The Wrong Mother

Monday, October 4, 2010

Title: The Wrong Mother
Author: Sophie Hannah
Pages: 402
Genre: Thriller/Mystery/Fiction
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: September 29, 2009 (US)

I have been wanting to read a Sophie Hannah book for a while now, especially after I continued to hear great things about her and her books. I finally picked up The Wrong Mother by her which I've had on my TBR for a while. The first thing I noticed was the language used. Hannah is a fantastic writer and has a natural talent for telling a story. Her books were originally published in the UK and the tiny differences in word usage, slang, etc. was so interesting to me.

The Wrong Mother tells the story of Sally Thorning who last year spent a week away on a trip where she essentially "hooked up" with a man named Mark Bretherick. Then current day, she's watching the news with her husband (whom she actually completely loves) one night when she sees a man whose wife and daughter were both killed. The man is named Mark Bretherick. The names of the wife and daughter are the same as what he told her during that trip, in fact all the details of his life are the same, but there's one difference: the man on the news is not the Mark Bretherick she spent a week with a year ago.

The rest of the book is the investigation of the deaths of Geraldine and Lucy Bretherick as well as finding out who the man was that Sally met the year before. It alternates from Sally's first person point of view to the third person point of view of the investigators (or detective constables as they're apparently called in the UK). This book was absolutely thrilling! It wasn't the obvious jump up and grab you thrill, but rather the subtle kind which is more creepy. And the mystery was complex. This also wasn't your typical, somewhat cheesy, whodunnit. It was convoluted and nothing I could have ever thought up. Near the end, for a moment, I thought I wasn't going to understand what was happening,but no worries... I did. =) This was one of those where I was fully engaged in the story, but then when I reached the middle, I didn't want to put it down until I was done; you know when you've reached the point of no return... it's like crossing a rope bridge (or any kind if you're afraid of heights or water) -- you can't stop once you get to the middle no matter how freaked out you are about walking the rest of the way. That's how I felt with this... once I got to the middle there was no stopping me from finding out how it ended! There was also some interesting discussion about the research into family annihiliation killings, where one family member kills the rest of the family and sometimes themselves. Very interesting... and then randomly someone at work started talking about something similar after I had read this book and for a second I felt like "wait, didn't I just read some research about that?.... oh no wait, that was a thriller I was reading, lol" But I'm sure the info is still real.

This was another mystery/thriller with more of a literary feel to it... I'm really loving this "sub-genre"! I will definitely be reading more by this author!


Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I like the sound of this one Jenny ---great review.

Zibilee said...

It sounds like this was a really exciting book for you, and I can imagine that I would also really like it. I love mysteries that are very complex and have a literary feel to them, so I am going to have to check this one out! Thanks for the excellent review!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I absolutely LOVED this book, fact, I've loved every book I've picked up by this author.

I'm eager to get her newest one!

Thanks for sharing your feelings during the read. I can totally relate....

Kristi said...

Sounds like a very interesting read! I haven't read anything by this author, but I enjoyed your review, so I may have to pick it up.

Nicola said...

Oh, this sounds fantastic! Thanks for the review!

mike draper said...

Nice review, you certainly described the book well and why it would appeal to me.
I'm going to look this one up.

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

I've looked at this one too. I started Little Face by her but I was so upset with the story that I stopped. It was about a mother who's child gets abducted and another baby is put in its place and NO ONE believes her that its not the right baby. I had just had my son and this was waaaaaay too emotional to read!!!

Great review.

Jenny said...

Bibliophile -- thanks! it was really good!

Heather -- I'm thinking you would like it too!

Laurel -- yay! I have to read more by her!

Kristi -- I recommend it!

Nicola -- hope you are able to read it and love it too!

Mike -- I hope you like it!!

Michelle -- oh no! Have you seen The Changeling with Angelina Jolie? It's a similar plot but her child is like 8-years-old... and it's based on a true story. It was really good! But I could see where that book would have been difficult after just having had a little baby of your own!!

bermudaonion said...

Oh my gosh, I want to read that book now! I'm wondering who the man she spent a week with was!

okbolover said...

It does sound really good. I think I'm gonna go look it up. Thx for the info and review!

reviewsbylola said...

I didn't finish reading your review before I went and reserved this one on my library's site. Great review!

Jenny said...

Kathy -- LOL! I would say it kept me guessing but it was so bizarre that for a long time I didn't even know where to start with guessing!

Okbo -- I hope if you end up reading that you love it too!

Lola -- Yay!!! And thanks! I hope you love it!!

Trish said...

SO weird. Another blogger was just telling me about Sophie Hannah and how she writes more literary mysteries that she thinks I'd like. I told her I hadn't heard of her but would keep my eyes open--and now you're saying the same. Mystery with literary feel. Hmmm--I think the universe is telling me I need to check her out! :)

Baba said...

I am actually reading this book and am about half way through. It's the first book I have ever read by her but if I definitely want to read "Little Face." An easy read. I don't want to put it down!!

Jenny said...

Trish -- You definitely should!!! I'd be really interested to see what you think!!

Baba -- That's definitely on my list to read soon too!!

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