As a huge fan of Caroline Mitchell’s work, I jumped at the chance to take part in the blog tour for The Perfect Mother. Thanks to Sarah over at BookOnTheBrightSide for inviting me onto the tour!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
She thought they wanted her baby. But they won’t stop there.
Roz is young, penniless and pregnant. All she wants is to be the perfect mother to her child, but the more she thinks about her own chaotic upbringing, the more certain she is that the best life for her baby is as far away as possible from her hometown in Ireland.
Determined to do the right thing, Roz joins an elite adoption service and can’t believe her luck. Within days she is jetting to New York to meet a celebrity power couple desperate for a child of their own. Sheridan and Daniel are wealthy and glamorous—everything Roz isn’t. Her baby will never go hungry, and will have every opportunity for the perfect life. But soon after Roz moves into their plush basement suite, she starts to suspect that something darker lurks beneath the glossy surface of their home.
When Roz discovers she isn’t the first person to move in with the couple, and that the previous woman has never been seen since, alarm bells start ringing. As the clock ticks down to her due date, Roz realises her unborn baby may be the only thing keeping her alive, and that despite her best intentions, she has walked them both into the perfect nightmare…
The Perfect Mother is the latest psychological thriller from Caroline Mitchell. It tells the story of Roz, young, broke and pregnant and how one decision changed her life…
It opened up with a prologue which left me breathless, both with anticipation and fear about what I was about to uncover in the pages ahead. Two women, Roz and Dympna, best friends but poles apart in terms of their background. Dympna comes from a stable and loving home while Roz’s background was at best chaotic and at its worse verging on abusive. When she discovers she is pregnant, Roz confesses to Dympna that she doesn’t think she is able to offer a baby the love and protection it needs. Her strict Catholic background means she cannot consider a termination and a dark secret she is keeping from her friend leaves her unable to face giving birth to the child in Ireland. And so comes her connection with Miracle Moms, a website which appears to offer Roz the very solution she is looking for.
The premise of this book was disturbing, babies for sale and the brutal truth that all that glitters is most definitely not always gold as Caroline Mitchell hammers the assumption that just because someone is rich or famous then they are good people.
The Perfect Mother lays bare the power and the ugly truth of the internet where anything is for sale. And when Roz decides to go through with her plan, things begin to spiral in a way that she could have never have imagined!
Sheridan and Daniel are the golden couple, a life of fame and luxury. But the narrative forces you to just look beneath that surface where you find something much darker, much more tarnished.
The novel is full of intriguing and well-rounded characters, Roz and Sheridan both stood out for me. My feelings for Sheridan batted back and forward between empathy, fear and hatred. And as I watched Roz beginning to doubt herself as events take a sinister turn, my heart was about to explode out of my chest! These characters were written so well, that despite the dark and sinister turn of events, it was impossible not to relate to each of them. I witnessed a vulnerability in each of the characters alongside an impressive display of strength and control. Cold hearted but fragile, watching these characters play out their role was like watching a car crash in slow motion.
The pace is perfect with each and every twist delivered just at the right time; it left me breathless but also probed away at my mind as I imagined myself in a similar situation…that old, what if scenario came into play many a time!
In a step away from police procedurals, Caroline Mitchell offers a well-drawn out, tension laden psychological thriller, it has all the elements required to make it a “just one more chapter” kind of read. Well drawn characters, a dark and intriguing and thrilling plot which was perfectly paced. It had all the twists and turns required to make me gasp! I really could see this play out on the big screen!
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About the author:
Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family in a village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, she has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time.
Caroline writes psychological and crime thrillers. The most recent, Silent Victim reached No.1 in the Amazon charts in the UK, USA and Australia and was the winner of the Reader’s Favourite Awards in the psychological thriller category. It has been described as ‘brilliantly gripping and deliciously creepy’.
Set in Notting Hill, London, her new DI Amy Winter thriller series, Truth and Lies and The Secret Child are published by Thomas & Mercer.