I knew Lady Audley's Secret was a popular sensation novel of its time with a mystery plot involved bigamy and Goodreads' description even says that it established her as a rival of Wilkie Collins. Bigamy aside, this should have been right up my alley. But I was disappointed with the lack of character development and the uneven pacing. The first 2/3 just dragged. We already knew almost all of what our hero was discovering so it was just waiting for him to catch up. And I didn't like how the 3rd person narration sometimes seemed to be giving us a limited view, describing characters as others saw them, while at other times seemed to be trying to reveal hidden layers but not very well. And I really couldn't care less about anyone. I felt like I should care about justice prevailing but I kinda think everyone was getting what they deserved. Eventually I gave up on trying to get any deeper meaning or insights and tried to just enjoy the story. Which was hard because until about the the 60% mark on my kindle it was just very boring. I will say that the last 30-40% was much better and I finished it up in just a day or two. But it was almost too fast of an ending and I didn't think that Lady's Audley's behavior in the end really fit with her character. It just seemed like Braddon needed to wrap up the book.
If this was put up against Wilkie Collins The Moonstone, there wouldn't even be a question in my mind who would win. The later is a classic. The former is a book that was really popular during its time. So overall, I think I agree with Mr. Ray.
Lady Audley's Secret is my Classic with a Name in the Title Selection in the Back to the Classics Challenge.