Title: The Wrong Mother
Author: Sophie Hannah
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!