I glance over at Lou’s house as I pull onto my drive, surprised that it is still in darkness. Lou and the kids should have been home from school long ago. I should be preparing a delicious meal for my children as they tell me about their day. But Lou’s car is nowhere to be seen…
The night is drawing in and Lou has still not returned. I try not to panic, but deep down I know something is wrong. Lou is the most dependable friend. Our children are at the same school. We always help each other out, and she cares for my two like only a mother can.
As a storm rages outside and local news reports tell everyone to stay indoors, a feeling of deep dread starts to swell. Then the call comes. The police have found Lou’s car, with my children’s schoolbags still inside along with Lou’s phone. But they are nowhere to be seen.
Clutching my husband’s hands, willing our children to be found safe and sound, I try to silence the voice inside my head. I’ve not been honest. I’m being punished for what happened all those years ago.
And then I get Lou’s message and I know that if I want to see my children again, I need to tell the truth to everyone I love.
What I don’t yet know is that Lou has been keeping her own dark secret. And once the storm passes, nothing will ever be the same again.
A gripping and addictive psychological suspense about dark obsession, intense motherly love and how far we will go to protect those we love the most. Perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Adele Parks and Sally Hepworth.
Listen to a sample here: https://soundcloud.com/bookouture/the-mother-next-door-by-leah-mercer-narrated-by-jasmine-blackborow
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Title: The Mother Next Door
Author: Leah Mercer
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Format: Audiobook ARC
Narrator: Jasmine Blackborow
Length: 8 hr 7 min
Date of Publication: February 27, 2023
My Rating: 5 Stars
Three mothers, Fiona, Allison and Jasmine, are beside themselves when their children are not returned home after school. Their neighbor and friend, Lou, who is the mother of two children, had picked their children up after school. This was a common occurrence as Lou has always been very helpful and a good friend. However, this day she does not bring the children home. The mothers are in a panicked state, which is completely expected.
Lou has a reason for not returning the children. She makes a big reference that unnerves Fiona, Allison and Jasmine. They all share a secret from when they were teenagers. Apparently, the secret has come back to haunt them and now their children’s lives are at risk. Will the mothers reveal their secret in time to get their children back safely? This is especially imperative because a storm is about to break out, with heavy rain and flooding threatening the area. In fact, authorities are having trouble even searching where they think the children could possibly be because of the inclement weather.
Meanwhile, the three women have a decision to make. In a dual timeline fashion, as well as multiple points of view, the secret of the past is revealed to the reader of this thrilling book by Leah Mercer. They kept this secret for years. Each of them marrying and having children. Their reactions to the current situation varies among each of them. But ultimately, they want their children home safely.
I was able to listen to this exciting book as an audiobook, which played into the intensity that this story told. The narration was perfect, and this increased the tension in this story. The sense of urgency was strong, especially when it came to one of the children being asthmatic, as this added to the level of danger in this book. While we as the reader knew the secret that the women were hiding, the connection when it came to Lou was woven into the story with shocking twists and turns, leading to a jaw-dropping ending. The pacing never let up for one moment in this book that captivated me from beginning to end.
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Leah Mercer was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the east coast of Canada. Her first ambition was to be a journalist, but after completing a master’s in journalism, she soon realised she preferred anything other than reporting the news. After trying her hand at public relations, teaching and recruitment in various countries around the world, she finally settled in London and returned to writing… fiction, this time. Her first two novels, Who We Were Before and The Man I Thought You Were, were shortlisted at the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards. Leah loves books, running and visiting historic houses with her husband and their son.Author Social Media Links
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