review by Maryom
A mother's worst nightmare must be for something horrific to happen to her child but what if you were responsible for something happening to your best friend's child?
Lisa Kallisto lives in a whirl, chasing this way and that after work and family commitments, so it's easy to forget that her ill teenage daughter should have been having best-friend, Lucinda, round for a sleepover. Until, that is, the next morning when Lucinda fails to show up at school. She's the second girl to go missing in the area in a couple of weeks - and the last one was found half-clothed and dazed wandering the town centre. How can Lisa forgive herself for what's happened? Lisa has always felt herself a little inferior to Lucinda's mum, Kate, with her so-perfect life and family. Now, blamed by everyone, Lisa's only hope is to find Lucinda before her worst imaginings become real. As the police investigation takes one route, Lisa follows another - uncovering a web of secrets behind the picture-postcard prettiness of her Lakeland town.
In this stunning debut thriller, Paula Daly takes your second-worse nightmare and makes it real. Lisa is a typical harassed mother and there's a nasty feeling that it could happen to anyone. Most of us only have to worry about a child's mislaid lunch or PE kit, but everyone's heard the tales of a baby left on a car roof or a child forgotten at the pub; how easy is it for something truly dreadful to occur? This isn't merely a story of modern-day parenthood though. Alongside Lisa's mainly accidental discoveries runs the police line of enquiries, giving the reader a glimpse of things Lisa is unaware of. In retrospect, there are clues hidden all along the way but I never recognised the villain.
Just What Kind of Mother Are You? is an excellent gripping read with a great, original twist at the end. About 50 pages from the end, I tried to persuade myself to stop reading and go to bed - but I was so engrossed I stayed up till half past one to finish. That's got to be the sign of a good book!
Buy Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly from Amazon