Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
How would you feel if your best friends young teenage daughter went missing and it was YOUR fault? That's exactly what happens to Lisa in this super debut thriller novel "just what kind of mother are you?"
Lisa and her taxi driver husband Joe live in the lake district where she balances a stressful job managing the local dog and cat sanctuary, running her home, juggling the family finances to make ends meet, bringing up her children, hardly surprising that at times things get on top of her.
I think many of us will relate to that feeling of chasing your own tail around in circles, waking up feeling even more tired than when we went to bed. This novel really does feel true to life, as if we're being given a privileged glimpse inside someone else's life.
As if all that's not enough to cope with, Lisa has to battle the feeling that she's not quite good enough, that her friends somehow look down on her, she's not quite as well heeled as they are, and in the back of her mind constantly taunting her is that little indiscretion years ago that she's almost but not completely managed to put behind her.
So one day when she lets her daughter stay off school, it's not very surprising that it slips her mind that her daughter's friend 13 year old Lucinda was supposed to be coming home after school that night to stay over. Even when Lucindas Mum, Lisa's rather upmarket friend Kate rings her the following morning she barely even notices that Kate's asked "how are the girls?" rather than how are the kids and her non committal reply fails to alert her to the fact that Lucinda is supposed to be there, in her home with her own daughter Sally. When she discovers that Lucinda is missing and people are saying she is to blame, she takes the guilt on board and blames herself too.
Meanwhile the police investigating Lucinda's disappearance begin to draw inevitable comparisons to another young girl who went missing in the same area recently and when a 3rd girl also disappears it seems a serial paedophile is on the prowl in the normally tranquil, Lake District in the depths of winter.
One of the investigating officers is Joanne, a really well written character I grew to like immensely. There are lots of excellent, well rounded characters all extremely believable. Lots of twists and a strong storyline with lots of pathos with side storylines featuring the animals at the sanctuary where Lisa works, the background of DC Joanne Aspinall and her aunt with whom she lives "Mad Jackie" who far from being mad seemed one of the saner characters in the book and I also liked her enormously. It kept me turning the pages and wondering what was behind Lucindas disappearance right until the end. A very well written, enjoyable read and I look forward immensely to any future books by this exciting new author.
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