Lou is friendly and dependable. The other mums and their kids love her for being so kind and helpful. But one day she picks up the kids and doesn’t drop them home…
The Mother Next Door is a psychological thriller set in the south of England. A storm is brewing, both in terms of the weather and the psychological turmoil of the main characters. The weather is almost another character as it interweaves through the plot and provides an extra dynamic and layer of tension or danger.
Fiona, Alison and Jasmine are all frantic when their children fail to arrive home as usual. Then they get a text from Lou telling them to confess the truth. Fiona kissed a colleague, Alison has remortgaged her home and Jasmine is an alcoholic. But these current secrets are nothing compared to the one in their past.
The book is written from Fiona, Alison and Jasmine’s perspectives in the main. However there are some chapters from the children’s first person viewpoint which heightens the tension. Each chapter is clearly labelled with the character’s name and a time so you can see the chronology of events.
There were plenty of twists and the short chapters combined with the mulitple perspectives create a rapid pace and tension. I did guess the biggest twist but still enjoyed seeing how events played out.
The Mother Next Door is a twisty and emotional psychological thriller, and the potential risk to children is every parent’s nightmare.
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.
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.