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The Mother's Fault: A totally addictive psychological thriller full of twists Kindle Edition
She’ll do anything to save her son. But what if telling the truth means losing him for ever?
On a crisp winter’s evening, Beverly is cooking for her son. Eight-year-old Riley is climbing a tree in the garden, and Beverly smiles as she watches him. Nothing makes her happier than her precious child having fun – she never thought they’d be happy again.
The water on the stove is boiling, and Beverly slides in a handful of spaghetti. When she glances out of the window again, Riley is not there.
She races outside, her heart thumping. Riley is nowhere to be found.
Instinctively, Beverly knows that her son has not just run away. She knows this because of her secret – the one she has kept for eight years. The one that means she has no choice but to keep neighbours at a distance, that stops her sleeping at night.
She thought she’d made the right decision, that she was protecting her son. But now he’s gone. Could this be all her fault?
She’ll do anything to save him. Yet if she tells the truth, she could lose him for ever…
A totally gripping psychological thriller that will get your pulse racing like crazy as it hits you with twist after twist after twist! If you loved The Wife Between Us or The Girl on the Train you’ll be utterly glued to this page-turner.
Readers love The Mother’s Fault:
‘OMG!!! SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!.… The most heart-racing book I’ve read in long time, if not ever!!! It had me hook, line and sinker from the first page and I could not put it down!!! Every time I said one more chapter it ended on a cliffhanger and I just had to know what was going on!!!… Clear your day because it is truly unputdownable… LOVED it.’ Bookworm86, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Absolutely amazing with huge twists and turns – I defy anybody not to love this book! I devoured this.’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Loved, loved, loved!!!!! You cannot go wrong when you pick up one of Nicole Trope’s books. My world literally stops. I finished in just one sitting with a box of Kleenex by my side… You are in for a shock of all shockers.’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Amazing! This was a tense book that I read pretty much in one sitting, and late into the night! Jammed packed with tension and suspense that kept my heart racing. Whenever I had to stop reading I couldn’t wait to get back to it!’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘I was on the edge of my seat from page 1… I honestly thought I had figured out the twist early on but boy was I WRONG!’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Wow, what a page turner!! I could not put this book down!’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘I was hooked… Wow, this is the kind of book where you start reading and think you have a pretty good handle on things, then, WHAM! A twist gets thrown... and knocks you off your feet.’ Ebookbnerdreviews
‘Wow what a book!… Had me hooked immediately… Unputdownable.’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘I just kept turning the pages desperate to find out what was going to happen next, enthralled from the first page to the last.’ Charliebeesbooks, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Oh wow!… Absolutely fantastic!… It made me shriek a little more times than I’d care to admit.’ Goodreads reviewer
- ASIN : B09C2CVM1P
- Publisher : Bookouture (15 October 2021)
- Language : English
- File size : 1820 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 302 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 2,535 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Firstly, let me say that I for one am thrilled that Nicole Trope abandoned her law degree in favour of becoming a writer. Imagine all the stories that we would never have enjoyed from her pen? Or, more accurately, her computer these days. All the brilliant tales she's woven that we would have missed? It doesn't bear thinking about. She is one of my most favourite writers that every time one of her books come up, my fingers do the walking and send her latest trope (pun intended) to my kindle. And as always, I was not disappointed.
A quick and easy psychological domestic thriller, THE MOTHER'S FAULT begins with a prologue outlining a gruesome find washed up on a beach, coupled with a bloodied onesie that had been discovered just a week or so before. Then we are delved into the domestic life of a mother and her 8 year old son. But how are the two linked?
Single mother Beverley has a secret. One that, if uncovered, could threaten the life she has built and everything she holds dear. It has given her many a sleepless night and caused her to be incredibly protective her 8 year old son Riley. So much so that whenever anyone starts to get too close she cuts ties with them for fear of being found out.
Eight months ago, Beverley met Ethan who, at thirty years old, was ready to settle down and have a family. She fell in love with him despite all she put at risk by doing so and although Riley didn't take to Ethan immediately, he too grew to love him also. And for a boy who has grown up without a father, Riley longed for one and had thought he had found that in Ethan. But Beverley knew she was risking everything and Ethan, who was like a dog with a bone, kept pursuing the subject of Riley's parentage and the rights of a father. Beverley knew then she had to break up with Ethan before he discovered her secret. The problem then was Riley. He adored Ethan and didn't understand why he suddenly wasn't there anymore...and neither did Ethan.
Then one morning after going through their usual daily routine of breakfast and getting ready for school, they leave the house passing the mailbox as they made their way to her little car. For some reason, despite knowing that the postman didn't deliver until the afternoon, Riley always insists on checking the mailbox every morning on his way to school. Beverley humours him every time with a smile and a heart full of love for her son. Only this time, there is something in the mailbox. A small parcel wrapped in blue paper with silver stars. Riley sees the gift is addressed to him but Beverley is suspicious. Who would send her son gifts and not sign their name? Her thoughts immediately go to Ethan, who has continued to pursue her despite her blocking his every move and refusing to reconcile. Surely he would not try to break her down through her son...would he? Riley opens the gift which is a handball and goes off to school with a spring in his step.
The next morning there is another similarly wrapped gift: this time a for a handbook for a game he and his best friend Benji love to play, Followed by yet another the next morning: this time a robot for Riley to construct. Until the next morning when Riley catches her sneaking out to the mailbox at dawn to intercept an even more expensive gift which turned out to be a games console - the exact same she has been saving up to buy Riley for Christmas. A row between mother and son ensues before she confiscates the console and he sulks all the way to school, refusing to say goodbye to his mum when she drops him off. It's his console, it was addressed to him; she has no right to take it away from him.
