Book Review: The Wrong Mother

The Wrong Mother

Sophie Hannah


432 pages

Sally Horning is your typical frazzled mother of two young children.  She has a caring but clueless husband and a busy career.  Her one bit of respite was one year ago when she went on a “business” trip and met a man named Mark Bretherick.  Sally and Mark had a week long affair that lasted only as long as their respective trips.  Now, a year later, Sally is shocked to hear on the news that the wife and daughter of Mark Bretherick have been found dead–the result of a murder/suicide.  However, when Mark Bretherick appears on the screen during a news broadcast, Sally is horrified to realize that this is not the Mark Bretherick she spent a week with.

Sally begins her own sleuthing into the mysterious deaths of Geraldine and Lucy Bretherick, as well as also trying to discover who the real Mark Bretherick is.  She is extremely hesitant to clue anyone into what she is doing, as that would mean fessing up to her affair, so even her closest friend is unaware of the mess Sally has gotten herself into.

I have been on a “literary mystery” kick recently.  I am not sure how well developed this sub genre is, but basically I was looking for something along the lines of Tana French, now that I have read all three of her books.  I stumbled upon Sophie Hannah one day when I cam across an interview she had done with French.  I noticed that French seems to be constantly touting Hannah’s work, so I knew straight away I should give her a try.

Comparatively speaking, Hannah’s books are more fast paced and plot oriented.  The character development is nowhere near the caliber found in French’s books.  Regarless of that fact, I am definitely seeking out all of Hannah’s books now.  The suspense is there, and all I want with a good mystery is to keep my attention while drawing me into a good story.  If you are on the lookout for another mystery writer, do not hesitate to give Sophie Hannah a chance.

The Wrong Mother was the book club choice for my real life book club this month.  I am hosting, so I got to choose the book.  I rarely choose a book that I know so little about–I literally discovered this book the day I suggested it, but I was in the mood for a mystery and I figured What the heck.  We haven’t met up yet, so I can’t say how my book club liked it, but I was enthralled.  I read the book in about 24 hours.  I was afraid, before reading the book, that it wouldn’t be great for discussion, but I think we will have plenty to talk about!

Other Reviews:

A Novel Menagerie

Everyday I Write the Book

I purchased this book from Borders.

3 Responses

  1. I loved this book too!! I feel the same about literary mysteries but I haven’t read very many. I actually haven’t yet read French’s books even though I have all three on my TBR! You might like Jennifer McMahan… I’ve only read one of her books so far and there was sort of a ghost story combined with it but I realllly liked that too.

  2. I’ve only read one of Sophie Hannah’s books which sounded promising but didn’t really deliver for me. I know a lot of people like her books so I will probably check another out to see what I’m missing.

  3. I definitely don’t count literary mysteries as a common read – actually I’m not sure the last time I read one that wasn’t a classic novel (or based on one) – but this sounds really interesting.

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