This was interesting and compelling but ultimately an overly long novel about families and murder. The introduction and premise were intriguing -- a woman is watching television when she sees news of a case involving a mother and daughter who are dead, perhaps a murder suicide. She starts when she hears the name of the surviving husband and gasps in disbelief -- the name is familiar for it is the man with whom she had an affair on a week-long fling in the previous year. When she sees him on the TV, however, she can't believe it -- it is NOT the man she had been with. Sally Thorning decides to begin her own investigation of the case and it leads her to an examination of her own marriage and motherhood. Who was the man she spent a week with and what is the connection she bears to the dead mother and daughter -- co-incidentally a mother that she resembles. Who killed them and why? Is Sally in danger? The resultant investigation probes into the lives of mothers and their children -- how hard is it to raise a child and balance work and home? Shouldn't every woman love being a mother and be able to put her children first?
The somewhat pedantic story never quite rises to the level of suspense that is anticipated and is told from several shifting viewpoints that slow down the pace and bog down the narrative. The brief glimpse the reader has into the personal lives of the police are but teasers as this aspect of the novel is not given much depth. Thus the investigators remain cardboard characters whom we don't get to know. The story ends in such a manner as to indicate that there will be a sequel perhaps involving these same detectives.
All in all the climax and denouement are not exactly predictable, the "who" in the whodunit seems to come out of nowhere, and the last few pages race toward the conclusion in an unsatisfying manner. It was all a bit of a let down at the end.
I'll give it 3.5 stars and probably will look into a follow up by this author.
This kept me riveted. Half the time I could not figure out what was going on, and I actually enjoyed that. I'm usually knocking on authors who use multiple point of views, and this one was peppered with different pov's, but it enhanced this plot and didn't detract from it at all. It seemed like an actual police investigation where there are a lot of spoons in the pot and strong personalities with opposing theories, power plays, and heaps of personal drama thrown into the mix. You are bombarded with tidbits of information from multiple people, and part of the trick to this book is deciphering which turn out to be accurate and which are conjecture that don't lead anywhere. I stayed up until 1 am to finish this book, even though I knew I'd have to be up by 6. I don't read a lot of suspense/thriller books, but I'll probably pick them up more often after this one--and I will definintely read more by this author. The crime was original and well thought out.
Excellent mystery. Switches back and forth from character's point of view which confused me when I was not paying full attention. Towards about the middle of the book, I was so caught up in it that laundry, cleaning and dinner were all delayed until I finished the book. Cannot wait to read another of this author's.
I grew up on Agatha Christie, P.D. James and Ruth Rendell. During the past two decades, I have enjoyed Elizabeth George, Martha Grimes and Deborah Crombie, Americans who have created Scotland Yard detectives who investigate English murders.
Although I have received many suggestions of other crime writers who write great English murder mysteries, I have not been tempted to read any of them until a friend gave me a book by Sophie Hannah.
I now intend to read all of her books. I think you will enjoy the interesting relationship between Det. Sgt. Charlotte "Charlie" Zailer and Det. Constable Simon Waterhouse. Hannah's books are page turners that present murders that test all the detectives'...and the readers'...faculties to solve.
In this one, it appears that the unthinkable has happened, a woman murders her young daughter, then commits suicide. She appears to have been happily married, but her diary says otherwise. The dectectives discover another mother and young child have moved to Spain...or have they?
I could not put this book down. Try The Wrong Mother and I promise that you will want to read all of Sophie Hannah's books.
I enjoyed this book - but was slow getting into it. There was a lot of characters and I had trouble keeping them all straight. Part of the fun with reading a murder mystery is trying to figure out who did it. I felt that I was unable to do this because I never knew all the pieces of the situation or all the characters that were involved.