But Beverley is angered that Ethan has continued to ply her son with expensive gifts despite her texting him to tell him to stop. He hasn't even answered her calls...and yet he was the one who kept saying they needed to talk. Suddenly, he didn't want to anymore...is that it?
That afternoon, after picking Riley up from school, Beverley had almost acquiesced in allowing him to have the console...but on the condition she speak to Ethan first and Riley send him a thank you email for the generous gift. Riley, thrilled at the prospect of all the games he could play on his new console, raced outside and climbed his tree to sit and play on his iPad until his mum called him for dinner.
Only when Beverley looks up from the chopping of onions and cooking the spaghetti does she find the backyard empty. She looks in the tree to the platform her father had lovingly installed for her older brother James as a child which is Riley's favourite place to be but he isn't there. Frantically, she races outside calling his name. She searches the house, the cupboards, everywhere she could think of but he is nowhere to be found. Calling on friends and neighbours prove to be fruitless also. So with shaky hands she called Triple Zero.
"My son is missing!"
Calling the police was her last resort as she risked them discovering the secret she has fought so hard to keep from seeing the light of day. But she has to find Riley. She couldn't lose him too....not after everything she's been through. But how far will the police delve in their search for her missing son? And just exactly what will they uncover? Could her past be coming back to haunt her? And could she be about to lose Riley just as soon as she finds him again?
THE MOTHER'S FAULT is not the usual missing child story. In fact it occurs a good way into the story that it feels almost secondary to the bigger picture that lurks in the background, blending perfectly as a whole amidst the twists and family drama from both narratives. Beverley and Riley begin as the main narrators to this story with an unnamed person doing their best to tell their side as they see it. About halfway through, the identity of this person seems to become clear...until Nicole throws in another twist big enough to give us whiplash. Many times I thought I had it figured out..until I did upon reveal.
Beverley is an easy-to-like character as we silently cheer her on in her quest to find her son lest the truth be uncovered anyway. She was doing the best she could as a single parent and there was no doubting her love for Riley. As her story gradually unfolded and became clearer, the reader can see why she did what she did and understand her reasoning and motives. But I did question her keeping that truth from Riley. As a child growing up without a father, I think he deserved the truth...even if it was a watered down version of it till he was old enough to understand what happened. The fact that she kept it secret just made things worse as he continued to ask questions about his father - normal questions that any child would ask about an absent parent as to who, what, when, where, how and why? She didn't have to give him every detail...just enough to satisfy his curiosity. Because the tidbits she had fed him in the past were no longer enough to satisfy him as he began to question the truth and imagine his dad out there living his life...as a spy and leaving these awesome gifts for him, as so helpfully suggested by best friend Benji.
Sam, Beverley's neighbour, was another endearing character as was his delightful Scottish Terrier, the highly imaginatively named Scotty. Their inclusion to the story is as enjoyable as it is relevant. Benji is also a delight who we get to meet through Riley's eyes in his narrative which is somewhat entertaining at times. But of course, I have to say the best supporting character award goes to Scotty - who, thankfully, comes to no harm so read with ease! I would have been weeping buckets had he been harmed having just lost my own beloved staffy just three weeks ago...for that loss is still far too raw to be reading about other canines meeting a hasty end.
While I didn't enjoy this as much as my other previous favourites - "The Family Across the Street", "The Boy in the Photo", "The Nowhere Girl" or "The Life She Left Behind" - THE MOTHER'S FAULT is still an engaging and compelling read that will have you turning the pages and keep you guessing right up to the end. The pacing is excellent and the story never lags and I could have quite easily have devoured it in one sitting, had I started it earlier in the evening.
Overall, THE MOTHER'S FAULT is another outstanding offering by Nicole Trope that I have no hesitation in recommending to fans of domestic thrillers and family dramas with a twist.
There are several themes in common between the two books, including a dramatic seige/detainment situation, a character suffering the long-term effects of abusive parenting and a well-imagined point-of-view from a character suffering from a delusional psychosis. There's also the useful - dare I say it - trope (!) of an elderly neighbour of the central character(s), whose involvement adds pathos and moves the action forward. Also similarly to The Family Across the Street, The Mother's Fault is told from alternating perspectives and contains plenty of misdirection, red herrings and surprising twists.
Young single mother Beverley lives in her own childhood home with her 8-year-old son, Riley. Her parents were both killed in a car accident when she was 16. Her only other relative - her older brother James - died two years later, in traumatic circumstances that are slowly revealed over the course of the book. Beverley and Riley are alone in the world, and while there are some financial and social struggles, are a close family unit. But Beverley is nervous that something in her past might one day be revealed and tear them apart. Riley has been told that his father is dead, but Beverley is reluctant to give him any more than scant detail and has hidden all photographs of the man away where Riley can't find them. Perhaps understandably, imaginative Riley entertains fantasies that his father is still alive somewhere and will one day reappear.
One morning, a wrapped parcel appears in their letterbox, addressed to Riley and containing a small gift and a cryptic note. On succeeding days, more - increasingly generous - gifts appear, delighting Riley but causing Beverley deep concern. At first she suspects her former partner, Ethan, with whom she'd recently broken up over her inability to open up about her own and Riley's background. But he's not responding to her repeated texts and phone calls asking him to stop. Then Riley disappears from the back yard one afternoon after school...
While The Mother's Fault contained plenty of tension, good character development and several unexpected twists, I didn't enjoy it as much as I did The Family Across the Street. Perhaps that's because the underlying plot of The Mother's Fault felt just a little too much over the top and there were several plot/character inconsistencies which I felt stretched credibility. That said, it's a fast and engrossing read. Potential trigger warnings for readers include: child abuse (physical and emotional), violence, family trauma and mental illness.
I'd recommend The Mother's Fault to readers who enjoy domestic thrillers with lots of twists and turns.