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Release Date: 11th June 2019 / Publisher: Bookouture

Everyone makes mistakes. But does everyone deserve to be forgiven?

She runs past the tinkling of children’s laughter that fills the park. Heart hammering, feet stinging, she reaches the riverbank, her breath catching in her throat. And then she sees…

Three years later.

Claire has everything she’s always wanted. A new-born baby. A doting husband by her side. A picturesque home in the countryside.

But behind closed doors, Claire’s life is falling apart. Her husband is barely ever home, she’s struggling to bond with her baby girl, and she swears that she is being watched in the remote, lonely cottage.

And when a threatening note is posted through her letterbox, saying she doesn’t deserve her daughter, it’s clear that someone knows about the terrible mistake that Claire made – someone won’t let her forget it. Three years ago, she would have known who to turn to. But now she no longer recognises those closest to her, or the person she’s become. Who can she trust?

An atmospheric, chilling and absolutely unputdownable psychological thriller about a mother’s worst nightmare. Fans of K.L. Slater, Shalini Boland and The Girl on the Train will love the twists, turns and gasp-worthy shocks of this stunning debut from Ruth Heald.

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My Review

Claire is a new mother who is struggling to cope with motherhood.  Moving away from London to where her husband grew up and into his late grandmother’s house doesn’t really help the situation.  Claire’s mother-in-law, who lives next door, has never really liked her and doesn’t think she is good enough for her son.  With her husband working every hour to enable them to buy their own home Claire feels very lonely.  When strange things begin to happen in the house and threatening letters are posted through the door, Claire has no idea who could be behind it.  Has she made a big mistake moving from her home?

This is the first book which I’ve read by this author.  The book did begin slowly, but as it moved on so did the pace of the book.  You have to feel sorry for Claire, the main character.  Being a new mum is never easy, but when you have to move away to somewhere new and have an interfering mother-in-law who’s never liked you anyway, it’s even worse.  Whilst my heart went out to Claire, I have to admit that the nature of the story did have me wondering if it really was someone out to make Claire think she was going mad, or was Claire actually suffering from some sort of post-natal paranoia?  Either way, the story was gripping and it made for a really uneasy read!  The suspense and tension kept me turning the pages quickly to find out what was going on.

There were lots of twists, turns, red herrings and dead ends and these combined together certainly kept me on my toes trying to work out who was behind it all, if anyone!  The secret from Claire’s past was nicely played out and when the big reveal comes, all ends are nicely tied into place!  The other characters, whilst not necessarily likeable, all fitted into the story perfectly to give it that perfectly chilled edge!  Told from Claire’s point of view and also from an anonymous person, this story left me not knowing who to trust and feeling more uneasy about everything than Claire was!!

Full of lies, deceit and revenge, this is a very good psychological thriller which you won’t want to put down!  Would definitely recommend!

The Author

Ruth Heald is a psychological thriller writer from a suburban Buckinghamshire town. She studied Economics at Oxford and then worked in an eclectic mix of sectors from nuclear decommissioning to management consulting.

Seeking a more creative environment, she found a role at the BBC and worked there for nine years before leaving to write full time. Ruth is fascinated by psychology and finding out what drives people to violence, destruction and revenge. She’s married with one daughter and her novels explore our greatest fears in otherwise ordinary, domestic lives.

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