Book review: a Good Mother by Sam Hepburn

I hadn’t read anything by this author before but was grabbed by the stylish artwork and comparison to books like Friend RequestThe Wife Between Us and The Girl on the Train.

I see my son’s scooter lying in the undergrowth. Time stands still. Where is he? Deafened by my own heartbeat, I keep looking but I can’t see him. This is all my fault. My punishment for the things I did, and the things I should have done.

All I ever wanted was to keep my son safe. I married the perfect husband, built the perfect home. I’ve tried to give Finn the life I never had.

Everything was going so well. Until now.

It’s just small things at first – a punctured tyre, an open gate that I’m sure I locked. But then I see the photograph of two young girls, and a night I’ve tried to forget.

I know I have to stop pretending that nothing is happening. I can’t escape the truth.

Someone knows my secret. But what do they want from me?

My review

I love stories where the main character is confronted by someone from their past who knows their secret and this one more than lived up to my expectations. Nicci’s constructed an apparently perfect life for herself and her little boy and put her own troubled childhood behind her. She works as a dentist’s receptionist for her husband Ian but having grown up in the care system she’s also ideally placed to help at-risk teenagers. Ian however doesn’t approve which is putting a strain on their marriage. He also has very different views on how she should bring up her son Finn who he believes needs to man up.

Although to the reader, Ian’s behaviour is creepy and controlling, Nicci because of her past is at first oblivious to this. The past timeline shows the dark and dangerous world she was led into by her friend Donna and the shocking consequences. Now Donna’s back on the scene, how far will Nicci go to protect her child?

This is a dark and disturbing domestic noir that I found impossible to put down. It’s brilliantly written with lots of twists. I consumed it in one go and would highly recommend it to other fans of domestic noir.

A Good Mother is published by Bookouture and available here.

My thanks to the publisher for a review copy via NetGalley.


3 thoughts on “Book review: a Good Mother by Sam Hepburn

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