The Mother's Mistake: A totally gripping psychological thriller

· Bookouture
30 reviews

About this ebook

'OMG... LITERALLY BLEW MY MIND AWAY!!... Whew... Ruth's writing had me enslaved to my Kindle, tapping away at the pages.' Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

Everyone makes mistakes. But does everyone deserve to be forgiven?

She runs past the tinkling of children’s laughter that fills the park. Heart hammering, feet stinging, she reaches the riverbank, her breath catching in her throat. And then she sees…

Three years later.

Claire has everything she’s always wanted. A new-born baby. A doting husband by her side. A picturesque home in the countryside.

But behind closed doors, Claire’s life is falling apart. Her husband is barely ever home, she’s struggling to bond with her baby girl, and she swears that she is being watched in the remote, lonely cottage.

And when a threatening note is posted through her letterbox, saying she doesn’t deserve her daughter, it’s clear that someone knows about the terrible mistake that Claire made – someone won’t let her forget it. Three years ago, she would have known who to turn to. But now she no longer recognises those closest to her, or the person she’s become. Who can she trust?

An atmospheric, chilling and absolutely unputdownable psychological thriller about a mother’s worst nightmare. Fans of KL Slater, Shalini Boland and The Girl on the Train will love the twists, turns and gasp-worthy shocks of this stunning debut from Ruth Heald.

Readers absolutely love The Mother’s Mistake:

‘Wow, what a story… Utterly hooked from page one, so glad it was a weekend and I could binge read!... An absolute must-read!! 5 huge stars from me.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

Wow… I absolutely loved it… Kept me guessing until the end… The best book I have read in ages.’ NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars

Wow! What an amazing read! Tons of twists and turns and full of suspense… Can't wait for more from this amazing author!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

WOW. I absolutely loved this story… I had knots in my stomach throughout wondering what was going to happen next. Brilliant… One of my top reads this year.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

5 big shiny fat stars… This blew me out of the water.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

Absolutely incredible… I was hooked, I just really couldn’t put it down.’ Life & Tea, 5 stars

A wonderful read!... Let me say that all is not as it seems and MORE!!!... This is another of the best books I have read this year! A fast-moving thriller that constantly has the reader in suspense!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

All I can say is WOW.Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘I loved this book!... It was one of the best thrillers I’ve read this year.’ Goodreads Reviewer

Wow! What a brilliant psychological thriller! The Mother’s Mistake is thought-provoking and chilling with a suspenseful plot and amazing characters.’ Goodreads Reviewer

‘What an amazing thriller!... Stayed up way past my bedtime to find out what was going to happen next.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘I really loved this book! Read it in one day, couldn't put it down!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘A must-read… Has it all: twisty, addictive, pulls you in from page one.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

Perfect… gripped me from start to finish… An amazing, totally unexpected twist… Wonderful.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.’ Books & Sunny

‘What a fantastic book, I loved every word on every page… A brilliantly addictive psychological thriller, full of twists and turns and it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.’ NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars

Fabulous… An absolute page-turner!... It had me guessing until the end… Kept me turning the pages late into the night.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

Ruth Heald hit it out of the park!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

