:30 one morning in order to finish it […] But more than this, the book is a powerful study of rape and its consequences […] I don’t want to give anything away by describing the climax and ending of this book, but it is certainly a powerful vision of women fighting together against a common enemy.”

The Boston Globe

“Harris’ prime purpose [is] in exploring the relationship of women to men and women to each other when sexual violence turns their lives upside down. This is not to say she has neglected suspense. There’s plenty of it here but it is merely one element in a multi-layered, skillful and provocative novel.”

San Diego Union

“Extraordinary. Powerful.”

Library Journal

“Critics will undoubtedly echo the raves they heaped on Harris’ first novel, to describe this newest, a thriller built on a vital issue […] The riveting story fits an introductory note from Robert Frost’s poem: Someone had better be prepared for rage.”

Publishers Weekly

“Powerful […] Without polemic, Harris gives us survivors, women who find a strength alone and together, to stop the violence and rebuild their lives. A SECRET RAGE is a very special, very real statement as well as an excellent novel of suspense.”

Wilson Library Journal

“Absorbing tension is maintained throughout leading up to a dramatic climax. Effective crime fiction with keen insight into the crime of rape from the victim’s vantage point.”


“Treats of rape in a sensitive, deeply felt way, and offers fine suspense as well.”

Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine

“An exciting novel that you won’t want to put down until you’ve finished.”

Lexington Herald-Leader


Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Gripping reading.”

Pen & Dagger

“The depiction of rape and its aftereffects rings with unmistakable authenticity, and the bones of great plotting and compelling character work, which she has honed to perfection in her recent novels, shine through in this engaging mystery. If Harris ever wanted to return to her roots, Nickie and friends could be the basis of a great Southern-set cozy series.”

RT Book Reviews

Awards & Accolades