The location: a picturesque seaside town in 1990. The scene: two bodies in a carbon monoxide filled car. Nurse, Lesley Howell, and police officer, Trevor Buchanan, have apparently taken their own lives...

This is the true story of a Sunday school teacher and respectable dentist and pillar of the community, who formed a murderous partnership.

Hazel Buchanan and Colin Howell met at their local Baptist Church in Coleraine, Northern Ireland and embarked upon a passionate and destructive affair, which climaxed in an elaborate plot to commit the “perfect murder” to kill both their partners, Lesley and Trevor and make it look like a suicide pact.

The killers fool the police and get away with murder, but their relationship soon sours and they separate in acrimony and bitterness - a betrayal Howell will not forget. They rebuild their lives, remarrying and prospering, but can never fully escape what they did. As a series of disasters befalls Howell, believing that he is being punished by God, he unravels in a self-destructive frenzy, finally confessing his crimes to the horrified elders of his church.

Convicted of murder, Howell implicates Hazel in the killing, who pleads not guilty, claiming she was coerced in the murders. In a climactic murder trial Howell attempts to finally destroy his former lover.

Critical Acclaim

Compelling viewing.
Fionola Meredith, Belfast Telegraph
As a study of mutually reinforced delusion The Secret was masterly.
Gerard O’Donovan, The Telegraph

The Secret Cast

  • James Nesbitt as Colin Howell

    Acclaimed actor best known for his roles as Adam Williams in Cold Feet (2017), Tony Hughes in The Missing (2014) and as Bofur in the The Hobbit trilogy (2014).

  • Genevieve O’Reilly as Hazel Buchanan

    Best known for her portrayals of Mon Mothma in Star Wars (2017), Mary Johnson in Banished (2015) and of Frances Pirsig in The Honourable Woman (2014).

  • Patrick O’Kane as Trevor Buchanan

    Played roles in DCI Banks (2016), The Fall (2013) and Game of Thrones (2012).

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