Ratings and reviews

30 reviews
June 11, 2019
Claire is a brand new mother who is struggling to connect to her daughter, Olivia. Recently relocated to a family cabin of her husband’s, Claire feels out of touch and increasingly alienated from the world around her. Olivia is impossible to manage, her husband, Matt, is never home, and her nosy mother-in-law appears to be doing everything she can to put a wedge between their marriage. With all the stress she’s under, it’s not surprising then that Claire succumbs to post-natal depression and a resurgence to drink after years of being sober. Her life at the cottage becomes increasingly dark as she begins to fear for both her life and that of her child’s. Is someone stalking her? Is she paranoid? Heald weaves a compelling narrative that makes it difficult to tell who to trust, both for Claire and the reader. As is common with psychological thrillers, Claire is not a reliable narrator. It works well for the plot because a great portion of this story will force the reader to battle with the protagonist. Are we on Claire’s side or not? Do we believe her or do we think she’s losing her grip? As a thriller, The Mother’s Mistake works well on multiple levels. The tension is palpable. It’s hard to know who to trust. And there are enough chilling moments to keep you glued to the page and eager to know what comes next. However, there are a few weaknesses that kept me from giving this a full five stars. I think this book was too long. There were some chapters where the pacing began to slow. At times I felt as if I was being dragged around in circles. Claire would often contend with the same battles over and over again to the point it became repetitive. It could have done with another round of pruning to make it sharper and increase the sense of urgency to find out what was going to happen to Claire and Olivia. I also found the main twist too predictable from an early point in the novel. That said, there was a supplemental twist I hadn’t entirely pieced together that flowed quite nicely. Overall, I was pleased with the outcome because it did feel well-plotted. Still, there was also a sub-plot involving Matt and his ex that took up a significant portion of the story and ultimately didn’t amount to much. I wish it had tied into the main thread more. SHOULD YOU READ IT? Yes. The Mother’s Mistake is a stunning debut into the thriller genre from author Ruth Heald. She knows Claire inside and out, and the story shows it. If you’re someone who reads psychological thrillers on the regular, you won’t be disappointed by this one. Heald has a knack for building in her atmosphere through slow, creeping reveals. When Claire is frightened, you’ll be frightened. When Claire is on the brink of discovery, you’ll have your fingers trembling over the next page in an eager rush to see what comes next.
20 people found this review helpful
Marnie Harrison
June 11, 2019
The book starts with a chilling prologue, told in the point of view of an unknown character, where the reader is faced head on with the tragic death of a child. Right from this moment, I knew I was going to be taken on an emotional journey and I definitely was! The story then picks three years later. Leaving their hectic lives in London behind for a quieter life in the countryside, life should be perfect for Claire, Matt and their new born daughter Olivia. But the move is not as perfect as Claire hoped. The cottage they have moved to, was Matt’s grandmothers and as it still holds her possessions, Claire struggles to make it feel like home. Her mother-in-law Ruth, who used to be so lovely to her, has turned cold, which has started to cause tension in her marriage to Matt. But the worst of it is that Claire is not bonding with Olivia. She starts to feel so alone, and with his focus on opening a new business, she can’t rely on Matt. Ruth’s sudden coldness also means she can’t turn to her. To makes matters worse Ruth re-introduces Matt’s ex-girlfriend Sarah into the mix and somehow convinces him to hire Sarah as his new receptionist. Then Claire meets single mother Emma. The two quickly bond and Emma becomes someone Claire can confide in. However, Claire is still struggling, and things feel like they are going from bad to worse. Matt is working late every night with Sarah and soon Claire cannot handle the stress of looking after Olivia. She then slips back into depression and paranoia, which was one of the reasons they moved to start afresh. Then Claire receives a hateful note, that says she does not deserve her daughter. Fearful that a tragic mistake from her past is coming back to haunt her, this could just be the last straw that is going to tip her over the edge. We are also given a subplot told from the perspective of another unknown character, that adds another layer to the story. A woman who is being psychically abused by her husband, you wonder where this is heading but never fear, it is all tied up in a thrilling finale and you are not left hanging. Ruth excels in how to get a reader’s attention right from the start, and she does not let go until the final page. I can’t wait to see what else she comes up with next in the psychological thriller genre. If you love a story that will have you hooked right from the start and keeps you enthralled throughout, then this is definitely the book for you. Do I recommend this book: Absolutley! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Thank-you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Ruth Heald for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The Mother’s Mistake in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not biased in anyway.
16 people found this review helpful
Hollie Stevens
June 8, 2020
Wow! excellent read, left me desperate to know more, a real page turner with a twist you don't see coming, I liked reading the other woman's story through the book and I had no idea what that part was about until the end. Very good :)
6 people found this review helpful

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