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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.3 out of 5
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  • Well paced, psychological thriller

    This was a book I finished in one sitting, well written, good pace, the story gradually unfolds as you read each chapter, keeping you guessing, until about half way through, then I guessed what had happened, some of the suspense left for me then, along with the believability of parts of the story. Mainly the police side of it. Five women all totally different, they shouldn’t really get on as they only have one thing in common, they all attended ante natal classes together, and had children. Bella, Chrissy, Electra, Skye and Jen. A stay at home mum until husband practically forces her back to work, a high flying lawyer, PHd qualification, free spirit massage therapist, and a woman struggling to get a job. The story is told in different POV each chapter starts with one of the women or DI Iona Chatwin, initially with the women it’s 3 years before, then 2 years before gradually counting down until in the present time, with Iona it’s the present. Bella Upton reports her husband missing, he hadn’t gone to work and wasn’t home, when Di Chatwin and DS Yannis Mohamud go to the house, Bella tells them he has taken his passport and a suitcase, for them this is a case if husband leaving wife and child. Until they hear from his work that there is money been embezzled, and that Ewan Upton has a gambling problem, now they want to know whether Bella knew about his addiction, and the money stolen. When interviewing the other mothers they get the impression these women don’t actually like each other, but just meet up every 3 months out of politeness. But is that true? When they go to interview Jen she is missing and her home looks like a crime scene, a smashed table with Jen’s blood. I did enjoy this book to a point, my problem was not one of the relationships the women had with husbands and partners were happy ones, it showed all the women to me as being insecure, two of the women have partners much younger than themselves, Bella is much younger than her husband Ewan and her confidence has totally gone, Skye’s father of her child is gay, Having had children I know your life changes dramatically, tiredness, lack of sex drive, the dynamics are different. But I think I would have liked at least one of these relationships to be working. This then made it difficult to actually care too much about them. I would like to thank #netgalley and #Trapezepublishers for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.

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  • An Addictive Read

    The seven lines used for the blurb of this story instantly had me intrigued and I couldn’t wait to get stuck into reading this. In this case, less is more in describing what The Mothers is all about. Right from the get go I was completely immersed in this story and I was so invested into each of these women’s lives, that it had me racing through the pages to see how it was all going to unfold. Chock full of mystery and suspense with twists and turns aplenty, The Mothers is a great read to lose yourself in and is one book that will have you reading well into the night. Sarah has created a gripping plot that could easily be transferred to the big screen. It is addictive and a well thought through story that had me completely hooked and did not let me go until the final page. Told through dual timelines between the past and the present, we are given a great insight into each of the women, of their lives, their friendships with each other, secrets they hold that threaten to come to the surface as well as a mystery to solve when one of their husbands goes missing. As I mentioned above less is more with The Mothers, so I won’t go into any further detail on the plot. Sarah has done a great job with the five women in this story and they have all been brought to life beautifully, with each one jumping from the page as if the story was unfolding right before my eyes. They are all very believable, well developed and are very unique in their own ways. There really wasn’t one of them that stood out for me above the other and although they didn’t share a lot in common, with some not at all, Sarah was able to convince me through great writing that they all worked well together. The secondary characters in the story have also been well developed and all play their parts extremely well. I enjoyed the ease of Sarah’s writing, which is very fluid in its approach. While at times I felt that the story did move at a slower pace, this did not hinder my enjoyment of the book and I liked how Sarah took her time with it, giving each of the characters their time in the spotlight, while still keeping me engaged. It can sometimes be overwhelming having so many characters to focus on, which in this story aside from the five women also includes two detectives, a missing husband and some other minor characters, but Sarah does a great job in making sure that everything is very clear and there is never any confusion where each one fits in and what role that they play. In terms of cons to the story, I only have one teeny tiny criticism with the character of Iona. As a gay detective, I just felt there was a little bit too much focus on her sexuality, rather than solving the mystery of the disappearance of one of the ladies husband. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that she was gay as you don’t read many stories where a lead detective is and we need more diversity, but as she is such a strong character who is able to hold her own throughout the story, I just thought that the continued focus on this wasn’t needed. The Mothers is the first book I have read from Sarah and it has been a great introduction to her work for me. Now on my radar, I look forward to more books from her in the future. It was a pleasure to be able to read and review The Mothers which I throughly recommend.

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  • A Stunning Read!

    I'm not entirely sure what exactly I expected from this book - but, boy, did it take me by surprise! Five women who met when they were all pregnant and have kept in regular touch. All from very different walks of life, these women - on the surface - have very little in common but they have all pledged to be there for each other, come what may. When one husband goes missing and the police become involved we begin to find out about each and every one of their lives . . . This is a slow starter but, trust me, it is a stunning read. Little by little we get to know each of these women and what their lives are like; with 'before' and 'after' chapters for each of them, we discover what was going on before and after one of their husbands disappeared. I found myself drawn into each of their lives, easily putting myself in their shoes and understanding their joys and concerns. As the story continues, I found out things which I didn't see coming and the word 'wow' was uttered more than once! What a cracking thriller and definitely one which women, in particular, will adore. The title and the cover are just perfect for what comes inside and the characters are awesome, added to which the ending totally took me by surprise! Beautifully planned and executed, this is different to anything else I've read in this genre and cements Sarah J Naughton onto my 'must read' list of authors. Easily a full five stars, and earning each and every one.

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  • Just Brilliant!

    😊 The Mothers is Sarah J. Naughton's latest psychological thriller and an emotionally resonant, taut mystery. The novel features five mothers -Bella, Chrissy, Electra, Skye, and Jen. They met at an antenatal group and have continued to meet up on a regular basis at each others homes for a catch-up, drinks and nibbles. When Ewan, Bella’s husband vanishes, it’s plain that this is just the beginning, and that there’s more to these mothers than it initially appears. The police certainly think so and an investigation results, although The Mothers is definitely not a police procedural. While there are many chapters narrated from Detective Inspector Iona Chatwin, the mothers steal the limelight, without a doubt. Thrillers are one of my favourite genres and this one was a remarkably original, morally ambiguous and captivating read. Extremely compelling, I was hooked from the start, and I loved the many secrets the mothers were keeping and their gradual unveiling, while the women themselves were coming unstuck. The characters were deftly constructed and totally believable in their roles. The clarity of Sarah J. Naughton's writing made it an easy story-line to follow, and the fast paced, tense, and twisty plot went down a treat as it snaked along. The author's writing is of a variety that any thriller fan can appreciate -first class - and she was able to create a tone of foreboding that continued until the very last page. The Mothers was a mesmerising story incorporating main themes of friendship, deviousness, secrets and lies. Add into the cooking pot some of the sub ingredients such as manipulation and deceit and the reader can appreciate how sophisticated and stylish this novel actually is. The sinister moments and buckets of tension helped to make The Mothers a true masterpiece. Would I read more from Sarah J. Naughton? Yes, of course... the author is obviously a very good writer. My thanks must go to Sarah J. Naughton for writing such an awesome book! 😊 I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel at my request from Orion Publishing Group via NetGalley and this review is my unbiased opinion.

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