Book Review: Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly

Book Review: Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula DalyJust What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly
Published by Random House on April 25th 2013
Rating: four-stars
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, General, Crime, Thrillers, Psychological, Family Life, Suspense
Pages: 384
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Synopsis:

Your friend's child is missing. It's your fault.
No family is perfect.
A husband, three children and a full-time job, so many plates to keep spinning.
No wonder you forgot you were supposed to be looking after your friend's daughter.
But no one has seen her since yesterday.
And she's not the first to go missing from your small town.
So who's hiding something?

A little while ago I read – and absolutely loved – Paula Daly’s second novel Keep Your Friends Close. It was ridiculously good, with a twist at the end that shocked the living daylights out of me. It genuinely left me open-mouthed in shock, surprise, awe, and amazement. So when I spotted Just What Kind of Mother Are You? at the library, it was MINE. According to Amazon, I do actually have a copy of the book, but I forgot! So I got it from the library and it was just as amazing as Keep Your Friends Close.

First up, let me get this off my chest: I did not, for a long, long time whilst reading this book, understand why a) Lisa blamed herself for Lucinda going missing or b) anyone else blamed Lisa for Lucinda going missing. For so long, it baffled and confused me – because where was Kate, Lucinda’s mother, in all of this? If Kate was such a helicopter parent, why hadn’t she tried to get in touch with Lucinda? It made me actually angry, because I felt it was unfair to Lisa. I just didn’t get it. But, thankfully, this did eventually make sense. But it irritated me. Boy, did it irritate me.

Just What Kind of Mother Are You? was such an intriguing read. I was gripped throughout, and I liked that Lisa was determined to find Lucinda, despite being blamed, and the switch between Lisa’s point of view and the third-person point of view of Joanne was amazing (although, thinking back as I type this, what happened to Joanne’s surgery, Paula?!?!?! DID SHE GET IT, OR WHAT?!?) and I actually really liked Joanne. I’d even love to see her brought back, because she’s the kind of detective you really like, who just does their job, and gets on with it. Lisa was also kind of amazing, she had the guilt because Lucinda had disappeared, she was juggling her kids, her job, her husband, all that stuff, and still managed to keep her head. Although for the longest time I had so many suspicions about her and Joe. You know when you just get a bad feeling? I had a bad feeling – and I was hoping I was wrong, actually, because it’s lovely to see a married couple in a crime novel actually be in love with each other – what a novelty that is. I think that’s why I was so paranoid – because it was all going so swimmingly.

I really, really enjoyed Just What Kind of Mother Are You? It was a fascinating insight into small-town life, and kinda-toxic friendships, and whether you can trust literally anybody? The right answer is no, you can’t. Just do not trust people, it’s so not worth it. Paula Daly is a cracking author, I’ve read two of her books now and she’ll be on my must-buy list for the foreseeable. I already have The Mistake I Made, and I see she has a new book out next year, so yay. I am a happy reader and if you’ve never read Paula Daly, I suggest you do, because she writes immense crime fiction.

four-stars
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