NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Friday, December 4, 2009

Today's review...

The Wrong Mother
by Sophie Hannah

3.0 out of 5 stars Complex and thought provoking tale of the dark side of motherhood..., December 4, 2009
By Denise "DC" (Missouri, USA) - See all my reviews
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.

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